Stefan Ebner (sebner)

December 24th, 2008 2 comments

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Age: 18
Location: Hermagor, Austria
IRC Nick: sebner

How long have you used Linux and what was your first distro?
A friend of mine and myself were somehow the “geeks” in our school class and he told me something about suse so we tried suse 9.0. I’m still wondering that I didn’t remove the windows partition on my parents pc accidently but since it was new and strange I deleted it some weeks after I installed it, also because the DSL-modem wasn’t working. Later we tried 9.1 with the same result.

How long have you been using Ubuntu?
I installed Dapper Drake (version 6.06) in august 2006. I sometimes had a windows partition but since the installation ubuntu was my default system.

When did you get involved with the MOTU team and how?
In October 2007 I joined the ubuntu-motu channel on freenode and discovered that Andrea Veri (bluekuja) was not living that far away so I talked a little bit to him and he convinced me to start contributing. After buying a new laptop he started mentoring me from the 1.1.2008 on :)

What helped you learn packaging and how Ubuntu teams work?
The different Packaging guides (Debian/Ubuntu ones). Looking at examples on REVU. Through my work on many merges. Hanging around on IRC tells you a lot about the how the teams work and don’t forget about the wiki pages.

What’s your favorite part of working with the MOTU?
Of course the people. It’s often just great fun to work with them and you can learn a lot talking to them. Besides you have the great feeling to give something back.

Any advice for people wanting to help out MOTU?
Well, as in many interviews already pointed out: Don’t be shy and just ask if you need help. Looking at the wikipages, doing merges and syncs and upload stuff to REVU is a great way to learn how you can contribute to ubuntu.

Are you involved with any local Linux/Ubuntu groups?
In the past I was part of the german ubuntuforum team but stepped back in favour of concentrating to become a MOTU. In the future I’ll help the new Austrian Locoteam and forum to grow.

What are you going to focus on in Jaunty?
I’ll concentrate on C# apps which includes packaging new ones and merges and syncs existing ones from Debian. As I’m MOTU now I’ll also sponsor the work of others besides my own.

What do you do in your other spare time?
Hmm? spare time? what? I’d say nexuiz.

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Nathan Handler (nhandler)

December 23rd, 2008 1 comment

computer

Age: 16
Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States
IRC Nick: nhandler

How long have you used Linux and what was your first distro?
My first introduction to Linux was with a Slax live cd. That was sometime in 2005. I used the cd a couple of times, but never actually installed it to my computer. During the summer of 2006, I decided to install Linux as my primary operating system. I tried Suse and Fedora before trying Ubuntu. Ubuntu had the best support for my hardware, and a great online community.

How long have you been using Ubuntu?
I have been using Ubuntu for a little over 2 years. I started with Dapper Drake, but updated right away to Edgy Eft.

When did you get involved with the MOTU team and how?
I started to get involved with the MOTU team during the Gutsy Gibbon development cycle. I began by patching some of the bitesize bugs on Launchpad. I did not do anything MOTU-related during the Hardy Heron development cycle. However, in the Intrepid Ibex developement cycle, I really started to get serious about working towards becoming a MOTU. I performed a lot of merges and syncs, and continued to patch bugs on Launchpad.

What helped you learn packaging and how Ubuntu teams work?
Emmet Hikory (persia) helped guide me when I first got involved. He helped teach me the basics of patching and some of the development processes. The many guides and irc logs on the wiki were also a great help. Almost every MOTU-related task has been documented on the wiki. I also can not forget to mention the IRC channels. They are filled with MOTUs and other Ubuntu users who helped answer all of my questions.

What’s your favorite part of working with the MOTU?
My favorite part of working with the MOTU is that there is always something new to learn. When you master one thing (if that is even possible), there is always always something else out there for you to learn.

Any advice for people wanting to help out MOTU?
Spend time on IRC. IRC is one of the most valuable resources available. Not only is it full of thousands of people that are willing to help guide you on your way, but it also leads to many new friendships.

Are you involved with any local Linux/Ubuntu groups?
I am currently not involved with the Chicago LOCO. However, I have worked with many of the LOCO members over IRC.

What are you going to focus on in Jaunty?
Now that I am a MOTU, I am going to be devoting a lot of time to sponsoring patches from other Ubuntu contributors. I will also be reviewing more packages on REVU. I also want to get involved with Kubuntu.

What do you do in your other spare time?
When I am not at school or doing MOTU-related tasks, I am usually working on one of the many Perl scripts that I’ve started. For me, programing helps me think logically and relax.

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Stéphane Graber (stgraber)

December 18th, 2008 No comments

Age: 18
Location: Sherbrooke, QC, CA
IRC Nick: stgraber

stgraber

stgraber's desktop

one thin client with a 22" screen, another with a dual-head setup and my laptop with a standard desktop install

How long have you used Linux and what was your first distro?
I’ve been using it for almost 9 years now. My first distro was Mandrake Linux, I then switched between distros for a few years including Gentoo, Corel Linux, Caldera, LFS, Slackware, Red Hat and Debian to finally use Debian and then switch to Ubuntu.

How long have you been using Ubuntu?
Since Warty.

When did you get involved with the MOTU team and how?
My first package to be uploaded to the archive was pastebinit a command line pastebin client, this one was uploaded on the 7th of December 2006 (feisty).

What helped you learn packaging and how Ubuntu teams work?
I mainly learned how Ubuntu works by discussing with people on IRC and reading some wiki pages. Being around for a long time I actually saw most of these team structures being created.

For the packaging, I initially simply read the Ubuntu Packaging Guide, then followed the REVU process doing changes when needed.

What’s your favorite part of working with the MOTU?
Being able to get my favorite applications directly in Ubuntu, fixing some others and helping some others to do the same. And of course hours long discussions on IRC :)

Any advice for people wanting to help out MOTU?
Just go on IRC, ask people and read some wiki pages. Packaging is not as hard as it may look.

Are you involved with any local Linux/Ubuntu groups?
I recently moved to Canada where I’m not involved in any LoCo but I’m still one of the admin of the Ubuntu Switzerland LoCo team. My role is now to mainly follow the discussions on the mailing-list and discuss on IRC.

What are you going to focus on in Jaunty?
Improving LTSP to get desktop-like experience, getting ltsp-cluster uploaded to Universe, improve a bit iTalc’s integration with LTSP and getting more educational packages uploaded/improved for Edubuntu.

What do you do in your other spare time?
I work on upstream LTSP and on some of my personal projects (pastebinit and a few others). Yeah, I don’t really do anything beside working on open source projects :)

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Guillaume Martres (smarter)

October 31st, 2008 No comments

Age: 15
Location: France (near the border with Switzerland)
IRC Nick: smarter (an anagram of my last name ;) )

How long have you used Linux and what was your first distro?
I’ve been using Linux for 3 years and a half now. My first distro was Kaella, a Knoppix based Live-CD adapted for French users. That’s probably why I like so much Debian-based distros and KDE ;) .

How long have you been using Ubuntu?
I’ve started using Ubuntu 3 years ago, as soon as I got a laptop.

When did you get involved with the MOTU team and how?
I had been wanting to help with Ubuntu development for some times, and finally one day (a year and a half ago, if I remember correctly) I joined some developers channels on IRC(which I had only used a few times before, mostly for providing support for users or asking questions) and asked how I could help.

What helped you learn packaging and how Ubuntu teams work?
The French wiki and the English one were really helpful for learning packaging. I also had a lot of comments on my packages on IRC and REVU which helped me making better packages. I learned how the teams works mostly by watching discussions on IRC.

What’s your favorite part of working with the MOTU?
Learning new things and working with great people ;) .

Any advice for people wanting to help out MOTU?
Don’t hesitate to join development channels on IRC to ask questions!

Are you involved with any local Linux/Ubuntu groups?
I’m one of the administrator of the French forum, but never participated in any local event related to Ubuntu.

What are you going to focus on in Jaunty?
I’m currently learning C++/Qt and PyQt. In Jaunty, I hope to be able to improve our distros tools(like the upgrade manager or the language selector). I will also focus on making sure KDE4 is as good or better than KDE3 for the few features that we still miss from KDE3 :) .

What do you do in your other spare time?
I read a lot, I also play quite a lot of video games.

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James Westby (james_w)

September 30th, 2008 2 comments
James Westby

James Westby

Age: 24
Location: Bristol, UK
IRC Nick: james_w

How long have you used Linux and what was your first distro?
I’ve been using Linux for around 4 years now, starting with Debian.

How long have you been using Ubuntu?
I’ve been using Ubuntu for around 9 months.

When did you get involved with the MOTU team and how?
I got involved with MOTU after UDS Hardy in Boston. I was invited to UDS as an upstream developer, and got to know a few MOTUs there. After that I started working on some Ubuntu development, mainly on things that benefited Ubuntu and Debian, as I was involved a little with Debian development. I have been concentrating more on Ubuntu for a while now, as the community was more welcoming, and it’s easier to find a place for yourself as it is smaller.

What helped you learn packaging and how Ubuntu teams work?
I learnt packaging while working in Debian. It was mainly a case of getting stuck in and googling a lot when I got stuck. I learnt a bit about Ubuntu from the UDS, especially from Daniel Holbach, Stefan Potyra and Reinhard Tartler. The rest was just looking at the wiki and mainly asking questions.

What’s your favorite part of working with the MOTU?
Two things really, firstly the community, it’s a pleasure to work with MOTU and other people involved with Ubuntu development. Secondly, making a great distribution even better is a great feeling.

Any advice for people wanting to help out MOTU?
Just get stuck in. Find a bug that annoys you in a package you use and try to fix it. Often this is more about looking in the right places and talking to the right people than knowing how to code. Also, ask questions, people will help when they can, and if you don’t get a response then it’s probably a hard question, and so fixing it will be even more satisfying.

Are you involved with any local Linux/Ubuntu groups?
I’m a little involved with Ubuntu UK, but I don’t do as much as I would like.

What are you going to focus on in Intrepid?
For the little that is left I’m going to focus mainly on fixing as many bugs as possible. I’m also going to be looking for the most important things to focus on for Jaunty.

What do you do in your other spare time?
Drink cider and dance like a fool.

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Andrea Colangelo (warp10)

August 25th, 2008 5 comments

Age: 28
Location: Bugnara, Italy
IRC Nick: warp10

How long have you used Linux and what was your first distro?
I first tried Linux in 1995, when I found a Red Hat 4.2 CD within a computer magazine I buyed monthly. I didn’t know anything about Linux and Free Software, but I tried it and was impressed from the  philosphy behind it.

How long have you been using Ubuntu?
The first release I tried was Breezy Badger. Shipit still keeps my request for CDs, submitted in october 2005: it was great for me, since I had no broadband access at that time. I tried it from time to time,
mostly as a live CD, since I was pretty happy with Debian. A day I decided to give a try to Fedora, but didn’t liked it too much. Instead of reinstalling Debian, I downloaded Edgy Eft and love arose. Since then I use Ubuntu as my only, unique OS (apart from many other distros in my VMs).

When did you get involved with the MOTU team and how?
My first run with MOTU was in May 2007, but a series of troubles brought me away from the world of Ubuntu development. I tried again in October, on the edge of Gutsy release, when I sent an email to Cesare Tirabassi asking for a mentor. He drove my first steps in #ubuntu-motu and helped me uploading my first debdiffs. I still remember the first email in the hardy-changes Mailing List bringing my name! Then, the MOTU mentoring reception assigned Martin Pitt as my mentor, and the journey begun!

What helped you learn packaging and how Ubuntu teams work?
Well, learning packaging is an hard process. There isn’t a single “thing” that will teach you everything. My mentor has been an important parte of my apprenticeship, I encourage prospective developers to ask for one. #ubuntu-motu is an incredible resource. I asked a lot of things there to other MOTUs and contributors, and probably I have never been unanswered. Really, the best way to learn packaging is… packaging! Documentation and guides are a great starting point, but dirting your hands with stuff is always the best way.

What’s your favorite part of working with the MOTU?
Well, the feeling that you help shaping a distribution used by millions of people, and that your work can make happier even a single person in the world, it is a wonderful feeling. Further, the MOTU family is awesome. When you join #ubuntu-motu you feel at home. That’s a beautiful sensation!

Any advice for people wanting to help out MOTU?
Don’t be afraid to ask. Sometimes, even skilled programmers don’t know nothing about packaging. We have a lot of processes, procedures and even non-written rules that we should follow, and nobody knows all of them. Second advice: keep trying. Sometimes bugs are really nasty and fixing them is difficult. Or maybe the debdiff you provided has been rejected by a sponsor, altough you thought it was perfect. Well, don’t surrender, choose another bug (or address your sponsor’s remarks) and keep up the good work.

What are you going to focus on in Intrepid?
Currently I am mostly involved in sponsoring the work from our contributors. We have a lot of good guys who are helping a lot, and I enjoy uploading their works on the archives. After the Feature Freeze I will concentrate my efforts on QA activities. That’s probably the best period of the release cycle to tackle that. We always need for more and more people to do some good QA, so everyone is warmly  welcomed to join.

Favorite quote?
I don’t have a favourite one among the many that I love. Anyway, thinking to the Ubuntu world, this one always come to my mind: “Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations”. People that are not Star Trek Fans can better understand its meaning here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IDIC#Philosophy :)

What do you do in your other spare time?
Ubuntu and my girlfriend occupy most of it. Other than that: friends, cinema, Jazz music and good books.

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Nicolas Valcárcel (nxvl)

August 18th, 2008 1 comment

Age: 24
Location: Lima – Perú
IRC Nick: nxvl

How long have you used Linux and what was your first distro?
4 or 5 years from now on, i started with RedHat, i tried it for a few months, then i started testing a lot of distros (gentoo, fedora, conectiva, madrake) and finally found debian, which i used for almost a year until ubuntu shows up, then i switched and never left the distro.

How long have you been using Ubuntu?
Since Warty Warlog.

When did you get involved with the MOTU team and how?
Almost a year ago. I always wanted to contribute back to the FOSS Community doing some developments, and since i was an ubuntu user, one day i came into the web page, the saw the “Get involved” link, clicked on it, and that was the point of no return. I started doing some merges on the early hardy release cycle, then get involved on the server team, where i’ve been doing most of my work lately.

What helped you learn packaging and how Ubuntu teams work?
I started reading the packaging guide, recipes was also a good help, but the key of my learn process was the MOTU community, i find a lot of lovely and helpful people that were always there to answer my questions, my lovely sponsors, who, with a lot of patience checked my patches and point me to my errors and/or best practices on how to solve things, there is where i really learned about the ubuntu work.

What’s your favorite part of working with the MOTU?
That it a huggy community!! All the people involved are helpful, lovely and doesn’t hesitate on showing their love. They also can point you at your errors in a really polite way, but they will also told you when you did a good work, and i find that awesome.

Any advice for people wanting to help out MOTU?
Jump in now! “I will do it tomorrow” is a lie, if you want to start help, start now, why to wait until tomorrow? You will find a lot of helpful people who can guide you on your process. I swear it would be an awesome experience.

Are you involved with any local Linux/Ubuntu groups?
Yes! I’m part of the Peruvian LoCo Council where i try to get more people involved on the ubuntu development giving some talks in local conferences while i can.

What are you going to focus on in Intrepid?
I’ve been working on Server Usability, being that easier ways to manage your servers, since there is a big barrer for Windows sysadmins to switch to Linux, but as it is a hard work (and actually a lot) and i
don’t have the free time i wanted to have it won’t be ready for intrepid, but we already have some of it pieces getting into shape!

What do you do in your other spare time?
Spare time? What’s that? I actually work at PriceWaterhouseCoopers as an intern (i used to be senior consultant in the past on a full time job), i’m also finishing the university and have a wonderful girlfriend who take almost all of my free time :P. I also love to hang out with my friends, having some beers and stuff, and on summers i love to go to the beach and surf when i can, but there is not a lot of other spare time for me now :(

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Emanuele Gentili (emgent)

August 15th, 2008 1 comment

Age: 21
Location: Orvieto, Italy
IRC Nick: emgent

How long have you used Linux and what was your first distro?
I started with slackware in 1999, version 4.0 if i remember well.After that i switched to Gentoo Linux for my home-based servers, and Debian for desktop, but intrigued by Ubuntu Hoary Hedgehog I installed it after release in April 2005. From that moment ubuntu was always on my box somewhere, sharing my time with Aurox fedora based distribution for some time that I developed.

How long have you been using Ubuntu?
Since April 2005.

When did you get involved with the MOTU team and how?
I started to contribuite in MOTU team when I decided to stop my work in Gentoo and Aurox development. I created Launchpad account in 2007-11-09 and i started my contribute in Ubuntu Security Team with Security fix to packages, auditing, penetration tests on launchpad, ubuntu website and other stuff (and i found some nice security bugs in this, now all fixed).

What helped you learn packaging and how Ubuntu teams work?
About packaging there are a lot of great resources. I used DebianMaintainer guide, Ubuntu packaging guide, the Ubuntu School logs and Debian Policy have been good places to consult when I didn’t know anything, or was unsure. Now, thanks to Daniel Holbach, we have Ubuntu videos too and important asset to start.

For the questions there is a #ubuntu-motu channel on freenode, another very important resources for solve possible problems.

What’s your favorite part of working with the MOTU?
I think that working with lots of people that have the same interests, views and goals.

Any advice for people wanting to help out MOTU?
Please read it[¹] and join, we need help for became the best distribution, so that we can thus conquer the world! :-)
[¹] http://www.ubuntu.com/community/participate

What are you going to focus on in Intrepid?
I’m working mainly Rapache [²] (available in Intrepid Universe) a GUI for configuring and manage apache2. Rapache is wrote in python+GTK coming out of an idea after UDS Prague. In this last period I have also taken the WindowMaker package (lightweight loving desktop manager) that it was perhaps too abandoned, as I am a wmaker developer my son heard the first responsible. In addition to this I work as usual to auditing, penetration test and fix the security vulnerabilities contained in packages.

[²] https://launchpad.net/rapache

How do you think Intrepid will special for our users?
The best WindowMaker ever seen, for stability and speed :-)
after that, i think that rapache will be a good tool for all sysadmins, rapache will be facilitate the sysadmin with their configurations to the web server, and I hope will be a good tool to convince some sysadmin who use Microsoft Windows to switch to Ubuntu.

Favorite quote?
“If god is, man is a slave.”
– Mikhail Bakunin

What do you do in your other spare time?
I do political activism (not political parties) and I’m involved in movements formed by voluntary associations who are working for various things. I do it with my GirlFriend. :-)

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Steve Stalcup (vorian)

August 2nd, 2008 1 comment

Age: 31
Location: Central Ohio, USA
IRC Nick: vorian

How long have you used Linux and what was your first distro?
I have been using Linux for a little over 3 years now. My first distro was Ubuntu (5.04). For me, this was a great crash-course in running Linux (which was a forced learning experience due to a failed dual-boot install :) )

How long have you been using Ubuntu?
From the time I messed up that installation to last October, that’s when I decided to give Kubuntu a spin.

When did you get involved with the MOTU team and how?
I’ve had the goal of joining the MOTU team for some time, but really didn’t get serious until the beginning of the Hardy cycle. My “New Years Resolution” for 2008 was to join the MOTU team. With this goal, I started by contributing in small ways, and gradually tackling larger and more complex tasks. Then, in what seems like no time at all, I was getting new packages into Ubuntu and Debian.

What helped you learn packaging and how Ubuntu teams work?
As for packaging, there are a lot of great resources I used to learn the basics of packaging. The “Old” Ubuntu packaging guide, the Debian New Maintainers Guide. I wish there were such tools as the MOTU videos and MOTU recopies when I started learning packaging. These new guides really help break down the process into manageable bite-size tasks.

#Ubuntu-motu on freenode was (and is) the fastest way to get my questions answered. Everyone on the MOTU channel is willing to offer a helping hand, or at least point you in the right direction.

What’s your favorite part of working with the MOTU?
I love working with such a great group of people, who truly are fulfilling a mission of Ubuntu, by pushing out the very best that Open Source software has to offer. The team atmosphere is tremendous.

Any advice for people wanting to help out MOTU?
Set goals, then jump right in! For me, goal setting was the key between wanting to be a MOTU, and actually working towards becoming a MOTU.

It will be frustrating at times, but it will also be very exciting. I clearly remember the frustration I felt while trying to figure how to make specific things work, and the thrill of finding the solution. You can’t learn how to do this stuff and not fail (a lot) along the way.

Most importantly, the MOTU team is awesome to work with! Everyone is willing to help answer a question, help steer you in finding solutions, and giving honest feedback.

What are you going to focus on in Intrepid?
My main focus will be helping ensure Kubuntu is a top-shelf release. Another area I am focusing on is helping with the sponsoring queue. I had some wonderful sponsors who spent time reviewing my contributions and teaching me how to improve. The best way I know to thank them is by doing the same for other contributors and MOTU hopefuls :) More importantly, fixing these bugs makes for a better release.

How do you think Intrepid will special for our users?
With KDE 4.1, long time KDE users can expect to be pleased with what Kubuntu has to offer. I honestly think people new to the K desktop environment will be amazed at what they have been missing ;) (I know I was when I used Kubuntu for the first time)

Favorite quote?
“Do, or do not. There is no ‘try.’”
– Jedi Master Yoda

What do you do in your other spare time?
I spend all my other spare time with my 4 kids and wonderful wife.

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Emilio Pozuelo Monfort (pochu)

July 7th, 2008 2 comments

Age: 19
Location: Murcia, Spain
IRC Nick: pochu

How long have you used Linux and what was your first distro?
I started with Ubuntu in December 2005 with Ubuntu Breeze Badger, and have been using Linux since then. I mostly use Ubuntu, but I have a Debian VM for testing the packages I maintain there.

How long have you been using Ubuntu?
See above :)

When did you get involved with the MOTU team and how?
I started contributing back in January 2007 with small packaging fixes, adding/fixing desktop files… I had no programming skills by that time (and they are still very poor, although I’m working on that!), so I started with simple tasks, and I’ve been taking more complex things as the time passed. I’ve concentrated in some packages too, and I maintain some in Debian and Ubuntu.

What helped you learn packaging and how Ubuntu teams work?
The #ubuntu-motu channel in IRC has always been a great help, with a lot of MOTUs and other wannabes hanging there and willing to answer questions or point to the proper documentation.

Also, the wiki, the PackagingGuide and the Debian Policy have been good places to consult when I didn’t know anything, or was unsure.

But the most important thing has been to do packaging. You can read a lot of documentation, but won’t learn packaging until you start working on it.

Favorite part of working with the MOTU?
The fact that many MOTUs are volunteers motivates me. Also the environment, and the good work the team does in a universe of thousands of packages.

Any advice for people wanting to help out MOTU?
Start contributing. You don’t need to know programming. You don’t need to know packaging. You don’t even need to know what that means! Just have a look at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MOTU/GettingStarted and https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MOTU/TODO and start contributing. And don’t hesitate to ask in #ubuntu-motu on IRC or in the ubuntu-motu-mentors mailing list if you have any questions, even if you think they are obvious.

You have been working on a lot of different packages in the last cycles, what are you going to focus on in Intrepid?
I’m contributing to the DesktopTeam, merging gstreamer related packages, and looking at GNOME packages I’m interested in. I’m also looking at the SponsorsQueue from time to time, and do some reviewing.

Also I don’t want to duplicate efforts, so I’ve been working with Sebastian Dröge in having the GStreamer stack in sync with Debian.

For the Intrepid cycle I want to keep the GStreamer packages in sync with Debian and try to reduce the duplication work between the Debian and Ubuntu GNOME teams.

How do you think Intrepid will special for our users?
With GNOME 2.24 it will be a very solid release. It will be a pity it’s not LTS :)

Favorite quote?
I don’t have a favourite one, but I like this one a lot:
“A real friend takes your hand and touches your heart”

What do you do in your other spare time?
I like to go to the cinema, to meet my friends, and to watch the tv.

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