Cliff Wade aka Hawkwind
My real name is Cliff Wade, aka Hawkwind on IRC. I'm a 35 year old stay at home dad who truly enjoys Linux and helping out in the Linux community whenever possible. I've been using Linux now for about 4 1/2 years. I made the switch to Ubuntu starting on June 1st, 2006 with Dapper 6.06 LTS from what was then my current OS, Mandriva. I currently run the largest 3rd party RPM Repositories for Mandriva which can be found at http://seerofsouls.com However, I have recently added a Ubuntu page/repo to the site for my deb packs that I'm building. It is home to a build of the E17 window manager from CVS and is updated atleast once a week. It has a couple of other things such as the newest version of Xchat, tellico and fluxbox. My current contributions to the *Ubuntu community consist of posting the Kubuntu forums and endless hours of helping users on IRC in the #Kubuntu channel as well as a few other *Ubuntu based channels. I plan to further this by getting actively involved in editing wiki pages, being part of the Kubuntu Support Team, applying for the doc team and eventually other things.
How I came about to use Ubuntu
My first look at Ubuntu was back when it was first released. I tried it for about a week, but because at the time my heart was with Mandriva, I didn't give it a fair shot. Over the past year or so I've become pretty unhappy with Mandriva as both a distro and a company. They just seem to be headed down the wrong path at the moment. But let's not dwell nor bash Mandriva. I thank them for everything I know today since I've been using it now for 4 1/2 years. Just as long as I've been using Linux. So with the unhappiness came the search for something new. My search ended with Kubuntu. Not because I'm a KDE fan. In fact, I don't like KDE at all. Before you ask, I'm not a Gnome fan either. In fact, I'm an E17 user(can't wait for Ebuntu) for life. I figured I'd take the lesser of the two evils in my opinion so I went with Kubuntu. I decided that June 1st, 2006 would be the day I give it a fair testing. When the release date came around, I downloaded the alternate CD and installed it on a spare box. Needless to say I got hooked. Being an old box with pretty old hardware, everything was detected and worked perfectly. Though Mandriva was on that box previously, and it had no issues either.
What really amazed me was how super quick apt-get is. Urpmi is pretty quick, but compared to apt-get in Kubuntu atleast, urpmi is horribly slow to my amazement. Well, I decided to keep playing around with Kubuntu on the spare box and really learn how it works and to how to set things up. Thanks to the info bot, Ubotu, I have found many great sites to help me along. The Ubuntu community is extraordinarily helpful. So with being involved in Ulteo which is based on Kubuntu, I decided I needed to learn how to make deb packages since there are some packages missing that I'm used to having, and there are some things that don't get updated right away. I've plenty of help along the way in the past 16 days and I'm very thankful to everyone who has helped so far.
It seems that I have stumbled across a fellow Mandriva(or ex-Mandriva) user. His name is RaphaelPinson and after some chatting one on one with each other it seems that I'm well on my way to contributing to the Ubuntu community. RaphealPinson took the time to look at an Xchat deb package that I had built and seemed pleased with what I had done. He took the time to check versions and discovered that the version I had built wasn't available in any Ubuntu or Debian mirror yet and asked that I upload it to REVU for people to check out, add comments on, and possibly get uploaded to the official Ubuntu mirrors. Needless to say, I'm excited and I think I'm here to stay with Kubuntu and/or one of its derivatives.
Current Ubuntu/Kubuntu contributions
Currently my main source of contribution is endless hours helping users within the #Kubuntu channel on FreeNode. I have also recently started posting quite often on the Kubuntu forums a well helping the users there that are in need of help. My future plans are to continue giving endless of hours of help on IRC as well as continuing to post on the forums. I also plan to join several of the mailing lists to become active there as well and to offer my help to users who need it via those mailing lists.
Ops in #Kubuntu
I have decided that I'm going to apply for an ops position for the #Kubuntu channel. I feel I would/could make a great addition to the ops team for several reasons which I'll discuss here. Currently I know of three users/ops who back me on my decision. Their nicks on IRC are: Hobbsee, abattoir and Jucato. These three would be more than happy to express their opinions to anyone who might ask them on why or even if I should be given op status in #Kubuntu.
- I have more than 5 years of Linux experience. Most of which has now been spent with 2 distros though I have used many other distros over that time period just to learn the 'basics' of how they work.
- I was an op of #Mandrake/#Mandriva for 3 1/2 years and was listed as the channel alternate contact for nearly 3 years of that time. For those that don't know, alternate contact means I was second in charge of the channel and that if the channel owner were to step down or leave IRC I was next in line to assume ownership of the channel.
- I feel that I am very fair and helpful to the user, no matter if they are a new user or a user with many years of experience like myself.
- As mentioned in the first paragraph of this page, I'm a stay at home dad who spends 12+ hours on the computer so the time devoted to IRC and the users of IRC is enormous. I do it because I love it and enjoy it completely. I enjoy giving back to the community that has given me so much over the past 5 years.
Things I could bring to #Kubuntu being an op
- A ton of time devoted to helping the users who are in need of assistance with the Kubuntu distro, as well as various other things.
- A sense of friendship to all users and of course to what would be my fellow ops. Without these guys and girls, nothing would be possible.
- Dedicating time to making the facts in the bot (ubotu) more user friendly and also have Kubuntu specific facts for the user as well. This would lead to the new user feeling more comfortable with the Kubuntu distro as he/she would be following specific help pages and not something so generic that may or may not work completely.
- Dedicating time in editing pre-existing wiki pages that are currently Ubuntu specific and adding in Kubuntu specific commands where necessary. Also taking the time to make many new wiki pages that don't exist specifically for Kubuntu.
- Willingness to do anything and everything for the channel, users and other ops to make IRC an overall better experience for all of us.
A fun thing that I currently do for the channel is a channel stats page. It can be viewed here: http://seerofsouls.com/channelstats/kubuntu.html This URL is a good way to see who is constantly active, as well as possible questions that have been asked repeatedly that would be good to be made into a wiki page or forum post to refer users to in the future.