Can you tell us a bit about who you are and what you do?

I'm a filmmaker and art teacher in Mexico.

Since I was a child, my father gave me access to computers and I've found them fascinating. I started using the family computer at the age of 4 on Windows 95 and MS-DOS, then got into videogames and digital movie editing.

Computers were key in my discovery of cinema, art, and science, which are my main interests and the basis of my work and activism.

How did you discover Tails and what do you use it for?

I started working on a feature film about today's electronic surveillance, which is backed by our government because it's convenient for them.

Looking for alternatives, I came to Free Software, Linux, Tor, the Cypherpunk Manifesto, etc.

From there, I learned about alternative operating systems: Ubuntu, Qubes, and then Tails. I'm rediscovering a bit of this feeling from when I was a child: exploring, learning, trying things out, etc.

What do you use Tails for?

I wanted to use Tails daily: to prepare for my classes, to work on the scripts for my movie, etc. For me, protecting my scripts from Windows or Word spying on my computer was most important. Free Software was the solution to make sure that I was in control of the computer. I feel safer in my creative work.

I really connected with the metaphor of Tails as a camping tent: a safe space where I could develop my creativity.

How often have you used Tails?

For about 1 week.

Then, I noticed that the 3 drives on which I installed Tails were all giving an error in Windows. I haven't tried to start Tails from these drives since the error by lack of time.

Maybe it's Windows destroying my drives on purpose.

I get an error message asking to reformat when I plugged the drives in Windows and I try to open them. I don't get this reformatting message when I try to plug it in Ubuntu, only on Windows.

I would expect to see the EXE files from Tails when I open these drives in Windows, like when I open a Ubuntu drive on Windows.

I tried to reformat these drives several times and install Tails again, but the installation program wouldn't detect the drive anymore.

I was plugging these drives into Windows to check which was which because I didn't mark them physically. I wonder why the error only shows up on the drives with Tails.

Next, I want to try to reinstall Tails on these drives using Ubuntu and see what happens. To me, it seems like these bastards are doing something...

Note: In the end, the USB sticks were fine but the error message in Windows was confusing to Lucas. See #18700.)

What did you like about Tails during these few days when you used it?

  • The minimalist interface. I'm fed up with the thousands of notifications of Windows, the popups, news, ads, weather apps, etc.

    I like that everything was a bit square. It felt like the 90's, without so many animations and things. Tails has this aesthetic clarity, like in video games where aesthetics support clarity, playability, and understanding of what you are doing.

    For example, the cursor goes above the different elements without animations or that you can only see one thing at a time and not multiple layers of windows.

  • The color scheme from Tor. It makes me feel like I'm inside Tor. The simple fact that my computer is connected to the Internet encrypts all my communication.

    Internet is a bit slower, but not as slow as in the 90's and that's fine.

  • The preinstalled programs. I didn't know some of the applications but it made me feel like trying them out.

    A few things were missing for me (Telegram, Brave, VLC, etc.) and I wondered whether it was possible to install them. I didn't get a chance to try this yet.

  • Installing was very easy. It would be too hard for me if the installation required coding like for Ubuntu, but I was surprised how easy it was to install Tails.

What is it that you didn't like from Tails?

  • That it takes a while to connect. I understand that this is part of the encryption and will get better over time.

  • I would like to edit movies from Tails and install other programs, but I haven't tried this yet.

What do you think is the biggest problem to Tails being adopted by less technical people?

First, because the powers that be (governments, companies, capitalist lobbies, etc.) have created an environment that prevents them from seeing and using alternatives. For example, the seductiveness and convenience of Mac.

Second, education. I was lucky enough that my father told me about Linux, but in school, we were only taught how to use a few Windows applications. Nowadays, computers are everywhere in schools, but it's still all Google Meet, Windows, and Excel.