Dana H

September 29th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

A Bit About Me

My name is Dana, and for as long as I can remember I’ve had a love for all things that buzz and whir and take batteries (or – more fun – plug into the wall).

Growing up in Waterloo has been an interesting experience.  You may or may not know this, but the University of Waterloo has one of the foremost engineering and computer science faculties in the country; I’m fortunate enough to have taken some classes with them.  Also, the school happens to be right beside Research in Motion, creators of the Blackberry (and founders of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics).

Needless to say, there’s been plenty of mental stimulation and incentive to take an interest in the world of computing in this city.  Opportunity seems to abound.

At the moment, I’m in my early twenties and working as a technical analyst for an insurance giant, working my way through the ranks.

My Past Computer Experience

Ever the electronics enthusiast, my computer experience began at age six when my new stepfather moved in with his 386 tower, running DOS 5.0 (and later, Windows 3.1 and Windows 95).  At thirteen, a new computer replaced that – a booming AMD K6-II 500 MHz with a massive (massive!) 14 GB Quantum Fireball hard drive.  At this point, I was well into understanding my love of computers – sure, it might have caused more than one blue screen at this early point, but the stage was set for a bustling interest and career in the world of computers.

Starting at sixteen, I worked for six years at a popular Canadian retail electronics chain, three of those as an in-store technician (operating on a wide variety of laptops and desktops, across varying specifications and operating systems).

Now, I work as a Technical Analyst with a Canadian insurance company, troubleshooting computer issues and helping users whenever duty calls.  My home setup includes a dedicated home theatre PC (streaming wirelessly from a Windows Home Server over an 802.11n network), a laptop (used in this experiment) and a desktop; both desktop machines were built from scratch.

My Past Experience With Free Software

Over the years, I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of alternative and open-source operating systems and software, but never really stuck to it.  My first experimentation with Linux involved tossing Ubuntu 6.10 on my old Toshiba Tecra S1 laptop; a nightmare, since I could never get the resolution correct (and there were horrendous vsync issues).  That turned me off for a while, but my curiosity was piqued.

I’ve toyed with a few pieces of individual open-source software, like OpenOffice, and tried out Linux distributions such as Kubuntu / Ubuntu, Debian, and – more recently – Google Android, on my new phone (an HTC Dream on Rogers).  My general experience has been positive, but I’m definitely not a ‘power user’ by this point – the extent of advanced work I’ve done is tooling an Ubuntu distribution to boot a live, persistent installation from my memory key.

Why I Agreed To This

I’m still not entirely sure – Tyler is one convincing bastard.  Mostly though, I agreed to do this in order to further my own knowledge and experience with open-source software and operating systems, and to hopefully make an informative blog for others in our position(s) to read from and enjoy.

What I Hope To Get Out Of It

By the end of these four months, I hope to be nearly as comfortable changing settings / powerusing in a Linux environment as I have been in a Windows environment for so long.  Ambitious, I know, but knowledge never comes easy.

…the babes, money and fame are all incidental, and awesome.

What My Current Computer Setup Is

LG P300 (Black Rose edition) laptop  – 13.3″ LED-backlit LCD

Intel Core 2 Duo T8100 @ 2.10 GHz, 4 GB DDR2-800 RAM, 320 GB hard drive, nVidia GeForce 8600M GS

Windows 7 64-bit RC / Windows Vista 64-bit SP2 (dual-boot)

What Distribution Am I Running?


  1. me
    February 9th, 2012 at 14:34 | #1

    Would you be comfortable running a BSD flavor; i.e. Free/Open/Net BSD?

  2. Dana H
    February 9th, 2012 at 14:44 | #2

    I’d certainly be open to investigating it!

  1. October 12th, 2009 at 22:23 | #1
  2. March 4th, 2010 at 19:31 | #2
  3. June 30th, 2010 at 19:36 | #3