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PCLinuxOS Family Member Spotlight: Martin Goose

As told to YouCanToo

What is your name/username?
My name is Martin Goose, and I also use that as my forum username.

How old are you?
I am 67 years old this year.

Are you married, single?
I have been married for 44 years this year to Sheila.

How about Kids, Grandkids (names and ages)?
I have one daughter Jennifer who is 37 years old this year. She has our two grandchildren, Ella, who will be 10 years old this year, and Harry, who will be seven years old this year.

Do you have pets, what is your favorite?
We do not have any pets in the house these days. I grew up in a family with cats. Sheila grew up in a family with dogs. We have agreed to an amnesty on pets!

Where did you go to school and what is your education level?
I went to school in Southend-on-Sea in the SE of England on the North bank of the river Thames that flows through London. My primary school education was at a local school a short walk from my house. My secondary education was at one of the two selective grammar schools in the area. After taking my examinations at 'O' and 'A' level in science subjects, I studied Chemical Engineering at Loughborough University of Technology about 100 miles away from my home.

Are you retired, still working and if working, what do you do?
I was lucky enough to apply for, and get, early retirement in 2007 on reasonable financial terms.

This opportunity came because my employer was downsizing, so I rushed to get to the front of the queue to apply to leave! I tell people that I adjusted my 'work/life balance' in favour of life.

My education in Chemical Engineering initially took me to work at a UK Government factory which manufactured explosives for the military. They had sponsored me to attend University and obtain my degree, and I worked there for a couple of years afterwards.

I then moved to work for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the Government regulator who is similar to OSHA in the US. I spent the rest of my working career with the HSE working initially in field offices, but mostly in the HQ in London, and subsequently near Liverpool in the NW of England.

Liverpool Waterfront featuring the iconic Liver Building

In the years immediately prior to retirement, I was responsible for all the chemical process safety inspectors in the HSE who inspected chemical works, refineries, etc., that stored and processed large quantities of flammable and toxic substances.

Where do you call home? What is it like? IE: weather, scenery
I live in the NW of England and have done so for over 30 years. The place I call home is a small town called Heswall.

Aerial view of my home. I am in the front garden mowing the grass.

Heswall is located on the SW side of the Wirral peninsular, which is located between the river Mersey and the river Dee, which is the border between England and Wales. From my garden I look out over the river Dee and across to Wales. The river Dee estuary is very wide and mostly marshy on the English side. At some places, the river only comes close to the shore at the very highest tides. The marshes are teeming with wildlife, and the sandbanks at low tide are often a temporary resting place for seals that are looking for a safe place to rest.

The City Walls in Chester and the River Dee

The land is neither completely flat nor mountainous. Poll Hill at 108 metres (approx 355 ft), is the highest point on the Wirral Peninsula, but there are no views as it is mostly wooded. Thurstaston Hill nearby is smaller but has good views towards Wales and the city of Liverpool with its historical buildings and waterfront. The hill is dominated by Thor's Stone, a sandstone outcrop which has Viking connections, as does most of Wirral with some old Norse place-names.

The climate is generally described as temperate. Not too hot in summer (25C approx) and not too cold in winter (rarely much below 0C). Rainfall is quite common but usually light and rarely torrential. We get snow on maybe 5 days per year.

The Wirral peninsula is best known for two attractions. The first is the Royal Liverpool Golf Club at Hoylake. This is a historic links course which is on The Open rotation when held in England. The second is Port Sunlight Village. This is a model village built by Lord Lever to house those who worked at his factory making Sunlight Soap. Nearby is the historic city of Chester as well as Liverpool.

What kind of things you like doing? hobbies, travel, fishing, camping?
Hobbies? PCLinuxOS of course, but I do have 5 Raspberry Pis. Three of them are in continual use. One monitors my Internet connection, another runs my VPN server, which I connect to when on my travels. The third one runs LibreElec to turn my high quality but 'dumb' TV into a 'smart' TV that I control, rather than the TV manufacturer.

Sheila and I are now enjoying holidays, having stopped for some time after our daughter would no longer go on holiday with us! We found ourselves paying for her holidays like Tennis Camp in Lanzarote rather than holidaying ourselves. We are now making up for lost time!

Why and when did you start using Linux?
Linux was my retirement project, to remove all Microsoft software from my PCs, so I have been a Linux user for about 11 years. Fortunately, I found PCLinuxOS early on and have not needed to stray too far. The Raspberry Pis run Raspbian, which is a Debian derivative.

What specific equipment do currently use with PCLinuxOS?
I am currently writing this piece on an Acer Ultrabook with a Sandy Bridge core i7 and Intel SSD. My 'daily driver' is an Acer Revo RL80 Nettop PC with a Sandy Bridge core i3 and Samsung SSD. I also have a midi tower PC which I laughingly describe as my 'development and test' PC! This features an Antex case, Asus motherboard, Sandy Bridge core i5 and OCZ SSD. All the disk bays are in use as this PC stores my local backups.

Do you feel that your use of Linux influences the reactions you receive from your computer peers or family? If so, how?
Initially the response was 'Linux what?' Now there seems to be much greater recognition of Linux as an option and some are willing to give it a try to give old hardware a new lease of life.

What would you like to see happen within PCLinuxOS that would make it a better place. What are your feelings?
I can't think of anything that would make the PCLinuxOS community a better place. This may be my lack of imagination or that the community is already 'practically perfect'.

PCLinuxOS Family Member Spotlight is an exclusive, monthly column by YouCanToo, featuring PCLinuxOS forum member. This column will allow "the rest of us" to get to know our forum family members better, and will give those featured an opportunity to share their PCLinuxOS story with the rest of the world.

If you would like to be featured in PCLinuxOS Family Member Spotlight, please send a private message to youcantoo, parnote or Meemaw in the PCLinuxOS forum expressing your interest.

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