What is your name/username?
My username is Hallvor, and that also happens to be my real name. The name Halvor is not that uncommon in Norway, but there are only a few people in the entire country with the double l-spelling. One of the others was a well known ski jumper. At least he was well known in Norway...
How old are you?
I am 43 years old.
Are you married, single?
I am married.
How about Kids, Grandkids (names and ages)?
I have three boys: Håkon (18), Vegard (16) and Ivar (14).
Do you have pets, what is your favorite?
As I grew up on a farm, we always used to have at least one cat, so I am definitely a cat person, and if I was to have a pet, it would be a cat. But I don't have any pets now.
Are you retired, still working and if working, what do you do?
I am a high school teacher, and have been teaching the last five years. I am teaching history for the senior students, but I also teach a special needs class. Before that, I worked for many years as a social worker.
The schools in Norway are now shut down because of the COVID-19 virus, so I am working from home and doing my best to teach my students online.
Where do you call home? What is it like? IE: weather, scenery
That is a difficult question, because I call two places home, and my heart is torn between them. The first is Sykkylven in the northwest, where I grew up. The scenery is spectacular, combining sea with jagged mountain tops with snow on them all year. Being located on the western coast, winters are quite mild, and the summers never get very warm -- and it rains quite a lot.
For the last two decades I have been living just outside Kristiansand, where my wife is from. It has a population of 110,000 inhabitants, is located in the very south of Norway, and about as close as you can come to Denmark on the Norwegian coast, and the ferry to Denmark can be seen on the lower right corner of the image below. There are many rocky shores, pine clad hills and small lakes by the town. Winters are a little colder and more windy than where I grew up, but the climate in the summer is a little warmer, and it rains a lot less than in the northwest.
And the view from my garden:
Where did you go to school and what is your education level?
I studied to be a social worker for three years in the College of Volda. It lies in the northwest, not far from where I grew up. My history studies were mainly taken at the University of Bergen in the course of six years. It earned me the degree of cand. philol, so it corresponds to somewhere between a Masters and a Ph.D.
What kind of things do you like doing? hobbies, travel, fishing, camping?
Different types of martial arts have been a long time hobby of mine from the age of 16. I quit training it about three years ago, having spent the last eight years before that on Muay Thai. I have been struggling to find something to replace that hobby ever since, but do enjoy running and cross country skiing.
I also compete in pistol shooting competitions (mainly 10m air pistol), and have been shooting guns since I was a little kid.
Why and when did you start using Linux?
I had been curious to try it out for a long time before actually trying it. The first time was in 1998. I asked a friend to help me that I knew had some knowledge, but he just brushed me off and said it would be too difficult. An install required floppy disks and quite a bit of command line work. After scratching my head on my own for a little while, I gave up and didn't give it much thought before 2006, when I had problems with instability of my router. I installed Linux based firmware on it and noticed how much better it ran. This made me curious about GNU/Linux on the desktop, because my installation of Windows at the time needed reboots roughly every other day, and the install tended to slow down over time.
The second thing that sparked my curiosity, and would make the transition easier, was that I was already running many types of GNU software on my Windows installation.
I ordered a free CD of Ubuntu, and got it in the late summer of 2006. It was Ubuntu 6.06 Dapper Drake. It was underwhelming at first, and I bumped into many beginner's problems that I was unable to solve at the time. So I wiped the install in frustration and installed Windows. I don't know if anyone has tried to install Windows without an OEM, but hunting drivers online and setting everything up, took a whole day. That reminded me of how easy and flawless the installation of Ubuntu had been, so a few days later, after reading about the stuff that was causing me trouble the first time, I installed it again. I have been using variants of GNU/Linux ever since.
What specific equipment do you currently use with PCLinuxOS?
I am currently using a HP EliteBook 2570p with 6 GiB RAM and 240 GiB SSD. It is not the newest hardware, but it is very rugged and so blazing fast with PCLinuxOS and KDE Plasma that it would be silly upgrading it.
Do you feel that your use of Linux influences the reactions you receive from your computer peers or family? If so, how?
This is a question of several layers. I used to be the guy to call if one of my siblings, nieces of nephews had problems with their computers. After not using Windows for a few years, I no longer had the knowledge of new versions of Windows, so I told them that I hadn't used Windows for a long time, so the calls stopped coming. From computer peers there has been nothing but curiosity. Some Windows users, Mac OS users and one GNU/Linux user have merely asked me what I am running. My children have grown up with GNU/Linux, so they are OS agnostic, as long as the job gets done.
What would you like to see happen within PCLinuxOS that would make it a better place. What are your feelings?
I have not been distro hopping much, but I have visited quite a few forums, and I must say that the community here is unlike any other I have seen in a GNU/Linux forum. Some are like help desks. Some are like rude help desks. Some try to keep it friendly, and are more or less successful, but only this one looks like a true community, almost like a big family. There are usually advantages and drawbacks to everything, and while some might object and say it is a drawback to chit-chat this much about non-tech stuff, because you don't learn as much, it is long since documented that we learn more from people we know and like than from people we don't know as well or dislike. Just think about how little you actually learned from that one teacher you couldn't stand... So I think you can have both a strong, friendly community with a lot of non-tech stuff going on, and still learn as much as anywhere else. Having the developer(s) active on the forum, is also a great advantage that I have missed elsewhere.
I also enjoyed reading The PCLinuxOS Magazine from time to time, even if I wasn't running PCLinuxOS, especially the howtos.
Finally, I would just like to say thanks for your help and your effort. It is much appreciated.
PCLinuxOS Family Member Spotlight is an exclusive, monthly column by YouCanToo, 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 youcantoo, parnote or Meemaw in the PCLinuxOS forum expressing your interest.