What is your name/username?
My name is Rich Gradle, (rgradle on the forum).
Are you married, single?
My wife Lori and I have just celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary. She is from the Pittsburgh area, where we met. I always liked Pittsburgh, as the people are very friendly and some parts of the city are very scenic, especially during the winter. Pittsburgh is very hilly, so not a great place to drive around in the winter, but scenic nonetheless.
How about Kids, Grandkids (names and ages)?
We have one son, a daughter-in-law, 2 grand-dogs, 1 grand-cat, and 1 grand-python. No grand-children yet, but those things sometimes take a while.
Are you retired, still working and if working, what do you do?
My wife and I are both retired.
Where do you call home? What is it like? IE: weather, scenery
We currently call Raleigh, NC, our home. We have lived here for about 28 years. We like this area because we are close to the beach, close to the mountains, and close enough to Pittsburgh to drive up for a visit.
Where did you go to school and what is your education level?
I have a Masters Degree in engineering from Texas A&M University. Most of my career was spent in new product development for a company that sells high pressure critical service equipment to power plants. My work resulted in three patents, with two more in the pipeline.
What kind of things you like doing? hobbies, travel, fishing, camping?
Several years ago I bought a banjo so I could learn how to play bluegrass banjo music. After a number of years practicing, and much to my chagrin, I came to the realization that I have very little musical talent. I am still trying to learn, but with somewhat lowered expectations than when I first started.
Why and when did you start using Linux?
I have been using PCLinuxOS for over 10 years now. I normally build my own computers. I had just built a new one and was contemplating loading a new version of Windows, plus trying to decide on which virus and malware software I would need to get. I had been reading about Linux in general, and noted that Linux machines are generally not bothered by the viruses, etc., and are generally considered to be more secure. I decided I had had enough with all the Windows problems, and proceeded to downloaded 3 Linux distros to try out, PCLinuxOS being one of them. Of the three I downloaded, PCLinuxOS was the only one that worked 100% out of the box -- sound worked and wifi worked without having to do a lot of configuration first. Sold!!
What specific equipment do currently use with PCLinuxOS?
PCLinuxOS (KDE) is currently running on my desktop machine (ASUS m/b with AMD A10 processor), and on an HP laptop computer (AMD Phenom II/Mate). Performance on the desktop machine is great, but a bit slow on the laptop. I do some video editing for my church on the desktop machine using Kdenlive, a native Linux application that is very powerful. I also do some graphics development for the church using GIMP. Very powerful, but long learning curve with GIMP. Now I wish I had paid more attention to the GIMP articles that appeared in the PCLinuxOS magazine some time ago. I have a Windows 10 virtual machine on my desktop computer for a few applications that will not run under Linux. My wife, a Windows user from way back, was right at home on her KDE desktop in no time at all. When people try to tell me how complicated Linux is to use, I always bring up my my wife's experience as an example of how easy Linux, and especially PCLinuxOS, is to use.
One of the things I always appreciate about PCLinuxOS is that the software is well thought out, meaning that the updates generally work well and without problem. This is really a nod to those to maintain the software in the repository. Thank you, thank you. Also, I always appreciate the help available on the forum. Even when I have made newbie errors, someone is always willing to provide direction to get me on the path forward. Just outstanding.
Do you feel that your use of Linux influences the reactions you receive from your computer peers or family? If so, how?
My extended family, including my son, mostly use MAC's, and they have no problem taking any opportunity to give me a ration of grief about not using a MAC and an iPhone. Using Linux just adds a little to the amount of grief I get, and a bit of head shaking. But, in the end, I just grin.
What would you like to see happen within PCLinuxOS that would make it a better place. What are your feelings?
While I think that PCLinuxOS is the best Linux distro available today, I am somewhat perplexed that there are so many Linux distros. Seems to me that consolidation down to a very few distros might be helpful in getting applications to port to Linux, and getting hardware vendors to better support Linux.
Finally, thanks to Tex, et. al., for the great job they have been doing with PCLinuxOS.
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