I recently retired from over 40 years of software and systems engineering, so I have been around computers in a hands-on mode since long ago when I worked at Bell Labs and we were building a prototype of something known then as a "single board computer" -- which we had to program in machine language! This was my first exposure to what would be termed later "personal computers".
In terms of Linux distros, I have been using Ubuntu since the Dapper Drake days -- 2006. But back then, I was experimenting with different Linux distros and jumped around a lot.
I joined the Ubuntu Forums in 2007 because I wanted to find out a lot more about Ubuntu so I could use it on all my PCs. Eventually, I settled down using Hardy Heron in 2008 and liked it so much that I started installing that version on all my PCs. I was so impressed that it worked great on my XP-era Fujitsu tablet that I stopped using XP and switched over full-time to using Ubuntu. I also migrated my desktop and two other laptops to Ubuntu and increased my involvement in the Ubuntu forums, collecting lots of threads about different hardware and software problems.
When, in 2010, the Unity desktop came out, I developed an immediate dislike of it. Last thing I wanted was a smartphone-like UI on my desktop, so I discovered Linux Mint, went over to using it nearly full-time, and spend most of my time on the Mint forums -- but I stayed in touch with the Ubuntu.
Then later, when Ubuntu-Mate came out, and I was a "happy camper" -- I could go back to using Ubuntu but avoid the Unity desktop. And, that's what I am using now.
When Win10 first published the Insider Program, I eagerly joined, only to be ultimately disappointed by what really amounted to little more than Win "8.2" -- a few new features and lots of stuff moved around in the UI. But that experience also got me heavily involved in the HP Community Forums -- helping other folks struggled with Win10 upgrades, and with loading Linux on to their PCs.
For a long time, I have visited all the Ubuntu Forums sections, accumulating as much knowledge as I could and contributing back as much as my available time permitted.
I became heavily involved with Wine and spent a lot of time trying to get much of my Windows stuff working in Ubuntu. But after months of hard work, I had to content myself with running dual-boot, as I still needed the Windows stuff for working at home, but didn't want to abandon Linux distros in the process.
More recently, I have tended to focus my attention mostly on double-booting issues and problems that are new with Win10 -- and tend to catch folks by surprise.
My plan is to continue helping folks on the Ubuntu Forums as much as I can but eventually, I would like to migrate into a Moderator role, as I was the Lead Moderator on another forum and like that role a lot.
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@Bashing-om@ It is my testimonial that mark_phelps has performed to the highest degrees on ubuntuforums. For the longest time he has been an inspiration and a source of knowledge in many areas. As well, many times coming to my aid to resolve posters' problems, offering good advise in all times called for assistance; with a ready good humor addressing the issues. Several times with a firm hand redirecting my errors and misconceptions.
A constant and significant contributor to Ubuntu Forums, his insights and advice have helped many users with problems that they have been having. The recognition of his contributions should be so recognized .
Simply speaking, Mark is one of the good guys. He has helped more people in desperate straits than most others manage in five lifetimes. He has forgotten more about Ubuntu than I've ever learned, yet he continues to show a quality of character that is graceful, humble and unselfish. He is a fixture on the forums and enriches all of us with his presence. I've lost count of the times that I've solved a problem for new users simply by referring them to one of Mark's posts. A good forum member, a good role model and a good exemplar of what the Ubuntu community is all about.