Welcome From The Chief Editor (March 2012)

Update! Update! Update!

No. This doesn’t mean a news flash. Instead, this is a not-so-gentle reminder for everyone to run updates on their system. By now, I’m sure that many of you realize that there are new Live CD releases of most of the different “flavors” of PCLinuxOS, coming with your choice of your favorite desktop environment, all set up and ready to go. Of course, if you’ve kept your installation updated regularly, you already have the “latest and greatest” of PCLinuxOS, and you won’t have to reinstall. The thing about a rolling release is that the user has to take responsibility and update their system periodically.

Without those regular updates, it’s nearly impossible to provide a stable upgrade path. After a while, many things may have changed, been updated, or been upgraded. It’s not even reasonable to expect that an upgrade path exists when you haven’t applied the previous three (or 20) upgrades. If you’ve not been in the habit of regularly updating your system, it might be a good time to consider reinstalling. Fortunately, a reinstallation of PCLinuxOS on today’s modern computers with multiple processor cores usually takes less than 30 minutes.

So how often should you apply updates? Without a doubt, there are some PCLinuxOS users who apply updates to their system daily. They feel that it keeps their system in tip-top shape, and it keeps them on the front edge of what’s happening with PCLinuxOS. Reasonably though, you probably should apply updates either weekly or biweekly. That should be frequent enough to keep your system in excellent shape and condition. While every two weeks should be the absolute maximum amount of time to elapse between updates, there are folks at the other end of the spectrum who only update their systems once a month. However, updating only once a month increases the chances of forgetting to apply updates during one month, which means that the next month, when (if?) you remember, you now have two months of updates to apply – which greatly increases the chance of something borking your installation.

I usually recommend, especially to new users, that they pick a day of the week (associating it with their favorite TV show usually works well) and that they should run updates on that day, every week. So, when they see a NEW episode of Law & Order come on (presuming they are a Law & Order fan), they should also think about keeping their PCLinuxOS installation in “good order.” Then, if they forget one week (or Law & Order gets pre-empted by some other inane “special” broadcast), they can do it the next week, and no more than two weeks has gone by between updates.

I’m also sure most folks have heard that Texstar has, on the advice of his doctors, stepped back from the intense day-to-day work on PCLinuxOS. For many months, Texstar had thrown himself into packaging a separate 64 bit PCLinuxOS repository (all the applications – over 12,000 of them – have to be rebuilt for a 64 bit version). Over that time, he ran out of “go-go” juice, to use his words. Neal has taken over the packaging and development reigns, while Old-Polack is giving the forum and PCLinuxOS web site his ever-vigilant eye and care. Texstar hasn’t gone away. He is still lurking about (he’s even still posting periodically in the forum), keeping a watchful eye on the proceedings, but from a more distant vantage point. With Neal and Old-Polack tending to PCLinuxOS, Texstar’s baby (PCLinuxOS) is in safe, responsible and good hands.

That’s about it for this time around the bend. Until next month, I wish each of you peace, serenity, happiness and prosperity.