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PCLinuxOS Family Member Spotlight: Treedragon

As told to YouCanToo

What is your name/username?

How old are you?
Older than my teeth, a pensioner these days (over 65), and still blessed with a body that works reasonably well. Or so it felt until I picked up that last block of stone. And well except maybe for the hair, or lack thereof in some departments like on top, often hidden by the hat on many of the hotter days. But at least I did figure out why some of us go bald/er, while hair elsewhere sprouts with speed as we age. We need a viable vitamin D collection zone.

Are you married, single?
Been there, done that. It's all good.

How about Kids, Grandkids (names and ages)?
I have a daughter, Aethalia, named after my then yacht, which in turn I named after one of the wives of Zeus after a long rebuild and lengthen, we never did think of a boy's name came the day.

Aethalia was lucky really because she could have been named after the new motorbike I received on the same day she arrived, but then again FZR1000 doesn't quite roll off the tongue the same. Or, heaven forbid, the original name of the boat before I converted it into a gaff rigged cutter, Spratt II. However for many reasons I am the lucky one, especially as indicated by a long distance phone call from Aethalia some years later. She had checked on Google as to the meaning/source of her name, the first thing that came up was a giant fungus.... oops!

Zoe is my grand daughter, a six year old that knows exactly where she is going. With me being one that really appreciates the "quiet spaces" in life, I find myself of two minds about the long distance away from me they are.

Do you have pets, what is your favorite?
Not these days I decided that unless one could guarantee to be there for "a companion" to the end, it was better to get to know the locals, as in anything with legs or wings that haunted the garden and wouldn't run away when I spoke to it. To my mind, they have the advantage of being able to feed themselves, not reliant, while still being get to knowable, but ... well I remember a dog from years ago. I would go there again I suspect.

Are you retired, still working and if working, what do you do?
The term retirement doesn't compute. I am known for raking leaves.

Where do you call home? What is it like? IE: weather, scenery
Home is wherever I am at all and any times.

Where do I live now? Touchy department, that ... hehe, but it's green, very green, and the things called mountains up here are but hills compared with my more favoured parts of this country. We are tucked up in a small valley on the Coromandel Peninsular, of the North Island of NZ, a place of green and Tree Ferns 30 to 40 feet tall. Here there be pretensions of the sub-tropical with flourishing bananas as counterpoint to welcome hints of the the colder temperate moments, especially in winter when the banana palms turn to frizzled but photographable stumps. It rains, up to 100mm (4 inches) per hour occasionally and often it doesn't. Then all is well unless it really really doesn't, rain that is, the locals like to think that is a drought. So it is all a balance of shades of green and water, but very nice to visit. Even I say that, and then if there is the need to escape, the sea coast is just a few miles away.

You can get some hints of the place for yourself on the web at

It's 10 acres of regenerating native forest with walks and other stuff, secluded but not too remote, not especially flash, more quirky and eclectic, but it does feel good. There is way too much grass that needs mowing, and a rich history of tribal battles, gold rushes, giant Kauri trees, epic storms, people that make you go hmmmmmm, and not very good broadband at all.

Where did you go to school and what is your education level?
I went to school in the other island, the South Island, the one with real mountains and real weather, (I like it cooool). I was destined, (brainwashed), and qualified for higher education, but direct experiences with some of those thus trained by the higher education system ... very good in their field of expertise but ... well, that did not feel right for me. As a result, I chose to go my own way. It was the absolute best decision of my life, one I recommend to all if appropriate.

What kind of things you like doing? hobbies, travel, fishing, camping?
I sometimes use a by line of "I can't leave well enough alone," so I pursue those things that grab my attention. They include all of the above, at least. These days I also choose creating stone sculpture, getting my head around modern digital photography, the creation of spaces that feel good, and am seeking to continue my love of fast, precision, motorcycle riding, no matter the bike type, style, or origin.

In alignment with the "can't leave well enough alone" department, the above mentioned FZR1000, with suitable "not leaving well enough alone" tweaking got me well over 300 kph/186.4 mph in the early nineties. Which was sort of good, as the then Police Radar Cameras here registered a blank photo after about 246 kph/152.8 mph. They did figure out who I was and were very polite about it, (lack of evidence I think).

The photographic aspect is capturing me quite a bit these days, particularly after it rains when all those weird fungi start sprouting. The subsequent fiddling with Darktable, trying to make it all look right, keeps me involved for lengthy amounts of time. The challenge here is to figure out how to photograph all this green and have it look like it feels. And no, I don't mean that damp trickling down the back of one's neck. Visitors here routinely comment on how beautiful it is and how lovely it feels, but to capture that in an image, well I'm working at it in between leaf rakings.

Some say that being here must be like living in paradise. I hand them a leaf rake at that point.

Why and when did you start using Linux?
I bought a computer knowing nothing about computers. I still don't, but that doesn't stop the learning. It had Windows 98 installed, and I had been shown the Power On button ... so I pressed it.

After much exploration, I came to a conclusion, but I learned to put up with it anyway by using it. Then I put together my own machine and also discovered Freeware. Hmmmmm. And then I read rumours of an OS, (Linux), for those of us that didn't know this from that and it didn't have the usual constraints. I waited a bit more, then heard about Xandros as an easy step. Something resonated. I went there for a short while. Then I heard of PCLinuxOS .92 I think it was, I haven't looked back since.

What specific equipment do currently use with PCLOS?

Gigabyte GA-MA770-UD3 motherboard,
Ram DDR2 800 PC2-6400, 8GB in total,
CPU: 4 core AMD Phenom ll 955,
2 x HP LP2475w screens,
Assorted hard drives with a HP SSD 40GB for / and /home,
Running KDE 5.xx very well

What would you like to see happen within PCLOS that would make it a better place. What are your feelings?
I arrived here years ago because it felt right and ... well, that amounts to Texstar and his dedication feeling right in the first instance and onward over the years. And then, these days, there are so many others who help also. To my eye, there are very sound underpinnings to this distro and in the individuals and their decisions.

I like how occasionally I can help in some small ways within the community, as it grows with us all.

I am still here because it still feels right and it feels right because the family here cares ... soooooooo, nothing I can say really.

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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