Interview with Quackers

1. Tell as much as you’re willing about your “real life” like name, age, gender, location, family, religion, profession, education, hobbies, etc.

Ok, I’m Mike Donald, I’m 51 yearsw old and I live in Manchester, UK

2. When and how did you become interested in computers? in Linux? in Ubuntu?

My introduction to computers came in 1989 when I was working in a Magistrates Court in Manchester. It was a ICL ME29 mainframe computer system. I had never seen a computer close up before this time let alone owned one.

I took an interest in its workings (hardware and software) and within a year I was writing small search programs to cut down on the amount of time it took to search the system for an account with a given set of conditions. I ended up running that mainframe for about 2 years. I still didn’t own a computer of my own.

I left the Courts service in 1991 and as a complete change took my HGV class 1 licence as I had always wanted to drive articulated lorries! Strange I know, but whatever. I did that for 12 years and left about 2 years ago, to rest and play golf 

I bought my first computer (a Packard Bell Easynote F7305) in 2004 and fudged my way around for a while. Over the next few years I bought a Philips desktop computer, which is still going strong and a top-of-the-range Sony Vaio. This Vaio is what I now use every day.

I was thoroughly disillusioned with Windows due to what I saw as ridiculous shortfalls in a system that had been around for years (XP). Its failings were legion, in my book, so I tried Ubuntu in 2007. Sadly I didn’t know enough to get the wireless working and I had one or two video problems, so I then experimented with Mac OSX86. I managed to get that up and working on my desktop and my Vaio, in various states of success.

Last year I tried Ubuntu 10.04 and was extremely impressed with how much worked “out of the box” and stayed with that until 10.10 arrived and upgraded before it was released. I have participated in testing new releases since.

3. When did you become involved in the forums (or the Ubuntu community)? What’s your role there?

In my Ubuntu travels the Ubuntuforums have been invaluable as a problem-solving source. I decided early on that I would like to help others in the way that I was helped by people on UF.

4. Are you an Ubuntu member? If so, how do you contribute? If not, do you plan on becoming one?

I have very recently become an Ubuntu Member, and I’m very pleased about that 

5. What distros do you regularly use? What software? What’s your favorite application? Your least favorite?

I use Ubuntu, BodhiLinux and PCLinuxOS on a regular basis.

6. What’s your fondest memory from the forums, or from Ubuntu overall? What’s your worst?

My most satisfying day (and night) on UF was when I spent 8 hours helping someone through a particularly convoluted set of circumstances to a fully successful outcome. I stayed up all night to do it. Both myself and the user were very happy with the outcome.

7. What luck have you had introducing new computer users to Ubuntu?

No answer given.

8. What would you like to see happen with Linux in the future? with Ubuntu?

I would genuinely love to see Linux take a much larger share of the market place. I believe this is going to be very difficult though, due to both economic pressures and literally getting the word out to people that there is an alternative to Windows.

9. If there was one thing you could tell all new Ubuntu users, what would it be?

If I could tell prospective Ubuntu users one thing it would be to read, read and read before jumping in, and to make sure you can go back to what you have, before you start.

Originally Posted here on 2012-01-14

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