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PCLinuxOS Family Member Spotlight: Gerrit Draisma

What is your name/username?
My name is Gerrit Draisma. That is also my username on the forum, as I could not think of a better name for myself.

How old are you?
I am 74 years old. I was the 6th child in a family of 8 (11 included parents and grandmother). This picture shows our family around 1956. I am the boy on the right with the sailing boat.

Are you married or single? How about your family?
In 1970 Jannie and I married. We have two children, two children in law and two grandchildren. This picture shows me, Jan, Jannie and Jitske at lunch in 1978.

This picture shows our family in 2014, the year I started using PCLinuxOS.

Looking at these pictures again, I realize that I am a fortunate man.

Are you retired, still working, and if working what do you do?
I am retired. Being retired is a kind of miracle: we don't work and still there is money for living in our bank account. Jannie and I met in Amsterdam when both of us were studying biology. We have been working as teachers here in the Netherlands and in Africa, in Zambia and Mozambique. Returning to the Netherlands in 1983 it was difficult to find employment and I started as a programmer. Since 1987 I have been working as a statistician and programmer at The Erasmus University Rotterdam, until retirement in 2011. I have been a jack of all trades, and never became a specialist in any of my jobs. But I have been able to earn a living for me and my family. I am thankful for that.

Where do you call home?
Our home is in Tilburg in the south of the Netherlands. This picture shows Jannie and me in front of our home.

Tilburg is a town that has grown out of small settlements and you still can recognize the sheep tracks in the map of Tilburg today. And Tilburg has Netherlands' most beautiful railway station with its so-called prawn-cracker roof.

Tilburg even has its own font type: Tilburgsans with symbols for characteristic buildings like the railway station ()!

What kind of things do you like doing?
We like cycling and walking in the surroundings, enjoying nature. And seeing friends. And as we grow older more time is needed for cooking, keeping the house clean, shopping etc. And I find it is best to start loving those inevitable activities.

Why and when did you start using Linux?
I think it must have been in the late eighties that my employer put a SUN workstation on my desktop. That was my first experience with Unix. It came with a graphical desktop, but all work was done from the command line in terminal windows and editing using vi. The workstation was part of a network and colleagues could start computing jobs on it, running for days. I was very impressed, as our MS-DOS PC's needed a reboot several times a day at that time.

This picture shows me at work at the university in 1987. The Sun workstation is in the corner.

At home I used PC's under MS-DOS and later Windows. I started using PCLOS in 2014 when support for Windows XP was terminated. I remember reading an article recommending PCLOS with Mate as a replacement for XP arguing that might be a bit old fashioned, but good enough for someone like me still using XP at that time. The author was right: we never tried another Linux or another desktop.

What specific equipment do you currently use with PCLOS?


    Jannie's laptop:
        HP 630 Notebook PC. BIOS date: 07/27/2011 Mem: 3798.4 MiB

    My desktop:
        HP Pro 3120 Small Form Factor PC. BIOS date: 04/26/2010 Mem: 7936.9 MiB

What would you like to see happen within PCLOS that would make it a better place? What are your feelings?
A better place? I do not know, but this is what I like about PCLOS: It gives us access to state of the art software like the Gimp for photo editing, R for computations, Texlive for writing reports, Firefox and Thunderbird for staying connected, LibreOffice for occasional writing and drawing, Shotwell for organizing our photos, Skype for seeing the family and lots more. It has a forum that is nice to visit with helpful people from all over the world.

And when doubting whether mankind is able to solve its problems in a peaceful way, I can always think of all the people that built this environment and keep it up! Thanks to all!

Gerrit Draisma


The picture of the Tilburg railway station is by Olaf Jansen (2017).

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.

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