Ladies Of PCLinuxOS: Laura Arnote

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).

Hi there! I'm Laura Arnote, Paul Arnote's wife! I live in Independence, Missouri, a suburb of Kansas City. We have no children yet, but we’re hoping to change that soon. I’m interested in cooking, baking, gardening, bicycle riding, music, and I’m an animal lover. I like all kinds of music, with the exception of rap and hip hop. I was into the performing arts. I played multiple instruments, such as the french horn, trumpet, flute, and some piano. I played mainly the french horn for concert band and the trumpet for jazz. I played from the time I was 10 to the present.

I was going to major in performing arts, but soon changed my mind towards the medical field, where I could make a better living. I went to school at Concorde Career College and received my associates degree in Respiratory Therapy. It was there that I met my husband, Paul, who was an instructor at the time. It wasn't until a week after I graduated that I called him up and asked him to dinner. And we all know how that ended! :)

How did you get started in computers?

I got my start when I was around 10. I really couldn't tell you what kind of computer it was, just that it was a big and bulky desktop. This was around 1995, so of course we had dial up. Looking back, I can't believe how far we've come with everything. I used to be able to start the dial up process, leave to go start laundry or something, come back and it would just be finishing connecting.

What drew you to Linux?

My husband. Had it not been for him, I would still be forever running Windows. Looking back at that nightmare, I don't know how I went so long without Linux!

What was the first Linux distro that you used?

PCLinuxOS, of course. Paul installs everything on my computers. He tells me what it is and everything, but he loses me in the computer talk. I'm running Phoenix currently on my laptop, but still have KDE 3.5 installed on my netbook. Paul keeps saying he’s going to install Phoenix on the netbook, but he hasn’t found the time to get it done.

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

I was laid up in the hospital after I developed an infection following an exploratory laparotomy a little over two years ago. My netbook, an Acer Aspire One, had Windows XP on it. Since the hospital had free wifi, I was trying to get onto Facebook so I could play my games to help pass the time. However, I was getting frustrated because my netbook was running slower and slower and slower. Paul rebooted my netbook with a Live USB of KDE 3.5.10, and my little netbook ran faster than it ever had. Plus, I could play my Facebook games!

I really didn’t know all that much about it, other than the fact that Paul ran it on his computers. Myself, I just wanted my computer to do what I wanted it to do, without too much fuss. Other than that, I had no idea what it was. But after learning a little about it, I like the fact that I don't have to download and run anti-virus software. It’s just so much more secure.

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?

Nope! In fact, with the realm predominately populated by males, there is less room for drama. I've learned that in an environment full of estrogen, there is more tendency for pointless drama than actually getting to the issues and getting things done.

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

Well, when they complain about viruses and how slow their computer is I tell them, "You should have installed Linux, and you wouldn't be having those problems!" Then, when they ask me how to do it, I refer my husband to them so he can take care of their little Windows problem. The thing is, he doesn’t “do Windows” either, but will offer to install PCLinuxOS for them and help them get going with it.

How do you feel you contribute to the PCLinuxOS community?

I support my husband, who does a lot with the magazine. A couple of months ago, I had the sad task of announcing Joble’s tragic death to those in the #pclinuxos-mag IRC channel. I had gotten to know Joble through his frequent visits to the magazine’s IRC channel. He and Paul would spend countless hours chatting, and it would frequently veer to Joble flirting with me. Joble and I were also friends on Facebook, through the Vampire Wars game. I think Paul detailed how all of that went down in the November issue of the magazine, so I won’t repeat it here. Joble sure will be missed, and didn’t deserve what happened to him.

I also support PCLinuxOS by telling people about it. So many people are so shocked to learn that it's free! Of course, they usually think it's one of those “it’s too good to be true” things, but I assure them it's not, and I love it!

Which desktop environments have you tried? Which one appeals most to you, and why?

Xfce. It's aesthetically appealing!

What aspect of PCLinuxOS most appeals to you?

No Viruses! No Spyware! No Malware! Yup, i think that's about it.

Would you recommend PCLinuxOS to a friend?

Yes, and I have!

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?

Nope, that's what Paul's for. I just use it! :)