WOW! I can't believe it's June already! Our new family member will be here in just over a couple of months, and there is so much stuff left to do. At this point, if days were 48 hours long, I still wouldn't have enough time to get all the things done that I want to be able to get done.
And, since the death bell has tolled for the 32 bit version of PCLinuxOS, that adds one more thing to my list of things to do (that I had kept putting off). Like many Linux users, I find great satisfaction in taking older, discarded computers and extending their life by running Linux -- namely, PCLinuxOS. I don't have to have the fastest, latest, greatest computer. I'm not a "gamer," so I don't even need "fast" graphics. When it comes to graphics, I'm perfectly satisfied with being able to stream videos at a reasonable bitrate (not necessarily the highest ... 360p or 480p is just fine in most cases) with minimal lag and buffering, or without them breaking up.
For most "normal" users, upgrading 32 bit versions of PCLinuxOS probably isn't as big of a task as it is for me. I keep and maintain about a dozen computers running with PCLinuxOS. Of those, half -- six, to be exact -- are most likely going to have to be retired simply because they have 32 bit processors. My dutiful netbook, running one of the early Intel Atom processors, is (sadly) among the casualties. I carry my netbook with me in a backpack that I carry to work. When things at the hospital are slow, I pull it out and use it to help pass the time between patient rounds.
I'm not bemoaning progress. I don't want to stand in the way of progress. But it really chafes my sense of frugality to have to prematurely retire those old computers that are running perfectly fine and performing their tasks dutifully and without failure. Even my old Android phone -- a Motorola Droid -- has been repurposed into a YouTube player for my 2 1/2 year old son, so he can watch "Bob The Builder," "Gumby," and the rest of his favorite shows. Frugality. In these times of governments adopting "austerity" measures, making the best use of what you already have just makes sense.
Sure, I could run a different Linux distro that still supports 32 bit processors on those computers. But I'm not just a Linux user. I'm a PCLinuxOS user. The loyalty runs deep. With PCLinuxOS, Texstar (and crew) has created a version of Linux that, in my humble opinion, is how Linux should be done. It has been tweaked to a very high level to provide the best user experience possible. I anticipate that if I were to try one of the other Linux distros that still supports 32 bit processors (and I have, both before I came to PCLinuxOS, and after, running them in a virtual machine), I would become (did become) frustrated with their lack of polish. It's that same polish that Texstar has meticulously applied to PCLinuxOS that I have become accustomed to seeing and using.
I know. I know. Things evolve. Things change. Time moves on. At the end of the day, I know that I'm just going to have to grit my teeth and just go ahead and retire those older computers. And then I remember reading about nine months ago about an old Commodore C64 computer that had dutifully managed a school's HVAC system for all these years would finally be retired. It probably would still be going strong today, had there been anyone left around who knew how to run and maintain that very old, popular in its day computer.
Yes, I'll get around to updating my computers to the 64 bit version. I know I can't do it at the end of the month, since I have to put out the magazine every month. Plus, with the baby coming, I'm making good progress on my remodeling project. Babies don't wait for anyone; they have their own schedule. Who knows ... maybe I'll get a sliver of time to start the update process before the next issue of the magazine comes out.
Until next month, I bid you peace, happiness, serenity and prosperity.