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Installing newer kernels

I have installed Debian 2.6.32-5-686 on two machines. One, a custom
machine, has a Pentium III processor running at 800 megahertz, and has
500 megabytes of memory; the other is an IBM Mpro Intellistation 6229
with a Pentium IIII processor running at 2.2 gigahertz, and has 2
gigabytes of memory.

Debian notified me of updates for some time after I had had put it on
those machines. Then it ceased to have anything to say about updates. I
have four questions to ask about maintaining Debian.

(1) Am I to update the kernel periodically? Is there advantage to doing

(2) If I do, will I again receive notices of updates, and will these
reference only the new kernel or the new kernel and also other programs
that I have installed?

(3) If I update the kernel, do I simply download it and install it over
the old one, or is there some process of uninstalling the old kernel
that is needed before a later kernel is put in?

(4) How much disc space, at the minimum, should I allot to Debian, if I
leave it essentially in a single block on the primary disc drive? I
assume that OpenOffice will be installed automatically (since it was
earlier); and I will try to install XAMPP, WordPress, and Drupal.

Thank you for helping me to understand how to maintai8n these systems.

-- William Lee Valentine

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