It’s going to be a busy Sunday for me, so I’m posting this on Saturday! You guys are really in luck we have a real special interview, too! This was conducted just days before Ned became (I was told he volunteered, but who really knows?) a Super Moderator. We’ve been told his pay actually doubled….man, the big fat goose egg on the check looks twice as big now. We all like to have fun where we can and are all glad to have Ned to poke at for awhile. So, Ned reluctantly agreed to keep his place in line and let me post this, although he now has the power to obliterate me with a mere click of the mouse…..I think I’m going to quit while I’m ahead.

Hi there. Let me take a minute to introduce myself. I’m Uncle Bob, a Mod here at PC Perspective. We will be running a series of articles within the forum that will be called Mod Interviews. I ask revealing, embarrassing, stupid, probing questions of Mods and hopefully you get to laugh with us at ourselves and in the process get to know some of us better. Beware, not all the Mods are as forthcoming as you may like, I do my best to uncover the truth, but haven’t always hit the mark!

Now, without further delay, here is the fifth in the series, an interview with Ned Slider, our newest Super Mod! Man, this is really getting into the top shelf stuff here guys, quite a privilege!

1. I realize many of the mods here are in a witness protection program of some sort, but can you give us your real name?

No, but you won’t have much difficulty finding me if you look.

2. Why did you join PCPer/AMDMB?

Probably the same reason many old timers did – the Asus A7V motherboard. AthlonMB/AMDMB was simply the best resource for that board, bar none.

3. Which forums do you mod?

Currently Linux and Networking & Associated Security, although I’ve also served stints in Windows, SETI and the recently departed Spyware Trojans and Viruses (STV) Forums.

4. Why do you keep coming back?

The SETI Bar. Oh, OK, the real reason: Because the people here just keep giving, their time, knowledge and expertise for no other reason than to share. This is just the best darn community on the net.

5. What was your first experience with a computer?

I don’t remember my first, but it was probably with a Sinclair ZX81. After that it was a Sinclair Spectrum. I originally had the 16K version and upgraded it myself to 48K with an upgrade kit. I caught the bug young. We also had an Osborne 1 at school about the same time that I first learned to program BASIC on. All great computers from circa 1981/82.

6. Do you prefer to be called a “geek” or a “nerd”?

Haa – definitely geek. My nick, Ned Slider, is actually an anagram of ‘Idle Nerds’, although it’s true significance stems from another anagram of it (or rather that it’s an anagram of). Free beer to the person who can correctly identify the true source of the anagram!

7. What exactly do you do here at PC Perspective?

What? We’re supposed to do something here? Oh, OK, I get paid for showing up at my appointed forums and joining in the fun with the rest of the guys there. BTW, Ryan, my pay cheque is about 2 years late!

8. What do you like most about your ‘job’? I realize it’s actually a rudimentary form of slavery or servitude, but you are still here…can you explain this to our readers?

The members here at PCPer – they are the most decent bunch of knowledgeable friendly folk you’ll meet anywhere on the net. It’s like there’s a huge invisible sign at the door saying “check your attitude here and collect it on the way out”.

9. OK, we all know this is coming… What do you like least about your job?

They all pick on me. All the mods pick on me, all the time. They’re a really malicious bunch. I think they pick on me because I don’t have to pay for my operating system and they’re jealous. Did I mention I get picked on?

Seriously though, nothing. You think I’d give up this much of my free time for something I didn’t like – wouldn’t happen. The moment it becomes a hassle, it’s time to step aside and let someone else have a go.

10. How long have you been active in PC Perspective?

Since summer, 2001.

11. Where are most active here? What is it you suppose that draws you to that particular area?

1. SETI. Free beer in the SETI Bar.
2. Linux. It’s free just like the beer.

12. What interests do you have outside of PC Perspective. Don’t be shy, if you don’t have a life outside of here, many readers would like to know!

Outside of PCPer sort of implies outside of computing. Mainly music, everything from Jazz, acoustic blues through CSN&Y, Joni Mitchell, W’s rock/heavy metal. I even listen to some modern bands such as Pink Floyd! I have about 300 of those old vinyl things we called records plus about 1000+ CDs. I also have a rather large pair of speakers (Magnepans) attached to my Hi-Fi. I’m a straight up 2-way stereo kinda guy, none of this fancy 5.1 dolby surround sound nonsense. I don’t do MP3, I like to hear my music the way the recording engineer heard it – as close to the original as possible, not compressed to hell so I can squeeze the entire Beatles catalogue onto something the size of a lighter and never have time to listen to. Other main interest is beer – the real ale variety. Ultimate pleasure involves mixing the two in the form of an evening of live music at the local pub.

13. OK, it’s hardware time! Let’s start with your most, or current favorite piece of hardware. Tell us about it.

The current iMac’s are just gorgeous. I don’t have one, but I want one real bad – that 24″ version (hint, hint). Large flash drives – one hundred and one cool things you can do with one of those. Just got a new laptop for work, Core 2 Duo with a gig of RAM. Core 2 Duo’s have to be the hottest hardware around atm. I remember when a 4-way SGI Server was state of the art and cost more than most people earned in a year or five – now we have 4 cores on a single affordable consumer chip.

14. Software? Hey, if you are a closet Linux user, now’s the time to come out. (If you are a closet Microsoft user, don’t be afraid, we can keep a secret!)

What, me, Linux? Yep – you got me, I’m the resident Linux geek. But I talk about that enough already and you’ll all come to see the light when you get fed up with Vista.

The hottest thing in software right now has to be virtualisation. Everyone should try and check out the free version of VMWare Server – it runs on Windows (or Linux) and you can install virtual OSes for running on the local machine or serving across the lan (hence server). A simply awesome piece of software and I still can’t believe they’re giving it away for free. I’ve been running it since it was in beta and it’s rock solid stable too. Brilliant!

15. OK, let’s get real personal. Witness Protection Program be damned…Can you tell us something about yourself you’d like us to know?

We bought an old cottage a couple of years ago, and I’ve become interested in tracing the history of it. We have deeds dating back to 1899 when it sold for £30 (rolled and sealed with a red wax seal), and have found evidence at the local parish records office dating as far back as 1742, which is about the time we believe it was probably built, although it could have been a little earlier. It’s called “Pendre”, from the Welsh “Pen Y Dre” meaning “head of town” or “top of town”, which makes sense since it is located at the very top of the hill running through the village so is located at the head of the village (the Welsh often refer to the head or foot of something, such as the Valleys, for example, rather than the top or bottom). Many properties in this area don’t have house numbers, but have kept their historical names – the postman must have a nightmare trying to find the right properties!

16. What can you tell us about your job? Hey, if you do something illegal, now’s a good enough time as any to make a clean start!

I trained as a chemist. Did a PhD in medicinal/computational chemistry. I worked for about 10 years in research (Cancer), getting paid to play with Silicon Graphics UNIX boxes – they were just way ahead of their time. I got out of the science game a few years back and made the switch into IT. Since then I’ve done some system administration (Linux and Windows), teaching IT, and my current role is IT strategy development, particularly in the area of IT security, where I advise and assist organisations develop their IT strategies.

I also do some voluntary work for a malware research organization. This is probably my main interest within computing at the moment. I get to analyse a lot of the latest viruses (particularly backdoors) and generally work to help make the Internet a safer place to hang out and have fun. There are a lot of very dedicated people out there doing great work so the rest of us can continue to enjoy using the net.

17. Where do you live? (Be fearless, your secret is safe with us..)

I’ve lived and worked all over the UK, but recently moved to the Pembrokeshire coast, West Wales. I’ve always wanted to live near the sea, and now I’m only 10 minutes away from the most magnificent beaches.

18. What can you tell us about your family??

Had a son, Adam, nearly 10 months ago. Totally unexpected, but has changed my life. Mrs Slider may have had a small part to play in it too.

19. Here’s a delicate one…How old are you and where did you grow up?

Just turning/turned 39. I was born in the Roman Spa town of Bath, England (UK) and lived around there until I went to University.

20. Well, we are getting to the end of it, it’ll all be over soon, I promise. What would like to say to our forum members, go ahead anything. Get it off your chest. We have all day here….

So Uncle Bob, tell me, when are you going to ditch the clipboard and come sit in the hot seat and be interviewed, and who would you most like to interview you?

Also, do you have any plans to interview some of our forum members? Perhaps you should do a poll to see who everyone would most like to see interviewed.