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A Look Back at the Beginning: A View From the First Editor

by Archie

Ten years ago this month, PCLinuxOS launched its first magazine issue, and as history would write it, PCLOS became the first ever independent Linux distro ever to publish an online magazine. The period of formation and organization leading up to September, 2006 was even more memorable. But the excitement and intrigue didn't stop there.

Oh, the magazine didn't just appear from a Linuxverse black hole, it was lovingly conceived, and it was given birth. In a coconut-size shell, the magazine was initially brewing and percolating in brilliance both within the PCLinuxOS Support Forum and the now defunct MyPCLinuxOS forum. Then, as it is with the life of a growing young child, it struggled with a tumultuous wrangling of identities. Finally, as we are now witnessing its stability and maturity, the magazine has found its rightful place amongst many of our hearts with many of our forum members actively participating in its compilation of useful and helpful articles month after month.

Here is one of its first stories from the magazine's first chief editor. It began a long, long time ago in a Linux galaxy far, far away when an arrogant Linux user hopped into the PCLinuxOS Support Forum from Ubuntu's searching for love and affection. Little did that user knew how much for the better his Linux experience would change. A prior year-and-a-half of using Linux and he thought he knew everything so he started throwing wild and crazy ideas of all sorts of projects around at the forum -- it's simply what he does best. He garnered the attention of several forum members who thought the noble idea of a magazine was to say the least, interesting. Come to think of it, the first issue was more of a ragtag binding of brochure clippings than anything else. But when the date to announce the release of the first issue arrived, it was with the greatest of pride that he celebrated this PCLinuxOS milestone, as surely did many others like himself.

That chief editor wasn't really taken to the ideas of the responsibilities and commitment which goes with the running of a magazine operation, so as quickly as he could type "third issue" on his Konsole, he handed the management and editorial responsibilities to the more capable hands of the magazine's second chief editor, Tim Robinson.

Tim goes by the handle, trobinson, an all-around great guy, and like many more of the forum members back then, he is no longer active and his account registration seems to be have been weeded out years back. He was, however, a much more responsible chief editor than his predecessor was. He had under his hat volumes upon volumes of issues supported and contributed by forum members. The psychological stage of the magazine during Tim's era was that of a toddler learning to walk.

But like most families, PCLinuxOS has seen a handful of ups and down, which, if memory serves me right, is a pinpoint accurate statement by Texstar's "roller-coaster ride" ... often smooth, and every now and then, a wild and scary experience! The magazine was never an exception and when Tim's health started to be a problem, he handed the management of the magazine to Papawoob, but he and his wife were both having health problems. So shortly afterwards, Papawoob handed it over to historyb, aka Doug. It was at the time when dissension among the PCLinuxOS developers was boiling, and spoiling the updates. What it was about is for another story but let me tell you this, the circumstances are pretty similar to what one group is now doing with the 32-bit. People don't seem to learn from history!

Anyway, the magazine was akin to a teenager who couldn't decide whether he wanted to be a know-it-all punk or a smart, learning individual. So when the inevitable happened, the then-chief editor supported the other group of developers and hijacked all the contents and resources of the PCLinuxOS magazine, claiming everything about the magazine was his. The project was single-handedly shut down!

The first chief editor was really offended by the plagiaristic claims and stepped in to negotiate the release of the magazine site and the removal of Doug. The negotiation with the then owner of the magazine's domain was amicable and a resolution was immediately reached with the help of some forum members. Weric, former proprietor of LinPC (which sold computers preloaded and preconfigured with PCLinuxOS), agreed to host the magazine site and all of MyPCLinuxOS on his servers. Parnote expressed his unequivocal intention to head the magazine. YouCanToo took over the hosting duties that Weric had been handling when Weric found himself unable to continue to host the various websites.

All well and good, one might think. Well, not quite. The reorganization of the magazine took a bit more effort to recover. Planning the symbolical re-launch with the original chief editor seemed like a good idea. Parnote, our current and longest-running chief editor can attest that with the resurrected PCLinuxOS Magazine, the process in which the magazine was glued together had to be quickly adapted and improved. To make the process more open and transparent, article submissions switched from OpenOffice documents (at that time) to using Google Docs. This allowed instant collaborative editing that included all of the magazine staff, instead of sharing files back and forth via email.

Now, all seems quiet on the magazine's virtual HQ, but from what I have seen in the many years that the magazine continues to grow, it is in very capable guidance and I have no doubt it will continue to develop and mature under its present team.

Lastly, let me congratulate everyone involved with the magazine, whether you are a one-time contributor or a regular, or whether you are one of the crew -- past or present, my sincerest and deepest gratitude for the PCLinuxOS magazine's celebratory 10-year anniversary, and thank you to Texstar and all the PCLinuxOS developers for your continuous support and friendship. I'm looking forward to the next 10 years!

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