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Doug Smythies

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Coquitlam, B.C. Canada

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Doug S

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I have an IRC account, but am IRC challenged

About Doug Smythies

I am 61, married with two children (now adults), semi retired. A professional electrical engineer, and Principal Engineer, I was typically a project engineer and systems integrator when I was working full time. I specialized in multi-disiplinary projects covering precision mechanics, optics, electronics, software, and even some chemistry. Since I am semi-retired now I am trying to get more involved in Ubuntu Linux and the related community. My main interest is the server edition.

First electronics project was a tube based 5 watt amplifier, a heathkit, sometime around age 11 or 12. I still have it and it still works.

First computer experience was Wang advanced programming calculators (BCD based), early 1970's.

First computer was an IMSAI S100 bus based 1.4 Mhz 8080 (1976) 8 bit processor.

First home computer designed and built from scratch ~1983: 80186 based; OS was concurrent CPM86; Hard disk was the first ever 5.25 form factor 5 megabyte Shugart Winchester, $2300 in 1983 dollars; 8 inch floppy drive (5.25 inch were available, but real men still used 8 inch); 128 kilobytes main memory.

First Linux computer was a 80486 50Mhz, with RedHat version 4 (I think it was).

More recently, I have a few servers, including my main gateway computer, with 12.04.2 LTS. I usually have at least one computer running the current development release (13.04 at this time of writting).


Actually, in hanging around the Ubuntu community I think I have learned much more than I have contributed. It seems I learn something new and valuable every day.

By orders of magnitude, at least by effort expended, my biggest contribution was to this Ubuntu thread and related launchpad bug. In the end, yes the proposed kernel patch edit took only 1 minute, involving deleting 3 lines. However, it took me about 4 weeks to get to that point. However, there was a secondary bug, and the saga continued for several more months. My continued contribution was not with the solution, although I tried, but rather with developing testing methods.

On Ubuntu forums, I frequent "Server Platforms", "Security Discussions", "Networking & Wireless", "Hardware", "Installation & Upgrades", "General Help", "Absolute Beginner Talk" and more recently "Ubuntu +1". I'm not sure what else to say here, as the reader can review my posts for themselves.

On Launchpad, I have joined the "Server Team" ,the "Documentation Contributers", and the very new "Server guide helpers" group. I helped a lot with the server guide for 12.04, with a particular focus on the PDF version, giving all of my free time for several weeks. I am starting to help with the 13.04 serverguide cycle. I also did some beta testing of 12.04, and now 13.04. I have a pathetic old computer for testing the minimum system requirements case. I have a newer i7 based test computer, originally planned to be swapped out with the main server, but I have decided to keep it as a test computer.

I have waited 2.000 years to apply for Ubuntu membership because of my relatively low post rate and because I have had, and will continue to have, gaps in my forums involvement. Sometimes there are chores and other projects requiring attention. Other times, I have to admit, I take a step back due to the frustration of abandoned threads. As for post count, I honestly do not understand how some contributors are able to give so much time. Very often it takes me hours to make a reply, and often someone else (CharlesA comes to mind, Dangertux used to) has replied in the meantime.

Future Goals

I hope to continue to learn and expand my skill set and breadth of contribution abilities. Having not done much with virtualization, it is high on the "to do" list. However there are many other areas of linux I would like to learn.

An unrealistic goal is put Ubuntu forums out of business. With easy find, read and understand up to date documentation and wiki's on all things Ubuntu, nobody would ever have a question. (Ha ha, I know there will always be questions. Let's face it, a lot of this stuff is pretty difficult to understand, and somewhat daunting.)


2013.03.07 Thanks to all that supported my successful membership application.

dsmythies (last edited 2017-03-03 19:44:57 by dsmythies)