I first encountered PC’s back in the late 80’s having just missed out on them being used as educational tools in the school system. Until the early 2000’s my main interest in computing was work, studying and a little bit of tinkering with Publisher and photo editing software for personal use.
In the early 2000’s I started to tinker a little with hardware, but only small stuff like adding memory to the mother board or installing a CDWR in the tower. Gradually I got a little more adventurous and in 2006 I started to get into computer refurbishment as a hobby. I rescued a few Pentium towers, some as old as P2’s and 3’s, but mainly P4’s and I was fixing any issues I could and then giving them away via Freecycle (where eventually all my old towers came from to fix up). This led to my using Xubuntu, both to make the PC’s usable with limited resources and as a way of them having a legal operating system as many of the boxes did not have any CoA on them to reinstall Windows, even if that would have been a good idea.
As a result I started to dual boot Ubuntu 7.04 on my P4 tower. After a major PC melt down in May 2009, when I realized I hadn’t use the Windows partition at all for several months, I chose to do a clean install of Ubuntu 9.04 and I have personalty been solely a Linux user ever since although I still support my wife’s dual-boot system and the occasional friend I’ve not yet brought over from the dark side.
I started the transition to Mint as at that time it included all the codex needed to get DVD’s working and play music without the hassle of having to install the Medibuntu repository and get everything up and running.
It was the Unity Desktop that Ubuntu moved over to that finally pushed me to use Mint full time around 2011, and I’ve been using it as my main driver ever since, and I’m currently running Mint 19.2 Mate on all my personal PC’s and Laptops that aren’t currently being used for distro testing.
I do enjoy experimenting with other Linux Distro’s occasionally, and until recently would usually install into a Virtual machine using VirtualBox, but since starting the Distrohoppers podcast with my friend and fellow mintCast host Moss I have a couple of dedicated review laptops that I use for the purposes of reviewing a distribution on real hardware.
I’ve been involved in the Linux community since I joined my local LUG in 2010 and got heavily involved in being a Linux and open source advocate. I was an early user of the Raspberry Pi, getting one of the second batch that were sold, and I still have it. My main reason for being a Raspberry Pi fan is that it introduces people to Linux without them realizing that is what the OS is at first. Not being much of a coder or into the Maker side of the Raspberry Pi, it’s the underlying Debian heritage of the Raspberry Pi OS that I help out with at our Local Jam.