South Gloucestershire, UK
I first became interested in Linux in 2000 when I saw RedHat, Mandrake and several other distributions being sold as cheap box sets in one of my local bookshops. Unfortunately, I never managed to get any of those early installations working properly so I reluctantly gave up and returned to Windows.
Ten years later, at the beginning of 2010, my father, who had taken up an interest in computing upon his retirement, told me that he was using Ubuntu and shortly after I successfully installed Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx on an old Dell Dimension 8400 PC which I had purchased in 2005. I have been using Ubuntu or one of its flavours on various desktops, laptops and netbooks ever since. In the past I have also used Ubuntu Server on a UK based VPS hosted by DigitalOcean.
I took early retirement in late 2016 and decided not to spend too much time working on Ubuntu as I was feeling somewhat disillusioned with certain aspects of the Ubuntu community. I decided to renew my interest in several hobbies that I had virtually abandoned in recent years. I continue to use Ubuntu but I am no longer as active within the Ubuntu community as I used to be.
Current releases of Ubuntu being used
I am currently using Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.
I was granted an Ubuntu Membership on 8th January 2015, primarily for my ongoing contribution to the production of the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter. I am extremely grateful to those who helped to make this possible and to those who voted in favour of my application.
Internet Relay Chat
My registered IRC nick is PaulW2U.
Contributions to Ubuntu
I joined the Ubuntu Forums on 20th May 2010. I began by answering general support questions especially those related to Kubuntu, KDE and those posted by "Absolute Beginners". I also assisted the forum staff by alerting them to duplicate, inappropriate or "spam" posts, and later concentrated on replying to users asking "community" related questions.
To my surprise, I was invited to become a Forum Moderator on 15th June 2015. I accepted the invitation although it became necessary for personal reasons to step down just three months later. However, I continued to report spam, answer questions, and contribute to discussions on a somewhat irregular basis until October 2019 when I ceased posting to the forums to concentrate on other non-Ubuntu activities.
Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter
For almost three years I was a regular contributor to the production of the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter. Each week, as part of a small team, I collected links to stories, podcasts and videos, wrote summaries for the links that had been collected and then proof read the final draft prior to the newsletter being released. My initial involvement with the newsletter was for 56 consecutive issues from issue #316 (released on 13th May 2013) to issue #371 (released on 9th June 2014).
I resumed my participation with issue #387 (released on 13th October 2014) and worked on every issue, in one capacity or another, until issue #453 when I reluctantly decided to concentrate on other interests away from the Ubuntu project.
I returned to working on the newsletter on several occasions to make contributions to issues #470, #478, #483, #485 to #498, #500, #501 and #511 as well as making several minor anonymous additions and corrections to other issues of the newsletter.
During my time with the newsletter I reviewed and updated many of the team's Wiki pages to make them more relevant and useful to new contributors especially LinkSuggestions which had become very out of date.
One of my final contributions to the newsletter was to suggest a quiz to celebrate issue #500 and to supply the questions that were subsequently used.
Ubuntu Bug Squad
I have been reporting bugs for all Ubuntu releases that I have used since I started beta testing Maverick Meerkat in July 2010. I joined the Ubuntu Bug Squad on 21st July 2013 with the aim of achieving the following:
- Submitting better and more informative bug reports.
- Improving the information provided in reports already submitted by others.
- Identifying and removing duplicate reports.
- Removing out of date reports that refer to unsupported Ubuntu releases.
- Identifying the correct package against which a bug report should be filed.
- Expiring old untouched bug reports that will never be worked on and have been abandoned by the reporter.
As a result of my activity throughout 2016 my Launchpad karma increased from 30 to over 1,200 by the end of the year. Later, in June 2018, I answered a general call from Canonical's Desktop Team to look at old untouched Firefox bug reports. I aimed to remove at least 250 of them from Launchpad but now estimate that around 1,800 have now been marked as either being invalid, a duplicate of another report, or have been closed after ascertaining that the bug had been fixed or no longer applicable to the current release.
I subsequently moved on to other packages such as Thunderbird, Chromium, FileZilla, various GNOME applications such as nautilus, gedit, evince and rhythmbox, and Xorg. Over the course of a year I was able to close or update over 2,500 bug reports during which my Launchpad karma reached 6,395. When I was able to reproduce the bug myself I filed reports to the upstream provider on behalf of the Launchpad reporter.
One Hundred Papercuts
Although I am not able to assist in fixing any of the bugs assigned to the One Hundred Papercuts Team I frequently review outstanding reports with the aim of either updating them, marking them obsolete or asking for further information which hopefully results in a smaller list of current issues.
Ubuntu Quality Team
I joined the Quality Team on 1st December 2013. My contributions have mainly been limited to ISO testing for Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu and Ubuntu GNOME with over 1,300 tests logged on the ISO Tracker so far. As I have other interests away from the Ubuntu community I no longer have the time to commit to testing in the way that I have done in the past but I try to test the 'milestone' ISOs whenever I can.
In mid 2020 I started to take an interest in testing and verifying Stable Release Updates for the Bionic and Focal releases so that they could be made available to users of those releases.
Xubuntu Testers Team
I joined the Xubuntu Testers team on 15th May 2013 and tested development ISOs for various releases since that date. From early 2017 I used Xubuntu as my sole desktop operating system meaning that my input to the Xubuntu Team was based not only on ISO testing but also on using the development version on a daily basis. However, I switched to using main stream Ubuntu after I purchased an up-to-date laptop in November 2017 although I used Xubuntu on older or less powerful laptops for some time afterwards.
The following extracts, from blog posts by Elizabeth K. Joseph, acknowledge my contributions to the production of the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter.
"Over these past couple of months I’m happy to say we’ve gained the help of Paul White who has not only been doing a great job helping collect links throughout the week for the newsletter, but has also come through for us each week to write summaries (even on Sunday afternoon when we need some final ones quickly!). But it wouldn’t be fair to continue making Paul write so much!" (2013-07-13)
"I’m happy to say that today we have some really exceptional work coming from Paul White who participates from beginning to end: link collection, summary writing and editing." (2013-02-04)
"Each one of these issues is the result of a team of contributors who collect links for our newsletter (typically Paul White and myself) and then a weekend of writing summaries for many of these collected articles, where again Paul White has been an exceptional contributor, with several others pitching here and there for a few issues." (2014-12-31)
"Super star Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter contributor Paul White recently was reflecting upon his work with the newsletter and noted that he was approaching 100 issues that he’s contributed to. Wow!" (2015-06-29)
"For the past several years, Paul White has been my right hand man with the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter. If you enjoy reading the newsletter, you should thank him as well." (2015-11-20)
If you wish to describe any of my contributions to the Ubuntu Community in further detail then please feel free to do so. Thank You.
Paul is an amazing guy, always willing to help with the UWN. He's been doing a great part of the job for the issues, and is a vital part of the team nowadays. I definitely believe that he is a great community member, and Membership is well deserved for him. Keep up the good work, and now to Issue 400! - -- jose 2014-12-29 22:14:04