I'm completely lost with all this spectre/meltdown issue and the list of updates/patches that never ends
Also I'm a complete LM newbie
. Can anyone explain what I should install or keep my eye out for these 2 systems.
Not much to worry about right now, let cooler heads prevail. So far these are "potential" avenues of exploitation, and none are being used yet to target you or anyone else. If your CPU is AMD, even better, only have 1 Spectre variant as risk, and it's the most difficult to take advantage of. Microsoft pushed out their "fix" for Intel CPU's and AMD users starting having their computers stop booting. Microsoft has now quit sending that update to AMD computers after people screamed at them and accused them of doing it deliberately for "Wintel" reasons. Nobody yet is attacking computers using Meltdown and Spectre. There are two groups excessively interested in "patches" at the moment among desktop users; those who always go into "chicken little mode" when anything scares them, and those who are interested in testing the various fixes and patches just for fun, or wanting to do benchmarking of those. The cooler heads are sitting it out till things are more standardized, or until an actual threat appears. Right now the Meltdown and Spectre are ONLY concepts some hackers might in future use, so they are working to correct it now.
So, enjoy the show, take it easy, don't worry overmuch, you will have plenty of time to apply any fixes before any actual threat appears. There's a big difference between "potential" and "threat".