Ladies of PCLinuxOS - Melodie

by Meemaw

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).
I was born in the United States (NY City) half a century ago, and brought up in France since I was a small baby. As for many other American citizens, my origins contain quite romantic stories.

I have one child, one companion, and I love living in the South of France, close to the Spanish border.

How did you get started in computers?
This is related to my hobby: communicating about ecology, organic food, alternative energies, and so on. I wanted to communicate and create a magazine. I created a blog instead.

What drew you to Linux?
A few things. My computer was new, but the BIOS was buggy and I didn't know that. I supposed all way long that all the problems I met were due to Windows XP, whereas only part of the problems were due to it.

I found great people on the web who helped me install my first distribution, and also some who helped me create my first blog,, which is about to move again now, to a new place, at

What was the first Linux distro that you used?
It was Mandrake 10, for 3 months.

When did you first start using PCLinuxOS? What attracted you?       
It has been Minime 2008. The primary reason was quality. It was stable, fast, and reliable. This was especially true for printing, as once a while it's necessary to write and send a letter fast, and can't wait for the printer to be reconfigured, and tested again and again. At the time, I had switched distributions several times.

It was running nicely on my former laptop HP Pavilion N5442, with 386 MB ram, and 933 Mhz processor, and the updates were fast enough, considering there is only one repository which needs to be used. Finally, I found many advantages, and I discovered that it was possible for me to ask for new packages, and so on.

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?
No impact at all. I feel I am a Linux user like any other. In other Linux communities, if I don't produce a minimum effort when asking a question, I'll get a “STFW” or a “RTFM” as any other person. In PCLinuxOS, I am careful too, telling what I can about a problem when I meet one, or seek for information, and the people who answer seem to appreciate it.

Another thing: this statement (Linux dominated by males) is valid for all the computing world. However, if you look at children playing games on computers, I think we will find out girls are as much interested as boys in using computers.

Do you feel that your use of Linux influences the reactions you receive from your computer peers or family? If so, how?
I don't have many computer peers. My family lives afar.

How do you feel you contribute to the PCLinuxOS community?
I am very much engaged. Once in a while, I have to tell myself to do my duties before using time for the computer and the remasters. Being “moderator” of the French forum, does not require much time from me, as the people have seldom problems to deal with, and generally are solved easily. Sometimes English speaking people also come there to help, and this is very nice too.

My goal is to bring more French users into the PCLinuxOS community, and this will take a while, because I try to do it in a way such that the people who come to it feel like they found the distribution they need, and also make them feel that they can contribute, and that their contribution is appreciated. Now there is a website,, I hope to see a PCLinuxOS-Fr Wki appear soon, and more to come as soon as it will be possible. Some of our French friends of PCLinuxOS-Fr have done several translations from English to French, (Pinoc's “How-to translate”, and “Addlocale”, as well as “Lomanager”) and I hope this will continue.

Which desktop environments have you tried? Which one appeals most to you, and why?
I tried KDE3, Gnome 2, Ion3, Awesome, Xfce and Xfce4, Lxde, KDE4, and Openbox standalone. I liked Ion3, but then it was not free anymore. Now I use Openbox standalone only. This is the environment I wanted for myself, and that I wanted to share with others, which is the reason why I produced the PCLinuxOS Openbox versions.

What aspect of PCLinuxOS most appeals to you?
The way Texstar leads the project. He decides, but he takes care of getting the community's opinion about one thing or another once a while. There is this organization of the forum that makes the community very much alive, the request packages section, the Fun boards, the International boards, the mailing lists, and this possibility for anyone who wants to make his own version starting from any other.

Would you recommend PCLinuxOS to a friend?
I recommend it to all people, each time I get an opportunity.

Have you helped install PCLinuxOS on a friend's or family member's computer? What has been their response to PCLinuxOS, after having time to learn and adjust to the new OS?
I have installed it to several people's machines recently. They have had no problem with it. One got a full Openbox version, the 2 other ones a PCLinuxOS Openbox Bonsai that I had completed with more programs. Two of theses persons are French. One is a young woman who was more used to Windows (more than 10 years using Windows). Another is an English man who lives in France. I put an English version on his machine, of course.

Their response: just perfect! I had to help them a few times, but not much. I have also pointed to the forum and documentations. They found it easy to handle and use. The young woman loves the pink color, red, and purple. I helped her setup her background, a pink theme in Firefox, pink icons with the icon theme (LilaU Icon Theme). She has been happy ever since with her PCLinuxOS.