In my heart, I knew this day was coming. The only question was "when?" I kept hoping that it would continue to be "put off," as it had been for quite some time. But now, it looks like my beloved 32-bit versions of PCLinuxOS are approaching end-of-life status (EOL), and I am sad.
I have always ran the 32-bit versions of PCLinuxOS, even on my 64-bit computers. Until now, I couldn't justify running the 64-bit versions. The 32-bit versions ran perfectly and efficiently, even on my 64-bit computers. Need to access more than 3.2 GiB of memory? No problem! Just use the PAE kernel, which made up to 64 GiB of RAM accessible to the 32-bit version. And up until recently, the 32-bit repository had more packages available, with certain things missing from the 64-bit repository. Plus, the "speed gains" of the 64-bit version over the 32-bit version are negligible. I really don't have an idea of what I would possibly do with that extra 0.01 seconds I might gain every day by running the 64-bit version over the 32-bit version.
Yes, I have an eclectic mix of older computers, some utilizing the 64-bit architecture, and others utilizing the 32-bit architecture. To keep things simple, it made sense to use only the 32-bit version of PCLinuxOS. It prevented me from having to remember which computer was capable of what, and having to remember the adjustments I might have to make for each.
Now, I have no choice but to "upgrade" (I put that in quotes because the 32-bit version runs so perfectly on all of my computers) to the 64-bit version of PCLinuxOS. If I don't, I'll eventually lose access to updates, with software that is forever frozen in time. My back is up against the wall, so to speak.
I won't be able to "upgrade" any time soon. Yes, I have the 64-bit Live CD ISOs downloaded (my wife's computer went completely wonky, and a reinstallation will be easier and faster than trying to fix the current xorg issues). But with a remodeling project that MUST be done relatively soon, due to the new baby coming in August, I just don't have the time currently to sit down and do anything but the periodic updates via Synaptic.
In short, the EOL status of the 32-bit version could not have possibly come at a worse time for me. The three computers in my possession that I use the most are 64-bit. But with every ounce of free time being dedicated to getting my long delayed remodeling project finished (when I had the money, I didn't have the time, and when I had the time, I didn't have the money ... a real Catch 22!), coupled with trying to maintain and run this magazine, there isn't any leftover time in the month to sit down and deal with this "upgrade." Plus, all of my computers -- 32 and 64 bit -- purr happily along on the 32-bit version of PCLinuxOS that is currently installed on every single one of my computers.
What I hate the most is the wanton waste of my computers with 32-bit architecture. These are perfectly fine computers, even if they are "old" by modern standards. They purr happily along, performing their tasks reliably. These computers are not yet ready for the trash heap. They have plenty of life still left inside them, and are still useful. Woe is me!
Until next month, and still from the 32-bit version of PCLinuxOS, I bid you peace, happiness, serenity and prosperity.