Welcome From The Chief Editor

My wife, Laura, and I typically work the same shift, same days at the same hospital. For those who may not know, we are both registered respiratory therapists. On Tuesday, October 18, my wife got to stay home from work, due to a slightly decreased workload at the hospital. After seeing me off to work at 5:30 in the morning, she went back to bed.

After she re-awoke sometime after 10:30 a.m., she was bored and fired up her computer. One of her favorite Firefox add-ons is the StumbleUpon button. She clicked the Stumble button, and it immediately took her to an article about a double homicide in Helena, Montana. As she read the article, she couldn’t believe what she was reading. It was talking about a good friend, Joe Gable (more affectionately known as “Joble” by his PCLinuxOS family), being shot and killed by his estranged wife. To verify what she was reading, she went to Joble’s Facebook page (she and he were friends there, sharing a common interest in the Facebook game, “Vampire Wars”). Confirmation came from all the outpouring of emotions on his Facebook page over what had happened.

Meanwhile, I was in the middle of my second set of patient rounds at the hospital. I frequently make small talk with my patients, especially the ones who are regulars and that I have gotten to know fairly well. As I was preparing a breathing treatment for one of my more familiar patients, we were engaged in the typical small talk. Topics can range over a wide gamut. This particular time, I was telling my patient about my friend who lives in Helena, Montana.

At about the same time, my portable hospital phone went off in my shirt pocket. It was around 11:15 a.m. Looking at the caller ID, I saw that it was my wife calling from home. Since we both work at the same hospital, she knows what times I am doing my patient rounds. For her to call me in the middle of my rounds, it had to be something pretty important. Answering the call, she said that she had something very important – and bad – to tell me about, and asked me to call her back when I finished working with my current patient.

Since my patient was in the middle of taking his scheduled breathing treatment, I excused myself and stepped out into the hallway, telling my wife to please just let me know what it was. It was then that I learned that Joble had been shot and killed by his estranged wife.

To say that I was stunned would have been an understatement. I told my wife that I would call her back after I had finished my rounds, and asked her to email me the link to the article that she had found.

Once I finished my rounds, I called her back. I talked her through signing onto IRC (via Xchat … she also runs Phoenix on her computer), then joining the #pclinuxos-mag channel on Freenode. I asked her to make the announcement, along with the link to the article, on the magazine’s IRC channel. I also asked her to stick around for a bit, just in case anyone in the channel wanted to talk about it. I didn’t want her to announce something like this, then run off. So, she hung around for a while before going to run her errands – and even left herself logged in when she did leave, just in case anyone wanted to talk about the news. It goes without saying that Sproggy and Meemaw, who are regular visitors to the magazine’s IRC channel, and friends with Joble, were floored by the news.

The oddities surrounding Joble’s untimely passing don’t stop with how I found out about what had happened. Just one day before he met his tragic end, he posted three songs on his Facebook page: Phil Collins’ “I Don’t Care Any More,” Ted Nugent’s “Strangle Hold,” and Godsmack’s “Crying Like A Bitch.” Knowing Joble as well as I did, after hour upon hours of chatting late into the night on the magazine’s IRC channel, I am certain that the lyrics of those songs were aimed squarely at his estranged wife, Michelle. Finally, after more than two years of being separated from her, the choice of songs that he posted makes it apparent that he was finally finished with that chapter of his life, and that he was looking to move on.

Additionally, one of Joble’s last several posts included an Aerosmith video. It was “Janie’s Got A Gun,” and was posted September 23, just two days after he was denied an order of protection from his estranged wife.

Many PCLinuxOS community members knew Joble well, including me. He helped many others in the forum, especially with issues in getting wireless cards up and running properly. He was a valued, cherished member of the PCLinuxOS community. His contributions will be sorely missed. His humor will be missed. His friendship will be missed.

All too often, folks are tragically ripped from our lives. Sometimes, it results from an untimely accident. Other times, as with Joble, it results from a senseless act of violence. Since none of us know when we’ll be leaving this mortal coil, it serves as a reminder to always treat one another with kindness and respect.

I’ve watched the outpouring of condolences on the PCLinuxOS forum concerning Joble’s passing. It illustrates just how strong of a bond exists among the members of the PCLinuxOS community. We are more than just users of a common operating system. We are more than just users of a common Linux distro. The PCLinuxOS community really and truly is a family. It makes me proud to be a part of that community, that family.

Joble, my friend, you did not deserve that which you received. Your time among your friends and family has been senselessly cut way too short. You are dearly missed.


This month, we start a series of articles over Gnome 2.32. Even though Gnome 3.x has been released (still in testing for PCLinuxOS users), having a good understanding of Gnome 2.32 is important, since Gnome 3.x has a “fall back” mode that allows you to set it up similar to Gnome 2.32.

This month’s cover is a public domain painting depicting the first Thanksgiving between the Pilgrims and the Native American Indians in the 17th Century.

Until next month, I wish each of you prosperity, serenity, peace and happiness.

Paul Arnote