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PCLinuxOS Family Member Spotlight: Ye Fractious Falcon

As Told To Smileeb

Here is YE Fractious Falcon

How old are you?

58 years, 5 months, 14 days, 16 hours, 20 minutes as of 11 Feb 2015 @ 1356 CDT

Married, single or what?

In my second marriage for 27 years (as of 23 Feb 2015). You might say I learned a lot in my first marriage.

Children, grandchildren?

Two children: My son (by my first wife) is coming up on his 35th birthday this year. My daughter (by my present and future wife) will be 28 this year. No grandchildren as yet.

Retired or working and for how long and at what.

Retired? Retirement has killed too many of my friends, so to Almighty Heck with that!

Not to be too much of a downer, but I'm presently unemployed. My work career spans from June 1974 to early October of 2014. At that time I had been working at Michoud Assembly Facility as a contractor to NASA when I fell victim to a reduction-in-force layoff and found myself, after ten years of distinguished service and direct participation in 16 Space Shuttle missions, out of work.

I am a Multi-Craft Technician. If it concerns instrumentation, light mechanical, process controls, electronics, low voltage electrical, programmable controllers, HMI systems, or computers, I'm the man you need.

I'm almost ready to give up finding work, and just open a computer repair shop. It's gotta be better than hunting for a skilled labor job in the Deep South.

What is the area you live in like. Weather, Quietness, Scenery.

Like much of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Waveland has two kinds of weather: hot and wet, and cold and wet. Don't worry though, because if you don't like the weather just wait a minute and it will change.

Are you handy with your hands and have any hobbies.

I've worked with my hands most of my adult life. I was in the process of building a MendelMax 3D printer when the layoff came. When I go back to work, I'll buy the stepper motors and a few other fiddly bits I need and get it going.

Hobbies? Where do I begin? In no particular order, here are just a few of my main interests: Bass Guitar - I've been playing bass guitar since I was 15. I started playing in high school to get in the Stage Band, so have had a lot of exposure to jazz, big band, and a lot of musical styles over the many years of my love affair with the instrument. After high school I've been in several bands, collaborated on a few internet musical projects, and even did some studio work on a couple of albums.

Gaming - In particular, old-school tabletop role-playing and wargames (historical, naval, and space battle simulations, mainly). If your ears perk up at the mention of Arduin, Traveller, Full Thrust, and the like, I'm your guy.

Computers - I've been poking around in the guts of computer equipment since the late seventies. I've always been fascinated by how they do the things they do. After doing it for a hobby for several decades, in 2003 I certified as a CompTIA A+ Certified Professional. Coincidentally, that was the first year I stopped dual-booting Windows and went Microsoft-free.

Ancient Egypt - I have been fascinated by ancient Egyptian art, hieroglyphics, and what we know (and continue to learn) about their history and culture at the dawn of civilization. Any kind of art exhibit, book, or website on ancient Egypt or Egyptology has special attraction for me.

Japan - When I was a kid in elementary school, I used to speak Okinawa-ben (the dialect of Japanese spoken on the island). Since leaving the island to come to the States (in 1968), I've learned more English and less Japanese as time goes by, but I never forgot how wonderful my time on Okinawa was.

Anime' - It was in Okinawa I learned to love Japanese 'toons! In its first release Astro Boy was my introduction to anime'. For many years I followed what anime' made it to America, then, as DVD anime' started coming out I've rediscovered both anime' and my love for Japanese language, culture, and cuisine.

Reptiles - In particular, snakes are fascinating creatures to me. I won't bore you with the usual spiel about how they are misunderstood, etc., but it's true. I used to catch speckled king snakes, green snakes, and other non-venomous species when I was in junior high and high school, study and observe them for a few days, then let them go. Nowadays, I'm a huge fan of Al Coritz (otherwise known as Viperkeeper on youtube), and of his work with venomous serpents. (I'd be scared to keep a serpent in the house with our Calico attack cat.)

Science Fiction - In books, movies, comics, etc., etc., and especially etc., science fiction is my life (or is it that my life is science fiction?) Anyhow, if it involves flying saucers, bug-eyed monsters, cannibal plants from outer space, intelligent sharks, or even marionettes riding around in toy rockets, yeah, I'm an unabashed fan. Today's science fiction has consistently become tomorrow's science fact throughout my lifetime, and that trend will likely continue until I get abducted and returned to my home planet.

What is your education level?

I have an Associates of Arts degree with emphases in Mathematics and Computer Science. Life intervened before I could complete my Bachelors' Degree, and I've never stopped working long enough to go back to school.

Before becoming so educated, I did six years of active service in the U.S. Navy where I was a submarine reactor operator. The training I received was the equivalent of a Nuclear Engineering degree, but was classified, so does not count for college credit. Yay.

Do you like to travel, go camping?

I've traveled a lot in my life, first overseas to Okinawa, then to most of the fifty United States as a child, then to places I can't talk about during my tour in the U.S. Navy's submarine force.

Travel is cool. Seeing places you would not ordinarily see from you home is a neat experience, but I've been some places I'd rather not see again. On balance, I suppose it would depend where I was going.

Camping? I was a Boy Scout when I was in Okinawa, and learned the basic skills to be able to survive in the outdoors, thanks to a Scoutmaster who was a gung-ho Army Airborne Ranger, sir! Camping is fun, but I haven't done it in years.

What caused you to try Linux and join this forum.

I started with Linux out of my disgust for the direction I saw Microsoft going in late April of 1996. At that time, I didn't have high-speed internet (remember what a modem is? yeah...), so I bought a copy of the InfoMagic Linux Developer's Resource kit via mail order, and installed Red Hat 3.03 (kernel 1.2.13) on a home-built 386SX-25 with 4 Megabytes of RAM and a small hard drive. It ran painfully slowly, but it ran, and it gave me my first glimpse at an X window desktop.

I was hooked. To make a long story shorter, sometime in 2007, I discovered PCLinuxOS after burning through a double-dozen different distributions and releases, and I knew I was home. I joined the forums shortly after loading PCLinuxOS 2007 on a Dell Precision 220 Workstation and seeing how much faster and more stable it was than a certain German distribution that uses a chameleon for a mascot.

I've tried to be an active member to the limit of my time and meager talents, writing some tech articles for the magazine, and advocating for PCLinuxOS, and for freedom from systemd. The rest, as they say, is history.

If you want send some pictures of you and area of interest.

Nah. What has been seen cannot be unseen. I wouldn't want to do that to the readers out there.

Thanks for the interview, and for your work on the magazine.

PCLinuxOS Family Member Spotlight is an exclusive, monthly column by smileeb, featuring PCLinuxOS forum members. 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 smileeb in the PCLinuxOS forum expressing your interest.

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