Welcome From The Chief Editor

Things certainly don't stand still in the Linux world. As usual, changes abound. Xfce 4.8, the newest release from the Xfce development team, has been released. Sproggy is busy building the new Xfce 4.8 components, and plans to have it released very, very soon. Meanwhile, KDE 4.6.0 has been released by the KDE development team, and Texstar is hard at work to bring the latest KDE 4 release to PCLinuxOS users. The Gnome developers have announced that the much anticipated Gnome 3.0 desktop is scheduled for release in April, 2011.

Many users have noticed that updates to the PCLinuxOS repository have temporarily stopped. Ibiblio.org upgraded their servers, and the process didn't go as smoothly as it was planned. Never fear. Texstar is currently working with the ibiblio.org folks to resolve the issues. Hopefully, the situation will be resolved by the time you read this, or nearing resolution.

Why is the ibiblio.org repository so important? It is THE main repository that all of the mirrors sync with. So, without the updates to ibiblio.org, there are no updates to the mirrors. As a reminder, PCLinuxOS users should NOT use the ibiblio.org repository to update their installations. Doing so creates excessive server load on the main PCLinuxOS repository, and may slow the rate at which the mirrors can sync with the main repository. Instead, choose a mirror that's closest to your geographical location (other than ibiblio.org). This distributes the server load over many servers, which enables PCLinuxOS users all around the world to experience reasonably fast downloads and updates.

Personally, I like the speeds offered by the heanet and nluug servers, despite the fact that they aren't necessarily the mirrors that are closest to my geographical location. Even better yet, run the PCLinuxOS Repository Speed Test application, and choose the repository that gives you the best performance (other than ibiblio.org).

This month, we have lots of articles that I am certain will appeal to a lot of PCLinuxOS users, across the board. One that should find universal appeal is the special short story, WWW Collapse, by Alain Baudez, presented in a comic book panel format. The comic book characters were drawn by two of Timeth's students in Japan.

Meemaw continues her tutorial on using Scribus, with part two of her article series. She also brings us part two of her look at the e17 Settings Panel. Darrel Johnston takes a closer look at two of the accessory applications that accompany a typical e17 installation. We get to learn more about the two PCLinuxOS artists, ms_meme and Meemaw, who won first and second place in the LinuxGraphicsUsers.com Christmas wallpaper contest. We also take a look at Timeth's Christmas present to PCLinuxOS forum users.

I examine Calibre, the cross platform ebook tool that has become the "go-to" application for dealing with ebook files. I also take a look at how easy it is to use SSH, in my tutorial on the powerful tool that's available on virtually all Linux installations and distros. My Firefox Add-ons articles continue this month with a look at FireFTP, an FTP client that runs entirely within Firefox.

Game Zone returns this month with game review by glamdering, along with a way to run Steam on PCLinuxOS (if you dual boot with Windows). Leiche walks us through customizing the right click menu in LXDE's PCManFM, Longtom translates the DVB Streaming tutorial from Leiche's German site into English. Patrick Horneker kicks off a look at running WindowMaker on PCLinuxOS.

Eronstuc gives us another installment of his article series that marches through the alphabet of programming languages. Double Take & Mark's Quick Gimp Tip, along with Forum Foibles and ms_meme's Nook, are back for your monthly enjoyment.

So that's enough from me, until next month. Meanwhile, I wish each and every one of you peace, happiness, serenity and prosperity.