About Me

Linux distro background

I first became acquainted with Ubuntu back when Feisty Fawn came out. I saw an article in a Linux magazine about it, stuck the CD in my machine, and tried it out. I was immediately "hooked" (so they say) and have used it ever since.

By the time Ubuntu had reached the Hardy Heron release, I had jumped into the process of migrating it onto all my laptops and desktops, and for the first time, created a dual-boot with Windows XP on my (then) new Tablet PC. It was great! Most things worked out of the box and with a little tweaking, I got all the other stuff to work on the tablet.

That's when I became most active in the Ubuntu forums. Learning how to tweak stuff for my PCs taught me how to help others address problems on theirs.

I tended to focus my forum efforts on dual-boot situations since Windows forums offered little to no help to folks who were doing that on their PCs. I became a formal Beta Tester for Window Vista and that allowed me some insights into problems folks were having with that. I also became a formal beta tester for MS Office, allowing me similar insights. At the same time, I started experimenting with other Linux distros, most notably PCLinuxOS and OpenSUSE -- but I kept most of my distro time with Ubuntu.

When Unity came along in Ubuntu, I (personally) decided that I did not like the new smartphone-like desktop and, after looking around, switched my Linux distro use primarily over to Mint. I still used Ubuntu and contributed to the forums, but I really liked the "look and feel" of Mint.

Then most recently, when Ubuntu 15.04 Mate came out, I installed that and now, am back using Ubuntu full time, rarely using Mint.


I'm retired now but spent nearly 50 years as an IT professional in numerous roles. I was a data base administrator for Oracle, a software engineer doing programming and design across a wide range of computing systems (from microcode, to minicomputer coding in "C", to mainfame coding in PL/1 and COBOL), and spent several years as a UNIX System Admininistrator.

Ony of my most interesting experience was leading an R&D team doing Web development for a research center of a major corporation in the very early days of the Web. Back then, Mosaic was the browser of choice and we were working with a beta version of Netscape and programming mostly in Java.

I also worked on a team of System Engineerings doing quality control work for NASA at the Kennedy Space Center. They were encountering delays in doing their Orbiter launch preparations and our consulting organization was called upon to send some folks there to find out what was causing the problems.

My computer-related "work" now mostly involves being the default support person for all the PCs in my extended family and participation on a number of tech help forums, including Linux forums, and Windows forums.

Contact Information


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My contributions to Ubuntu have been years of posting to the Ubuntu forums. I used to focus most on helping folks with installing Ubuntu in new systems, but with the advent of UEFI systems, I have no experience there (nor money to buy a new system with UEFI), so I've fallen off in that area.

I now contribute the most to folks having problems with dual-boot systems (Linux and Windows), as Windows 8 has produced new problems -- and these are contuing with Windows 10. My participation as a Windows 10 Insider allows me to see what is happening in that area and contribute that to the forums.

Future Goals

Over the years, I have servered as a Moderator on other forums and like having the opportunity to help manage the forums. I would like to be able to do the same for the Ubuntu forums.


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Mark_Phelps (last edited 2015-05-19 14:39:02 by wawood8)