wieman01 is a recent addition to the staff, and comes with an impressive resume — international background, multilingual, master’s degree, programming experience, and so forth. But his fame on the forums comes in a large part from his help with networking issues, including RT series network cards, aircrack-ng and wireless security. A German and a black belt (in a manner of speaking ), weiman01 has a long and interesting story to tell. …
Tell as much as you’re willing about your “real” life — name, age, gender, location, family, religion, profession, education, hobbies, etc.
I am a German dude and currently live in Duesseldorf, Germany, although I grew up in the south of Germany where sunshine is in abundance for a great part of the year. As some people might have noticed, I have a strong emotional attachment to South-East and East Asia where I lived, studied and worked for a couple of years (Japan, China and Hong Kong). In the course of my “expatriate” life, I learned Chinese as well as Japanese, although I must admit that I have forgotten most of the latter in consequence of my absence from Japan.
Having said that, I grew up in an environment where religion or say, religious tradition does not play too important a role. However, naturally religion yet had an influence on my education and my personality since it is something you can hardly escape being a European.
My professional life is what takes up most of my time. I currently work as a Six Sigma Black Belt (no, it’s nothing to do with martial arts), so I am involved in change management and process improvement using statistics and large portion of common sense and humor. I have a master’s degree in business administration, but spent most of my time at university programming and developing Java 2 Enterprise (J2EE) applications, a hobby which I dearly miss and hardly have time for nowadays.
Apart from computers and computer/information security, I enjoy rock climbing, scuba diving and sports in general and I am a passionate reader of 20th century North American literature — a hobby that I share with my partner.
When and how did you become interested in computers? in Linux? in Ubuntu?
I became interested in computers in the early nineties. My first computer was a 386-16 with 1 MB of RAM and DOS 3.3. I started to take a liking to Linux in 2001 as I needed a lean operating system and window manager for software development. My first distribution of choice was Suse which was arguably the most user-friendly distribution back then.
My father lives in Namibia for most of the year and my mother runs her own “build a home” project for Aids orphans in South Africa, so my whole family has been closely connected with Africa since I was a kid (I was actually conceived in Africa if I may say that). Therefore I fell in love with Ubuntu’s philosophy on day one despite the fact that I had to go through a lot of hassle to get the OS working on my laptop PC.
When did you become involved in the forums? What’s your role there?
Pretty much right after I had installed my first version of Ubuntu (Breezy, then Dapper shortly afterwards). I remember it took me a week of sleepless nights to get my Bluetooth headset working with Skype. I was offered the staff position early this year and gladly accepted it. Frankly I have not regretted my decision and I am happy to be part of such a great team.
Are you an Ubuntu member? If so, how do you contribute? If not, do you plan on becoming one?
No, I am not and I have no plans to become one. There would be little I could contribute I guess.
What distros do you regularly use? What software? What’s your favorite application? Your least favorite?
Kubuntu is the only distribution I use. I can gladly announce that I have banned all other OS’s from our house. The application I use most is Microsoft Excel (alright, you got me there, but it’s a work-in-progress) on CXOffice, my favorite ones are Firefox, Thunderbird/Enigmail, Unison, and Amarok. The least favorite ones (that I still have to use) are Skype and Network Manager.
What’s your fondest memory from the forums, or from Ubuntu overall? What’s your worst?
My fondest memory … that’s a tough question as there are numerous. But there was one occasion when another forum member attacked me and accused me of being a disgrace to the Ubuntu community for an innocent, but also ambiguous (!) post that I had made (certainly the worst memory). I remember that I was very touched by the support and kindness I received from the UF staff members (in particular from Bapoumba) who immediately cleared up the situation with great professionalism and care.
What luck have you had introducing new computer users to Ubuntu?
All attempts considered, I was mildly successful. A few family members converted, but that’s about it. I keep handing out copies of (K)Ubuntu, but I am by no means doctrinaire. Live and let live.
What would you like to see happen with Linux in the future? with Ubuntu?
I hope Linux will rule the world one day of course. And if Ubuntu snatches market share (preferably) from Microsoft and other Linux distributions by means of excellence in products and services, I’ll be happy. At the same time I hope the community will thrive on its success.
If there was one thing you could tell all new Ubuntu users, what would it be?
If you are willing to learn and try out new stuff (“business as unusual” so to speak), then always bear in mind that even when the system lets you down, the community never will.