An interview with KiwiNZ

Cross the line in the forums and you’ll probably face KiwiNZ as a result. On one hand, he’s the forum strongman — more than likely he’s the one who’ll press the button that bans you — but on the other hand, he’s a father of three and an experienced IT manager. An Ubuntu user since its inception, and a forum member since the earliest days of its existence, KiwiNZ is the last administrator left to be interviewed. Read on to learn more about member No. 9. …

Tell as much as you’re willing about your “real” life — name, age, gender, location, family, religion, profession, education, hobbies, etc.

This is easy, my name is Mike, I am 50 years young and male. I am married to my fantastic wife Judy who I am head over heels in love with. I have three sons. I have done many jobs over the years. I am currently an IT manager.

My hobbies are photography, bike riding and computers. Some of these are on hold right now due to the medical problems I have experienced over the last few years which left me wheelchair-bound. This has been a challenge but I am fighting my way out of the chair. I have an incredibly supportive family so between all of us I am sure I will be free of the chair soon.

My first focus of life is my family; my oldest son was in the army until recently when he resigned to go into medical school. My middle son is in the army. I cannot expand on what he does in the army.

My youngest son is waiting to go to varsity to study classical history. He is currently a barista.

When and how did you become interested in computers? in Linux? in Ubuntu?

I have been involved with computers for about 15 years. I got interested in them when they started to be introduced at my work and I realized I knew nothing about them. So I read some books and built my first PC and the rest they say is history.

I have used many distros over the years and Ubuntu from the day the first test version hit the web.

When did you become involved in the forums? What’s your role there?

I became involved with Ubuntu Forum about three days after ubuntu-geek started it. I was very impressed in what he started and offered my services. I had the honor to become a moderator a few weeks later. I was then given the opportunity to become an administrator which I am very pleased to be able to do as it gives me a real opportunity to serve this community.

Are you an Ubuntu member? If so, how do you contribute? If not, do you plan on becoming one?

I have intended to become a Ubuntu member for sometime now, but just never seem to have the time to apply. I am not sure if I have done enough though.

What distros do you regularly use? What software? What’s your favorite application? Your least favorite?

I use Suse , Fedora and of course my favorite by far Ubuntu. I also use Windows Vista. Favorite browser is Firefox, email client I confess Windows mail as it’s on my production machine

What’s your fondest memory from the forums, or from Ubuntu overall? What’s your worst?

My fondest memory of the Forum … hmmm, everyday when I see the awesome growth of the forum and the fantastic members we have. I am very proud of the Forums and believe we have made something special. The staff team is awesome.

The worst, whenever I have to ban someone. It saddens me a lot to have to do it. But I am committed to and very passionate about the Forums. I want the Forums to be a fantastic place for all visitors. Some may say that I am hard-line. I don’t think I am, but I am very committed to keeping the Forum a great place to visit. I have seen too many forums die over the years because they destroyed by a small minority who believe the Internet is fee free for them to be as rude as they please and attack other members at every opportunity.

What luck have you had introducing new computer users to Ubuntu?

Yes I have. I can’t remember how many but quite a few.

What would you like to see happen with Linux in the future? with Ubuntu?

I would like to see Linux become a natural choice for all. I don’t like competitions between Windows, Linux or Apple. They all can and should have a role and the more choices available the better computing experience the users will have.

If there was one thing you could tell all new Ubuntu users, what would it be?

Think before you jump in. Consider carefully what you use your computer for and make your decision.

You can check if KiwiNZ is looking over your shoulder by taking a look at his profile page. For more interviews with staff and community members, read Nine simple questions.

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9 Responses to “An interview with KiwiNZ”


  1. 1 Joeb 2008/03/16 at 6:50 AM

    Great read :) I really enjoyed it, hope you win your fight against the chair too ;)

    Though I wish you hadn’t said you can’t expand on what your middle son does in the Army, it has me intrigued now ;)

  2. 2 linuxtechie 2008/03/16 at 12:20 PM

    Great interview! I enjoyed it. :)

  3. 3 KevDog 2008/03/21 at 12:43 PM

    Ive run into KiwiNZ a time or two .. and yes he does put the hammer down!! What does the name KiwiNZ mean or where was it derived?? I wish he would have answered this question.

  4. 4 Bruce M. 2008/03/27 at 5:53 AM

    I’ve never had the pleasure of running into KiwiNZ in the forums. Of course that in part is good, I’m still there. So now I know who issues the Burnt Beans.

    There is nothing wrong with “putting the hammer down”, that’s what keeps the forums what they are. Thanks for that, Mike.

    I hope to hear some day that you are cycling again. Good luck with your fight to get out of the chair.

    KevDog … Kiwi is flightless bird native to NZ (New Zealand). The people of New Zealand are known as Kiwis (started with the Military), much like Yankee for people from the USA and Canucks from Canada. :)

  5. 5 forumuser 2011/03/29 at 9:06 PM

    He was a tyrant on the forums who censored people and prevented freedom of speech. However, I’m glad he is getting better and doing something good with his life. Good luck.


  1. 1 Nine simple questions « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2008/03/15 at 9:16 PM
  2. 2 Ubuntu Look » Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter #82 Trackback on 2008/03/18 at 3:10 AM
  3. 3 Lettre Hebdomadaire Ubuntu n° 82 du 9 au 15 mars 2008. « Lettre Hebdomadaire Ubuntu Trackback on 2008/03/20 at 8:18 AM
  4. 4 Linux & Ubuntu » Blog Archive » Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter #82 Trackback on 2008/03/31 at 4:30 AM

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