Forum Family & Friends - mmesantos1 & LKJ

by Archie Arevalo (Archie)

The PCLinuxOS Forum is more than just a place to get help from your OS issues and problems. It is also a place to make new friends, and indeed in the last month I have made two more - mmesantos1 and LKJ. Where did we meet? At the Monthly Screenshots, of course. I asked them whether they would be interested in revealing a little bit more about themselves for the PCLinuxOS Magazine, and they agreed.

mmesantos1 is Marc Santos and he runs the Linux Screenshots Forum along with a bunch of people he says are “a great team”. He is currently employed by one of the largest printer manufacturers as a tech support rep for multifunction printers and commercial high-speed scanners.

Marc is 40 years old, married and has a child. They live in Virginia Beach, VA.

“I also am an administrator on Ultimate Edition OZ and help with the look and feel or themeing of the OZ Unity OS as well as the artwork on the forum. I also have been helping Mint OS with ISO testing for some time now.”

LKJ is Louis King Jr., and from Pittsburgh, PA. He was a professional drummer for over 30 years.

“I have lived with the same woman for over 25 years. I have a married daughter and a grandson. I've been using computers for more than 40 years. I am also a commercial and fine artist. I attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Pitt and CMU. I worked for various graphics companies for years. I owned my own computer graphics company for a time.”

And what got these guys into Linux?

Lou said a good friend who switched from XP and seemed to be in love with it for awhile but would ask questions which he couldn't answer without using it. So he got VirtualBox and installed what his friend was using and tried to help with his problems. Not long ago, Lou also found out he could easily customize the desktop and that became his pastime.

As for Marc, he had a PC with Windows XP that crashed. He never made backup CDs and he needed something to run the PC.

“I had heard of Linux but had never installed it. I figured it was a good time to go ahead and give it go. After reading up on Linux a bit I thought I had found a good distro to try so I downloaded the ISO and burned it to a CD. The distro was Mandriva, the version I installed the was KDE version. This was back in 2007. So let’s just say I was hooked from that point on.”

I hope you've learned to backup your important data, eh Marc? And how did you guys end up at the PCLinuxOS Forum?

Lou said PCLinuxOS was one of the many he tried.

“I have played with everything from Arch Linux to Zenwalk and most things in between. I usually have at least 30 various Linux flavors installed as guests at any given time.”

It was pretty much the same with Marc. He even ran some older versions of PCLinuxOS.

“At that time, I did not know enough to really know what the best distro would be for me so I had downloaded and installed many of the Linux OS's to try and find the one I could use long term. So after running and tweaking a large amount of the flavors of Linux, I recently found that PCLinuxOS just worked for me out of the box. No issues with hardware or software. I loved that the NVIDIA driver was installed by default and there was not much that needed to be done post-install. The OS was very stable and that was important to me. Also, I have really enjoyed speaking with members and the team on PCLinuxOS. All these helped me to finally decide this was the OS I wanted to have installed on my PC.”

Marc and Lou are best known for their desktop screenshots so I asked them about their preferences.

Lou likes monochromatic themes, whether light or dark. He finds it rather jarring when someone goes to the trouble to make their desktop look nice but has one or more icons sticking out like a sore thumb.

“Appearance is all a matter of taste, of course,” he said.

Marc likes a minimal look on his desktop.

“By that I do not mean lack of panels or docks but more of a clean desktop and a wallpaper that looks good but does not distract me while using my desktop. I tend to favor a darker look as it is easier on my eyes but have found some light themes appealing as well. I guess I prefer a single panel along with a dock for use as a launcher for my most used apps. I do not care for icons on my desktop as it looks messy to me so I tend to avoid the use of them directly on the desktop and placed them in a dock. It just gives the whole desktop a neat clean look that just appeals to me.”

Finally, I asked them about their feelings on PCLinuxOS.

Marc says, “I feel PCLinuxOS is headed in the right direction. From what I can see on the development side, Texstar and the Bacon Brigade are doing a great job on getting a great looking and working OS. They do a good job of balancing stable and cutting edge along with a rolling release model.

“My favorite version of PCLinuxOS would have to be the KDE Mini, I like the fact that I do not have to go and uninstall apps that I do not use but instead can go through and install what I will use, which allows me to tailor it to my own needs and requirements. As for the other versions of PCLinuxOS I do like them but in the end find KDE the most feature complete for me.”

Lou thinks PCLinuxOS is very stable.

“But I am running everything as virtual machines so I don't know how realistic my view is.

I have been a Mac user for 25 years. They were the de facto standard for graphics work. It is also my personal choice because in all the time I've used it it has never crashed on me, not once. Plus, there are applications I needed to use for work.”

Well Lou, I'm pretty sure you're not going to get scorned in the forum because you are using a Mac. The PCLinuxOS Forum is, after all, the friendliest forum in the Linux world.