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openSUSE:Board election 2018 platform Fraser Bell

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Platform for Election to the openSUSE Board

Candidate: Gerry Makaro aka Fraser_Bell
from Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada.

You can find me on the Forums, the IRC, mailing lists,
and contact me at Fraser_Bell at

Why I Want to Become a Member of the Board

      * To Help Other Users, Including Newcomers
      * To Contribute
      * To Encourage Others to Contribute
      * To Improve Our Excellent Operating System and Community Even More
      * To Increase Communication, Co-operation, and Involvement

I have a Strong Belief in the Values in the openSUSE Guiding Principles. I refer to them often and want to see them applied consistently.

Introduction and Biography

openSUSE Global Forum Moderator, openSUSE Member, openSUSE Contributor, Unapologetic openSUSE Enthusiast, Maintainer, Bug Owner, and Wannabe Developer

Most of you know me as Fraser_Bell on the openSUSE Forums, IRC, OBS, and mailing lists, but as my signature reveals, my actual name is Gerry Makaro (just think of the term "Holy Mackeral!" to get a close pronunciation.). I am happily retired, 67 years old, and proud of every mile I survived on my journey to get this far, although I still feel like a spirited, unstoppable teenager inside ... until I look in the mirror.

Well, no, come to think of it: I still feel that way, even then, when I see that vaguely familiar old man looking back at me through the glass.

Fraser-Bell Info Tech is the name of the IT Consulting business I owned and operated from 1987 until it was sunk by the 2007 economic crash, leaving me belly up under a mountain of debt that suddenly piled up while trying to keep the business — and myself — alive.

Above all else, I am a musician — professional singer, songwriter, guitarist (and other instruments) — returning to the profession after a long hiatus, getting into recording, now that retirement and a government pension allow me the time and some limited resources to do so. My Mother, a music fiend, herself, says that I was singing in perfect pitch before I was even three years old. I do recall singing along with my children's records — 78 rpm plastic disks on a small monophonic record player — even before my fourth birthday, which I also recall quite vividly.

My second passion is people. I get tremendous satisfaction out of helping people in various ways. My two main objectives each day when I get up are:
      * Help someone with something today, and;
      * make someone smile today.
If a person does that, everything else begins to fall into place.

My third passion, as you have probably guessed by now, is computers. Computers play a major role in my first two passions.

How I Came to Linux and openSUSE

I was growing tired of the Windows operating system and commercial software practices and had wanted to start working in Linux for several years by then, just did not have the time. I was already experiencing some of the FOSS world, most notably through OpenOffice, which now has thankfully moved to the admirable Apache Foundation.

After my business died, and as I recovered a bit financially, I now had the time. I did a lot of reading and studying, checked out various distros in live form, and settled on openSUSE, which I was already leaning towards after soaking in all the information, because of its included software, its features — especially Yast — and its friendly Community. I dual-booted with Windows for a short period, then quickly found out I was no longer using it. I have been exclusively Linux since, almost exclusively in openSUSE, though some dual-booting with other distros for special purposes.

The more I see of other distros, the more I appreciate openSUSE, although that is not meant as a slam against the other fine distros: openSUSE is just better.

Why I Think I can be a Valuable Addition to the Board

I became a zealous openSUSE enthusiast, coupled with the ability to relate to people from almost all walks of life on an even basis.

As stated earlier, I love helping people, and have been helping less fortunate people with their computers and doing some volunteer computer work with small charities and community aid organizations. I am especially gifted at communicating, giving clear and detailed instructions that even inexperienced computer users can follow. Besides the help this gives to our Community Members, this skill also makes it easier to attract and help the newcomers, something we must keep doing in order for openSUSE to thrive.

Retirement gives me the opportunity to devote more free time than most to contribute to our exciting operating system.

I spend time every day on the Forums, IRC, and mailing lists. I have just recently been asked to join the Forum Moderators Team, said yes, and am now a Global Moderator. I am taking over as Maintainer and Bug Owner for Yast2-Fonts and am working my way into other openSUSE projects.

I am learning new skills and information that I can use to help openSUSE and the Community.

I already have skills from various stints in Journalism, from reporter to columnist to editor, photographer, graphic artist, advertising manager, production manager, and more. The skills acquired are valuable assets in many different areas of openSUSE and the Community, including the Board. I have strong Communication skills and strong Diplomatic skills, both crucial to a strong Board.

I believe in Open Source, Open Minds, Freedom of Choice. I intend to listen to the wishes of openSUSE Users with an open mind. I will try my best to get all others who are involved in contributions — such as developing, decision making, maintaining, and promoting — to also carefully consider the opinions, views, and wishes of all who are active in the Community, including all the Users.

I share much of the Communication wishes mentioned by Gertjan Lettink (Knurpht). I would love to join him in that quest.

I would like to get more Users involved in the progress, direction, and decision-making at openSUSE.

I believe it is essential for an openSUSE Board Member to be in constant contact with the other openSUSE Users through regular involvement in openSUSE Forums, IRC, and mailing lists. I also believe it is vitally important that an openSUSE Board Member have some degree of experience in and understanding of the OBS, the Development process, the Communication process — including the Wiki — the Community, Promotion, and Goals.

A strong sense of Ethics, Morality, and Values also plays an important role.

Most of all, I have the passion to want to see openSUSE, the Distribution, the Community, the User Base, and the Excellence continue to grow and thrive.


If you think I would be a worthy Board Member, please say so below. Of course, I will be gratefull for any and all support.

  • I think you should vote him to the Board. That way, he will be too busy to spend any time trying to boss me around! — Hobbes, Gerry's cat and avatar.
  • I agree with Gerry's cat, for different reasons. His contributions in the forums, his knowledge, and his approach to people he's trying to support. Didn't know that music part, apparently we share more than openSUSE. I'd love to see you on the Board, preferrably together..Gertjan Lettink, a.k.a Knurpht'
  • My sense of Gerry is he brings enthusiasm and energy and a keen sense of balance with the activities he chooses to be involved in. I think he would be a good addition to the board and he has my recommendation. -- Lee Matheson (oldcpu)
  • Know him long time as an active forums member that not only provides good technical help, but also always has openSUSE promotion in his mind. Henkvan Velden (hcvv)