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PCLinuxOS Family Member Spotlight: PendragonUK

as told to YouCanToo

What is your name/username?
Stephen Morrish/PendragonUK.

How old are you?
I have just turned 53.

Are you married, single?
Married to Julie since 1991.

How about Kids, Grandkids (names and ages)?
A step-daughter called Joanne. She is married and in her early 40's. No grandkids, and unlikely to have any at this point.

Do you have pets, what is your favorite?
No pets at the moment, which is odd. We have had dogs and cats and more than a few rabbits over the years.

Are you retired, still working and if working, what do you do?
I'm a full time career for my wife, who has multiple disabilities. Looking after her requires me to be within yelling distance just about all of the time. So yea, I'm the general dog's body.

Where do you call home? What is it like? IE: weather, scenery
I live in village in Cornwall. The part of Cornwall I live in is dominated by large china clay extraction pits. Massive earthworks several times larger than the largest stadium. Quite impressive and beautiful in their own way.

Cornwall is the pointy bit at the bottom left hand corner of the British isles. It's a thin peninsula jutting out into the North Atlantic. As such, its weather is dominated by the sea. Very mild in winter and warm in the summer without being hot. The difference between winter and summer is typically only 10-15 degrees C at most. It is, however, very wet and very green because of it. In the summer months, we get a lot of tourists. Most people in Britain think of Cornwall as a holiday destination. The rest of the year, it's a quiet rural backwater.

The iconic Eden Project owing its existence to the China Clay industry,
sitting, as it does, in a former china clay pit.

Where did you go to school and what is your education level?
School, or should I say schools? My father was in the Met Office, at the time a department of the Ministry of Defence, so my childhood was similar to that of any serviceman's family. We moved every four or five years, as dad was posted to different airbases. So I have lived in several parts of southern England.

Education? Mixed. I can't say I liked school much, and didn't do as well as I could have. I left school in the recession of the early 80's. I was one of Maggie's Millions: unemployed and angry like so many of my peers at that time in Britain. It was an interesting time in Britain's recent past.

What kind of things you like doing? hobbies, travel, fishing, camping?
I'm a computer nerd and that just about covers it. I was a nerd before it was cool. I cut my teeth messing with computers like the Sinclair ZX81 in the micro computer boom of the early 80's.

I used to play shooter games competitively. I was quite good, if I say so myself. I still play games with a handful of the guys every Sunday evening, for the best part of 20 years now (Internet years are like dog years I think, 20 years feels like a very long time). I enjoy watching movies, Sci Fi or anything with guns and fast cars.

I like taking pictures, going for walks where I can see a long way or there is a great view to take the pictures.

Why and when did you start using Linux?
Why Linux? Well here I have to admit my interest is not "just" Linux. I'm quite pragmatic about OS choice. Having started my computer hobby long before MS and Windows, I never accepted the all out dominance of the 90's. Messing about with different computer operating systems was "normal" for me. So anything I could get my hands on was fair game. I worked for IBM for a bit, so I ran OS/2 Warp when everyone and his dog was jumping on Win95. I think the first Linux I ran was in the mid/late 90's with a book called "Teach yourself Linux in 24 hours". After that I would have a look at any distro I could get hold of (cover CD's from computer mags). I do remember looking at Mandrake in the early 2000's and thinking that this was the first distro I could have run 24/7 on my main PC, rather than just on a test rig.

What specific equipment do currently use with PCLOS?
Right now it's a bit sad. PCLinuxOS is on a very elderly Dell laptop. My main rig (AMD Ryzen) is running Windows. Yes, I know it makes me feel dirty, but as I said earlier I also play PC games. Steam no longer works with PCLinuxOS, and as such, I need to pay Uncle Bill his pound of flesh. I think I have made a deal with the devil, but needs must be met.

Use what works to get done what you need to get done. You can have favorites, but it should not be allowed to get in the way of what you need to do.

Do you feel that your use of Linux influences the reactions you receive from your computer peers or family? If so, how?
They think I'm a wizard, and they often look like Muggles to me. At any family event I will, at some point, be fixing someone's computer. People will ask me to show them how to do whatever. I try to explain that I have never used application "X" and have no experience with it but they still expect me to tell them how to use it. I can normally figure out.

What would you like to see happen within PCLOS that would make it a better place. What are your feelings?
A couple of things come to mind. On the forum at least, we are at times a little too partisan. There is nothing wrong with loving the OS you are using, but to "hate" others is not good. There are times when reading the forum the fanboyism is strong. It can leaves a nasty taste in the mouth. This is coming from a self confessed PCLinuxOS advocate. Maybe we can dial back on the rhetoric just a tad. For such a friendly community, we can be a little prickly at times if someone says the wrong thing.

We are really missing Steam compatibility. I know it's not easy, but ever so important for a great many users. Why do you think I'm running Windows on my main computer and PCLinuxOS is relegated to hideously slow laptop? If I do swap it over to Linux on my main rig it's not going to be PCLinuxOS. It will be one of the distros that has maintained support for Steam.

Gaming is one of the three big must have "killer apps" that maintains Windows dominance on the desktop, along with Adobe Creative and MS Office. There is not much we can do about MS Office and Adobe, but Steam is a native Linux program and not having it will hurt PCLinuxOS future adoption.

We can not just live on the Windows XP refugees forever. We already have an aging demographic. What happens in the future?

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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