It has been a little while since we last had an installment of our interview series. With the new year fully begun and things moving back into a regular schedule, I think it is time we continue the introductions.
Today we get to hear from Karl, known in the forums as PartyBoi2. In the last two years, he has racked up over 3000 posts and helped tons of new users, attempting to focus on posts that have gone entirely unanswered as well as helping beginners with their adaptation issues.
1. Tell as much as you’re willing about your “real life” like name, age, gender, location, family, religion, profession, education, hobbies, etc.
Hi everyone, my name is Karl and I’m a 34 male who in 2000 decided to leave my family and friends looking for greener pastures so to speak and migrated to Melbourne Australia from New Zealand. I have had a interesting last 8 years in Melbourne where I worked in the hospitality industry and unfortunately made a few wrong choices and ended up with drug and alcohol addictions which nearly cost me my life. In 2006 I quit my job due to my deteriorated health and put my trust and faith back in Jesus and saw amazing things happen including freedom from the drugs and alcohol.
I don’t have any title or letters before my name and have had an average education and probably see myself as the ‘run of the mill’ type of guy who has learned most things by trial and error and experience. Currently I am doing some study and are hoping to start a new career in the IT industry as a Technician, with the possibility of starting a small computer business with some friends geared towards assisting underprivileged people.
2. When and how did you become interested in computers? in Linux? in Ubuntu?
When I was younger I use to play the odd game on my friends Amiga computers but was a bit of a late bloomer I would say, as I did not take a real interest in them till a few years ago, even though I got my first computer running win 98 around 1998.
In 2007 I was looking for an alternative to windows, as windows was out of my price range at the time and I needed a operating system so I could communicate with my family back in New Zealand. I had heard about linux many moons ago and thought that since I had plenty of spare time I would teach myself Linux. I had a look at a couple of different flavors of Linux but was unsuccessful at installing them, probably due to the fact I was a newbie and did not know what I was doing. Most of my searching for a Linux flavor came from searching www.linux.org and since I had been unsuccessful up to that point of being able to install any I started to check out the forums and support for each Linux distribution that interested me and found that Ubuntu had a large active forum with plenty of Documentation. So I took the plunge and successfully installed my first Linux operating system which was Dapper 6.06 and launched myself into learning about the Ubuntu operating system.
As my interest in Ubuntu grew so did my interest in computers in general and before I knew it I had friends calling on me to fix their computers when ever things went wrong, which was a wonderful learning experience for me and encouraged me to learn more.
3. When did you become involved in the forums? What’s your role there?
I started using the Ubuntu forums in about June 2007 even though I had signed up with the Ubuntu Forums in January of that year. At first I mostly read different threads in the Absolute Beginners section reading and learning about the different types of problems people were having then finally one day dived in and started replying to some of the posts.
I think my role really is just being part of the Ubuntu forum community like so many others and doing what we enjoy which is assisting others and helping out where we can. Generally I reply to posts that have not been answered and would say that “Installation and Upgrades” is where I post the most and enjoy helping out the newbies.
4. Are you an Ubuntu member? If so, how do you contribute? If not, do you plan on becoming one?
No, I currently am not a member, its not something that I have really thought to much about to be honest, but maybe down the track once I have contributed more it maybe something that I would consider.
5. What distros do you regularly use? What software? What’s your favorite application? Your least favorite?
Ubuntu is my number one distro at the moment , I have installed a few others like dsl and gentoo using virtualbox but have not really spent much time using them. Might look at other distros more once I get a bigger hard drive.
My favorite application would probably have to be deluge p2p program. I don’t think I have a least favorite applications but if I had to choose one, Evolution would probably be the closest as I have always preferred Thunderbird and never really got accustomed to it.
The main software that I use is the gnome-terminal, Thunderbird, Xchat Vlc, Nano and Firefox.
6. What’s your fondest memory from the forums, or from Ubuntu overall? What’s your worst?
My fondest memories have been when I have helped people get the answer to their question, and knowing the relief they feel when they can finally stop banging their head against the wall. Some of the other fondest memories would be the different types of people I have encountered on the forums and the eagerness they have to help others out. I don’t have any worst memories really the closest I would say would be when I replied to a thread and another poster told the original poster to ignore what I had posted and do it their way. As I have said I have not really had any bad experiences and generally I have a very good impression of the forums and the active members.
7. What luck have you had introducing new computer users to Ubuntu?
For awhile I did some voluntary work refurbishing computers for the underprivileged which also became a good opportunity to promote Ubuntu, when I first started they were sending out computers with windows on only, after awhile I started installing Xubuntu on a lot of the computers and they also started getting sent out and I was able to inform the people I work with more about Ubuntu as well as giving out a few Ubuntu disks.
Not long ago there was someone who stumbled into ##beginners-help on network irc.freenode.net who was trying to connect to another server who had never heard of Ubuntu, after talking with them they downloaded and tried Ubuntu, so I guess I have had some success at introducing people to Ubuntu and I am sure there will be plenty more opportunity’s to promote Ubuntu.
8. What would you like to see happen with Linux in the future? with Ubuntu?
I would like to see people’s awareness increased about Linux and Ubuntu and see more computers sold with the option to have Ubuntu come already installed.
Also to see some of the things that hold back Linux improved like games and drivers etc.
9. If there was one thing you could tell all new Ubuntu users, what would it be?
Breathe, don’t stress, it takes time to learn a new operating system. The forums are a great place to get help and remember that no question is stupid and that everyone was a newbie at some stage.
There is also the ubuntu wiki pages that can be helpful as well as irc ##beginners-help on network irc.freenode.net or #ubuntu on network irc.freenode.net