In 1998 and within my quest for knowledge about Linux, I met KenAdams of HantsLUG online via News and a chappie from BristolLUG. I joined the HantsLUG mailing list which Ken was running on a PSTN dial-up with MajorD at home. As I was learning and Ken's dial-up was straining, my idea was to give 'something back' in return for knowledge received. As I worked for an ISP, I was able to host a server, where I installed MajorD that allowed Ken and the Bristol chappie to have mailing lists and a web site. At this time I registered the lug.org.uk domain name and allowed a hostname of "hants" and "bristol" off the lug.org.uk domain. This was the dawning of the www.lug.org.uk community at large.
Since that time I have held a number of positions within IT companies in a 'Sales & Marketing' guise rather than a technical forum. From a sales perspective, understadning Linux and the Internet from hobby and pastime has given me the knowledge needed to hold some quite senior posts. I still chuckle that within one AntiVirus company I worked for who actively sold email AV solutions, many sales specimens did not even know what the SMTP stood for, let alone what it meant!
Today I run my own business as an online retailer of fancy dress called Jokers' Masquerade at http://www.joke.co.uk where Linux plays an important part in our topology. Granted we still need M$oft desktop solutions, but all servers are based on Redhat & Debian for security, stability and reliability.
Although not as 'active' as once was within HantsLUG due to business pressures, I still lurk in the backgound. The hantslug.org.uk server has been donated by me for which I am also pleased to host, simply as aforementioned, as a thank you in my continued knowledge for Linux. It is quite amazing that a single email to HantsLUG can provide a solution to a problem within hours, compared to weeks of waiting for more traditional support mechanics and since those early times, HantsLUG is a fantastic resource for information, support and indeed, social intercourse.
To contact me, email mark-at-hantslug-dot-org-dot-uk (though be aware it may take a few days to reply) or for urgent "the server has gone down" type alerts, try mobile 07798 788388.