Ladies of PCLinuxOS: tuxalish

Editor's Note: This month's installment of Ladies of PCLinuxOS introduces us to tuxalish, who's been a member of the forum since March, 2006.


Can you start off by introducing yourself, and telling us a little bit about yourself? (Real name, where you live, marital status, children/grandchildren, hobbies/interests, etc).

My real name is Pam and I have been living in North Riverside, Illinois (about 8 miles west of "The Windy City") for the past 8 years. Actually, I was born and raised in Illinois up until the age of 19. I got my first real job with Delta Airlines in December of 1968 as a customer service agent at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. That brutal winter at the O'Hare ticket counter for this "rookie" agent propelled me to transfer 6 months later to Delta's home office in Atlanta, GA., where I worked and lived for the next 33 years. Then 9/11 happened. I accepted an enhanced early retirement package in December 2001, sold the house in Atlanta and moved back to Illinois.

How did you get started in computers?

My first Personal Computer was an HP Pavilion 6642D desktop in 1998. Delta partnered with HP to provide deeply discounted PC's for Delta employees. They even paid for PeoplePC dial-up internet service for many years. My Pavilion wasloaded(?) with Win98SE (on a 7.5G HD), 64 MB SDRAM, 533MHz Intel Celeron processor, and Intel 810 integrated video graphics which used 11 of those 64MB of memory!

What drew you to Linux?

Windows! In 2004, I replaced the old Win98SE HP on dial-up with a new WinXP HP on cable HSI. This was a great improvement, but over time I became weary and paranoid of the constant threat of virus, malware, trojan, (ad nauseum) infections that precipitated the dreaded "Patch Tuesdays." I spent more time updating the OS and the 4 or 5 security programs installed than on any of the fun stuff.

What was the first Linux distro that you used?

PCLinuxOS v. 0.92

When did you first start using PCLinuxOS? What attracted you?

I first became aware of Linux on the DSLReports website forums in 2005. Since I was running WinXP at the time, I lurked in the security forum so as to learn how NOT to get infected with nasties. I read every "Help! My Windows Computer Has Been Infected" thread because the regular members of that forum were so expert and helpful in solving the posters' problems. There were however one or two members in each of those threads who offered Linux as a permanent cure for infection. I was intrigued enough to head on over to DSL's "All Things Unux" forum to be enlightened. A regular member of that forum suggested PCLinuxOS as one of the easiest distros for Windows migrants, which led me directly to the PCLinuxOS website and the friendliest, most helpful forum on the planet. I was instantly smitten … let me count the ways:

  1. LiveCD (What? I can play with this OS before committing??)
  2. Synaptic (So long Windows Updates/endless reboots)
  3. Security (Buh-bye anti-virus, anti-trojan, anti-nasty programs!)
  4. Stability (No more BSODs or cryptic error messages)
  5. FOSS (Free and open source software)
  6. Community support (The very best)

I purchased a Live-CD from On-Disk in March of 2006. I played with the CD for a couple or days and, with a lot of help and moral support from my forum buddies, installed PCLinuxOS v. 0.92 to hard disk.

With Linux having a reputation of being a realm predominately populated by males, do you feel that your being a woman has an impact on your treatment by the rest of the community? If so, in what way?

Absolutely not. The guys know they would be lost without us girls; we have trained them well!

Do you feel that your use of Linux influences the reactions you receive from your computer peers or family? If so, how?

Sadly, the only reaction I get from them when I mention Linux is "Huh? What's a Linux?"

How do you feel you contribute to the PCLinuxOS community?

I donate monetarily as often as I can to express my appreciation for PCLinuxOS and to support the selfless, never-ending work that Texstar and the developers put in to keep this amazing distro running so seamlessly.