Sunday, June 15, 2008

mean while, back at the ranch.....

Curious thing, I installed Kubuntu 8.04 with KDE 3.5.9 and enjoyed the liberty of a free range chicken, but since installing the KDE 4.0 desktop along side, I can't access my whole hard drive, only the booted partitions. Then the KDE 8.04 remixed version came with some nifty Plasma widgets, what I have now has very few. I went on the internet,, and folks are obsessed with meters and gauges, very scarce are ones that do things with user files. It would be nice if folks produced some really useful widgets instead of remakes of what others have done already. So, I think I have gone as far as I am going to go with Kubuntu 8.04 and put it on the back burner status. My warning to all is don't be a distro hopper like me, although the live-cd makes it easy, once you settle on a distro, updates usually keep up the newness. It is so tempting to jump on the new feature bandwagon and try out things before they are nailed down solid.

Taking a step back, I installed Ubuntu 7.10 on my main box. What got me was the time it took to update afterwards. Folks have really put out the bug fixes, tweaks and enhancements. It is so so so hard to say which I like best, KDE or Gnome desktop, it's the reason I used Xfce for a while. It was tough for some time because desktop effects were complicated add-ons. Now they are integrated into Gnome, you just have to activate them and woooo, wobbly windows!! Gnome is simpler in many ways and probably more approachable to new users, but I've learned that it's all in the way it's explained. I am willing to bet that people who switched from MS pc's to Macs because they were told Macs are better and easy would find Ubuntu with Gnome even easier and no slouch in quality. What's more it's free!!!!! I can't get over people wanting to stiff Bill and pay Steve. Anyway, I have Ubuntu 7.10 because our local computer user's group is having some Linux learning classes using it and I am going to pick up tips and tricks and share experiences. There has been a steady demise of Linux groups in northeast Ohio. The old guard, mostly server folk and coders are thinning out, the new users, mostly curious mouse manglers, don't seem to care about getting together. Need to consider new kinds of bait to attract new users, forums are cool to a point but, to have face to face with local enthusiast is a real community experience.

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