This series of write-ups celebrates the Lenovo Forum's family of volunteer advocates - moderators, gurus and outstanding members of the Forum, who consistently go out of their way to help out in this community through sharing what they know, dissecting, delving and diving into various issues to educate other users and solve one another's problems. We salute and honor your dedication and hard work!
Notice anything different recently about zoltanthegypsy’s handle? What about community user PeterTWJ’s, which now sports a different hue? You’ve probably guessed it – yes, there have been some additions to our Forum’s Advocate group! Zoltanthegypsy, or Bill (as he prefers to be called), has now moved to become one of the core people who help keep our Community clean, informative, and what it is today - our moderators, whilst PeterTWJ, or Peter Tan, is now a guru, one of our recognized and valued tech experts.
Serene: Welcome to the family, Peter, and congrats, William, on being made moderator recently. So tell us – how did you two discover the Lenovo Community in the first place?
Bill: I showed up in 2008 with a couple of technical issues and an attitude. The tech issues got sorted out thanks to the good folks on the boards. I still have the attitude... (Serene: Really? We really don’t think so!) My first interaction with a forum moderator was JaneL scolding me - entirely appropriately - for language It was a "mild oath" that wouldn't have been noticed most other places... I think it was my 2nd post
I actually thought the community was rather more technical, and more "reserved", than some of the other wild-and-woolly boards I had visited. And these are both good things. I came to realize pretty quickly along with the more-formal approach (compared to other sites) that it was also a very friendly place. And the atmosphere is even more so on the Guru and Mod boards. There's always someone quick to lend a hand.
Peter: For me, I discovered the Lenovo Forums through the Lenovo Support Website as I also some issues with my machine (a W510 I got from school), and I posted in the forums for a solution. Over time, I realized that the staff, moderators and gurus are in general a very friendly bunch (who have gotten even friendlier after having known them over the past few months.) Serene: Now for the big question – tell us a bit about yourself – what do you actually do in real life?
Bill: I graduated from the University of Washington in 1971 with a degree in electrical engineering. Prior to that, in 1968 I landed a job helping with drafting and technical writing – and I ended up taking over the engineering department. I also did hardware designing of ad-hoc projects for several years, dealing with customized interfaces for different systems including flight simulators and mini – computers, before branching out to projects such as interfaces for workstations and PCs and networked-based products.
I guess I deal primarily with hardware design and device driver writing - in recent years most of my work has been for Unix - Linux and Solaris primarily compared to IRIX and HP-UX in the past. I work in a small business so I also do testing and support. I’m also interested in getting into the nuts-and-bolts stuff, such as multi-booting laptops and desktops back when that was hard to do, and also getting Windows, Linux, and Solaris to play nice (more or less) with one another. When that got relatively easy to do, I moved on to multi-booting flash drives, Live Linux, Windows Installers and repair tools, and utilities for recovery and forensics. And all of which is done a lot easier now than back in the day. I actually have a website of my own chronicling my multi-boot struggles but I also maintain a more current blog here.
Peter: In real life, I am a student majoring in Network Security Technology and the course I am taking is about managing networks, servers and storage systems with security in mind. Outside of school I spend time with different groups of friends with all sorts of interests – I like getting to know people so that I can expand my circle of friends and also gain more knowledge. I would be graduating from school this March and will then lose my full head of hair as I will be enlisted into the army for two years. This period of time will be very important for me as I will be seriously considering what I want to study and plan for my future. But no worries – while I serve my nation, I will still be here contributing as well!
Serene: Bill, you were a guru like Peter. What was your experience like so far, and Peter, how have things been for you?
Bill: The guru "promotion" was excellent. It gave me access to some really smart and capable people, and some behind-the-scenes technical resources. Kudos to everyone, but a special shout-out to andyP and topmahof (two of our community moderators) for their help. I'm still getting my sea-legs. It's a real difference going from tech geek to "net nanny". In my user and guru days, I pretty much kept to the boards where I might have had some direct experience (ThinkPads, Windows, and Linux mostly). Now that I have authority to nuke spammers, I roam all of the boards.
Peter: I was initially quite surprised when I was first approached – I love helping people in the first place, which is why I started talking to the community members and helping out with the questions that are posted in the forums. I totally didn’t expect to be identified for this, and I am very excited about it. I feel that I can reach out to more people in a better way when becoming a guru. At first, I was not used to my ID becoming green and having that extra Guru logo on my handle. I’m still going to be myself – I seriously enjoy spending time helping around and hey – I get to learn stuff too as well.
Have a question about your system or want to find out more about a Lenovo product before deciding to make that purchase? Join in our discussions today, and feel free to pose your questions to our peer-to-peer community and advocates as well!
She's co-authored a book on Win 8 apps and is also a Microsoft MVP awardee. Meet Iris Classon, who will be helping out in our app development board when she's not out doing extreme sports or conquering the world.