Welcome From The Chief Editor (April 2011)

Ah! Spring has arrived. The winter snows are melting. The foliage, plants and trees return from dormancy. Flowers bloom. The unmistakable C-R-A-C-K of a wood bat on the leather hide of a baseball permeates the crisp Spring air as America's favorite summer pastime, baseball, begins to get its season underway. In fact, this month's cover from Assistant Editor Meemaw celebrates, in grand Tux style, the annual beginning of the baseball season. Look closely. Of course, there is a PCLinuxOS touch added in. In case you couldn't tell, your Chief Editor is a big baseball fan. Go KC Royals! Hey ... at least all teams start off the season tied for first place. I just wonder how much fun the season will be come mid-September, as the division races are being decided


With PCLinuxOS, there's another race, of sorts, being played out. Texstar and the rest of our dedicated developers have released the 2.6.37 Linux kernel to the repos. They are continuing to work on the 2.6.38 kernel, as we speak. Remember that kernel upgrades are not automatic. You have to specifically install them, and reboot to access them. If the new kernel doesn't work on your machine, don't despair. Your old kernel will still be used with the default Grub boot loader entry. You will have to scroll down in Grub to boot into the new kernel. Also remember that the first time you boot into a new kernel, all the kernel modules and drivers will have to be rebuilt against that new kernel, so the first boot into the new kernel may take as long as five to ten minutes (depending on the processor speed of your computer), as those modules and drivers are rebuilt. Once you've verified that the new kernel works well on your computer, you can go into the PCLinuxOS Control Center and change the boot options to make the new kernel the default, so you won't have to scroll down to select the new kernel each time you boot your computer. Your old kernel will remain available to you, until (and if) you decide to remove it, via Synaptic.

Also new in the repos is KDE 4.6.1. This upgrade will reset your KDE desktop back to the default settings, so you will likely have to re-apply your favorite wallpaper and KDE widgets on your desktop. While you can save a copy of your old .KDE folder and re-apply your settings that way, it may not be a bad idea to start afresh with the default settings, and rebuild all of your preferences by hand. Think of it as a way of doing some Spring cleaning to your KDE desktop, and getting rid of unneeded "stuff".

If you've been following on Twitter and ident.ca, then you may have read that the new, long-awaited Xfce 4.8 is nearing realization under PCLinuxOS. The upgrade packages are currently being tested. They should be released very soon, and a new ISO of Phoenix and Phoenix-Mini (renamed Phinx, which I'm told is a baby Phoenix) with Xfce 4.8 should also be released fairly soon. Meanwhile, Gnome users are waiting with abated breath for the forthcoming release of Gnome 3.0, which we talked a bit about last month. Already, there are rumblings among Gnome users, praising some of the design decisions the Gnome developers made, while lamenting yet others. The Gnome 3.0 "drama" is definitely going to be interesting to watch as it plays out.

Since we've mentioned Gnome 3, Slax has put out a call to any packagers who might be willing to help package the new Gnome 3.0. If you have RPM packaging skills and are willing or able to help, get in contact with Slax by sending him a private message on the PCLinuxOS forum. It's unsure how soon the new Gnome 3.0 will be available to PCLinuxOS users. There is some wisdom in holding back a bit and seeing how the fallout settles, much as was done when KDE 4.0 hit the scene. Since the Gnome 3.0 developers didn't seem to learn anything by watching the KDE 4.0 release fiasco, I would look for history to repeat itself with the Gnome 3.0 release. That's what is going to make the Gnome 3.0 release fun to watch; it's where KDE users were at roughly a year and a half to two years ago when KDE 4.0 was rolled out.

Well, enough from me. I hope you enjoy yet another issue of The PCLinuxOS Magazine. We've tried, as usual, to deliver as many articles as we can, that appeal to as many different tastes and user levels as we can. So until next month, I wish each and every one of you peace, tranquility, serenity, and prosperity.

Paul Arnote