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PCLinuxOS Family Member Spotlight: dougmack

As told to YouCanToo

What is your name/username?
Doug McGarrett/dougmack

How old are you?

Are you married, single?
Divorced for 40 years.

How about Kids, Grandkids ?
3 grown children, 6 grandkids.

Do you have pets, what is your favorite?
I'm a dog person. My present housemate is a Norwegian Elkhound named Thor.

Are you retired, still working and if working, what do you do?
I'm a retired RF (radio frequency) Engineer. When I was working, I designed radio receivers, transmitters, test equipment, and some antennas for the low microwave region.

Where do you call home? What is it like? IE: weather, scenery
I live in Rocky Point, Long Island, NY. It's still "countryish" even though it is 50 miles from New York City. It's about 14 miles from a major shopping mall. Rocky Point is on the North Shore of Long Island; I'm about six tenths of a mile from Long Island Sound. Walking distance if you don't mind hills! Rocky Point was originally a summer community, and even had a railroad station up until 1940. It is now all single-family homes, many of them, including mine, converted and expanded from summer cottages.

Where did you go to school and what is your education level?
Several colleges on Long Island. I never got the degree.

What kind of things do you like doing? hobbies, travel, fishing, camping?
I still do a little electronic construction -- small circuits for various useful things. I'm an Extra Class radio amateur (WA2SAY) although I'm not terribly active at present. I play piano, Hammond organ, guitar, and Dobro (an acoustic steel guitar). I used to gig out on weekends. I am the editor of a small circulation Newsletter for the Pedal Steel Guitar Association. I get the email lists from Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora, also sdr radio, and occasionally answer one.

Why and when did you start using Linux?
I got interested in Linux back in the 1990s, while I was still working. There were software engineers whom I could look to for assistance. I was curious about this Unix-like system. (I was first exposed to computing at work in the late 60s, when the hardware was a Teletype machine and an acoustic modem connecting to someplace in Texas. The programming languages were BASIC and Fortran. I learned BASIC then.) Over the ensuing years, I did a little simple programming at work, and after a while, I built the Big Board computer for home use. I also took a course in Pascal at a local college, and did some engineering programming in that language. I first tried out Linux about 1997 or so, and futzed around with various distros for a couple of years. I ran RedHat for a while, and discovered PCLinuxOS around 2005, I think it was. I have looked at a few other distros since, including Ubuntu and Mint, and a couple of others that seem to have disappeared. I've always come back to PCLinuxOS. I like the KDE interface, Synaptic package manager, and the RPM system, which allows me to get some apps that are not presently available in the repos, like the SoftMaker Office package, DraftSight, and LightScribe. The PCLinuxOS Forum is extremely helpful! In the Fall of 2010, I took a one-semester course in Linux at the local Community College. I scored a B+! I have Windows on some of my computers, but I very seldom use it -- mainly for music apps, which I consider fairly useless in Linux. As a matter of fact, I frequently have to email my son with questions on how to use Windows, since I have forgotten quite a bit, and also because Microsoft keeps changing the terminology from release to release.

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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