Interview with Rob Malda a.k.a CmdrTaco – Tech News OG

If you call yourself a geek (practicing, social or closet), then you must’ve read one of the many articles submitted by CmdrTaco (a.k.a. Rob Malda) to his pop news site Since 1997, it has 1) provided a steady source of tech news with a flair 2) a rich environment for geeks, nerds and dorks to engage in virtual fisticuffs 3) a place where you can always get flamed for bad haivng grammer.

[pqr]Rob gives insight into what’s really his greatest achievement[/pqr], the future of slashdot, why I should read RTFM (or FAQ) and what treasures lie near his workdesk. Enjoy!


The Interview

Rob Malda a.k.a. CmdrTaco

What are your nicknames and why did you receive them?::

My nickname is CmdrTaco and is discussed extensively in the FAQ which you should consider reading before you interview people 🙂

Me: Whoops, got me there. Well I knew that his nicky was the CmdrTaco but I just ask because I ask. 🙂

What items do you always carry with you?::

iPhone, Gameboy, Car Keys, 1gb usb thumbdrive

What challenges do you face in your line of work, and have you ever felt like giving up?::

Some days it’s very difficult finding news worth sharing. I really want Slashdot to have the best possible content, and some days there just isn’t any news worth sharing. So I feel obligated to shine a turd just to give people something to read. August is the worst.

What does your work environment look like?::

I don’t have any pictures available. It’s fairly clean and neat most of the time, except when co-workers kids come and move all of my stuff. I have a pet snake in a cage (his name is Col. Tubesnake). I have a 23″ flatpanel screen, and old windows machine that hasn’t been on in 2 years, a giant jar of marbles and a shelf of Dungeons & Dragons books and an array of action figures. It’s all very exciting.

What do you consider your greatest failure and why?::

I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.

What do you consider your greatest achievement and why?::

I’m very proud that Slashdot has lasted 10 years and continues to maintain true to the original spirit that made it popular at the dawn of the popular internet. But if I’m honest, [pqr]I think my 9 month old is a bigger achievement[/pqr].

Who (and or what) inspires, motivates you?::

I’m inspired by the news I post. I see people doing innovative and exciting things in their fields of expertise, and I’m motivated to try to take Slashdot to a higher level as well.

What are the most important things you have learned in your life so far?::

Read the fine print. Pay attention to the details. Know your limitations, and hire people to do the things you can’t.

Do you have any favorite quotes, pictures, internet links that you would like to share?::

umm… read It’s genius. Every link I ever find that I like, I post to Slashdot, so its not like I have a special private cache of awesomeness for you.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?::

I’m fairly OCD- whatever I obsess on gets my full attention, usually to the exclusion of almost anything else. Which means I can accomplish a lot, but let stuff slip through the cracks that is not my current obsession.

What are you goals for the future?::

To complete and launch a fully ajax enabled version of Slashdot, and to get the Offtopic Idle section of slashdot ( to a ready state and try to fill it with the best things on the net.

What are some weird things that people might not know about you?::

I have no sense of smell.


“Rob Malda – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia” [Online]

“The Taco’s Site” [Online]

“Slashdot – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia” [Online]

“Scott Beale / Laughing Squid” [Photo]



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