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The next Ryedale Linux User Group meeting will be:

Feb 27th 2012

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Ryedale Linux User Group Members

In order to show we are not a bunch of hacker tanned geeks with no lives. We've created this page to allow folks to have a little write up about themselves and their computer use etc. Also, if people are willing then a photo/mug shot would be nice so people new to the group will be able to put faces to names seen on the mailing list. We'll also add screenshots to show how Linux desktops can vary with the choice available to us.

Al Girling

Al's mug shot!

A relatively new computer user, compared to others within the group, I started tinkering properly in 98. Although, I had sort of used them back in the late 80's on a nursery on the south coast growing Geraniums and Chrysanthemums. The nursery used a computer controlled environment system which I was responsible for.

I started using Unix in the form of a shell account at Grex in 2001. The account has 1Mb of space which is rather limiting, but still enough to learn the basics.  In 2002 I was sick of the well known company based in Redmond and binned it's OS and installed Mandrake 8.2. I've been using Linux ever since!

Al's screenshot

Now a Debian user, my computer does all the usual home based tasks as well as some web development. About the only thing I don't ask of it is gaming as I have far too many interests away from machines to spend time shooting and chasing things on a screen. Here's a fairly recent screenshot for you.

If you join us on IRC at in the channel #ryedale I'll be the one using the nick al21.

Computers don't rule my life by any means. I'm an enthusiastic dinghy sailor, canoeist, beekeeper and juggler. You can see more about these hobbies and interest at

Fintan Gaughan

Fintan's mug shot!

I have been using Linux for 6 years now and still learning.  Like most people, I tried many different distro's and started with Mandrake (now called Mandriva) which was at the time easy to install.  Soon got bored of it and switched to Redhat (now called Fedora).  My desktop at home is Fedora core 5 and my server is CentOS 4 which is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux product.

I am forever trying out new things on open source, you can see my blog about it here (must get round to posting my blog more often).  I also tend to try out new software when its shown at a LUG like this one, because books and websites don't always show what your missing out on.

Unlike AL I am obsessed with my computers (my wife's words not mine).  If I am not at home playing with my Linux box I'm probably found at someone else's house fixing their (unfortunately) windows box.

David Richards

Dave's mug shot!

Greetings, my name is David Richards and am a member of the Ryedale Linux Users Group.  I have been interested in electronics for the main part of my life and in computers since about 1980.

I am now an electronics design engineer by profession and spend most days programming embedded systems using micro controllers in the C language.  This work uses both electronics and programming skills since the micro controllers have a very tight integration with the hardware of the designs I work with, that is right up my street!

I have been using Unix like systems since the early days of Minix and later Linux from the days of the first XT type computer I owned.  I say using but a more accurate description would be evaluating, most of my computer time is spent on a Windows console.  I have a linux server on my broadband connection, Debian Sarge with Gallery for my photo collection.  I do most of my computer administration through various remote protocols on my Windows box.

I use a Canon G2 digital camera which I have owned since getting back into photography in about the year 2000 when I replace my old point and shoot camera with a Canon 350 film camera.  I put most of the pictures I shoot onto my on line Gallery.

Other interests include walking and camping in the countryside and more recently playing with my old/new series 2a land rover.  I also like to design and build my own microprocessor circuits from time to time.

One design I have built is an embedded TCP/IP enabled micro controller which I use as a temperature logger with a web interface showing graphs of past whether conditions.

I am quite interested in how computers are networked together and have recently installed mythtv as a server for video and audio recordings and am using an old x-box for a client system connected to my TV set, this is still work in progress, I think the server needs to be a bit faster.  It is only a 1GHz P3 system.

Best regards, Dave
mailto:richards.malton [at]

Paul Teasdale

Paul's mug shot!

Hello, my name is Paul Teasdale and I am a member of the Ryedale Linux User Group. I currently work as a Senior Software Engineer for a small, pro-active software house based in York, England. Due to the size of the company I also (entirely) manage the internal company network infrastructure.

Working totally in a Microsoft-based environment sometimes leaves me torn between closed source and open source software models to the point where sometimes I feel two-faced. After all I make a good living from developing closed source proprietary software. However I like the ethics, beliefs and community aspects of the open source model something you definitely don't get with the closed source model. I'm not even sure each model can co-exist peacefully because open source offers a fundamental challenge to the closed source business model. Putting all the arguments aside I always take an open-minded approach to any OS or application and I will never intentionally pull-down any software (regardless of author/company) unless, in my opinion, it's deserved.

So on to Linux then. I first actively used Linux in 1996 after purchasing the Yggdrasil Linux Internet Archives disks from a computer fair and subsequently installing Slackware 3.0 from the afore mentioned disks. At that time I was working for a company where most of my work was Unix-based (ICL DRS/NX). It therefore caused me much excitement when I read words similar to "Linux... a PC-based Unix operating system clone" on a small sheet of paper inside the six disk CD case. I just had to try it!

Paul's screenshot

From 1996 to 2000 I had an on/off relationship with Linux mainly due to the lack of support for certain bits of hardware that I was using at the time. This effectively forced me to use Windows 95/98 or stop using the hardware which I did not want to do. What I did like about Linux was that it made a great server and I learnt much about networking in this period. This was helped by the fact that to configure most things you had to get down and dirty and actually understand how things worked before manually editing the config files.

In early 2001 I installed SuSE 6.0 which solved all of my hardware incompatibility issues and gave me renewed enthusiasm for Linux. From that point my interest (in Linux) continued to grow and I started attending the Scarborough Linux User Group. I was also starting to build up a collection of, mainly home-built, computers that I could keep legal by using Linux. To this day I am still very enthusiastic about Linux, have settled on the Debian distribution, and use it on all my home computers (although two are Debian/Windows dual-boot for work purposes only).

I became a member of the Ryedale Linux User Group right from the very start in January 2006. I would like to point out that this was not due to any problem with the Scarborough Linux User Group. It was just personally too much of a struggle to get home from work, have tea (if lucky) and get to Scarborough for their 7pm meeting starts. When Al, Fintan and David started discussing the formation of Ryedale LUG I was only too happy to get involved.

So, in conclusion: I love Linux, have too many computers, too little time, no kids and my wife is an active member of the Computer Widows Club. Unlike Al and David my life is totally dominated by computers and I have no other hobbies to mention. So there you have it; let's never hear anything said of my sad existence again.

Paul Elliott

I first experienced Linux in 1997 when I discovered a few servers at my employers running Redhat Linux 4.1 (Vanderbilt).  I was curious how this seemingly basic command line based operating system could compete with NT 4 that had been released a year previous or with Novell Netware that we used for the majority of our servers.  What a voyage of discovery it has been ever since!

I originally started dabbling at home with Redhat Linux, Slackware and to a lesser extent Debian although none of them displaced NT as my OS of choice until I purchased Linux Answers in 1999, a one off pilot magazine in the UK that later became Linux Format.  This helped me realise the true power offered by Linux and the whole concept of Free and Open Source software.  Pirating software had never sat easy on my conscience although at the time I had little option if I wanted to find a role in the IT industry.  As a side note, I still have my original copy of Linux Answers.  I frequently look back at it to remind me just how far Linux has developed over the years.

I switched entirely to Linux around 2001 and have never looked back since.  Originally I settled on Redhat Linux until the product was canned in 2003 to my (and my employers) immense annoyance.  This prompted me to look at other options and I discovered just how incredible Debian is as an operating system.  I stuck with Debian for around a year before switching to Ubuntu.

I'm now employed as a UNIX sysadmin for a university.  My day to day job revolves almost entirely around working on UNIX systems (both Linux and Solaris) although I'm also heavily involved in managing a couple of VMware clusters.  My main workload at the moment is developing a Linux build system based around Puppet, RHEL and Ubuntu server.

On the personal side, I live in a village just outside of Driffield with my wife, daughter, 2 cats, 1 rabbit and far too much computer kit.