Monthly Archives: January 2008

First Look at KDE 4

KDE 4 the desktop environment for Linux was released on Jan 11. The release announcement is here. A nice guided tour is also available here. Having looked at KDE 4 Beta 4 and KDE 4 RC 1, I could not wait to get my hands on the final release. I downloaded the SUSE CD image, burnt it and got started.

The test system was custom built. I have given the spec below even though I tested using a Live CD

  • Intel Core 2 Duo E4500 @ 2.2 GHz
  • 2 GB DDR2 RAM
  • Seagate 250 GB HDD
  • nVidia GeForce 8500 GT with 512 MB RAM
  • LG Super Multi DVD Writer
  • Acer 17″ LCD monitor

The Good

1. Stability – The final release is far more stable and usable than the two previous releases I had looked at. This is only to be expected. Congrats to all the developers who had worked on KDE 4

2. Response – The UI was very responsive and I never experienced a lag even while running multiple applications

3. Eye Candy – Plasma has improved greatly. Though the widgets provided don’t do anything great, they dont crash as they did earlier. Even the controls – buttons, scroll bars and the like – have been converted to blue which is more pleasant than the default green of SUSE Linux. The Oxygen icon theme looks beautiful, though I still could find some icons missing under Applications

4. Desktop Effects – Unfortunately, I could not enable the desktop effects while running the Live CD. I don’t have a spare system to install and check it out 😦

5. Configuration – The monitor was recognized and the correct resolution was set. Similarly, the network card, sound and everything else was configured on boot. Once I get my laptop, I should check for Wi-Fi. I know this is more of an OS thing but still I want to mention this here since last time I could not get my Ethernet card detected.

The Bad

1. Kickoff – After looking at Kickoff, I should say, whoever came up with this idea did not have the least idea of what usability is. And what pains me is the decision to use this idea and bring it out in the final product. Why should I click four times to open an application?

2. Konqueror – Again, how come Konqueror can even be imagined as the default web browser. Most sites don’t work on it. It was good to use it as a file manager in previous KDE versions and Konqueror was very good at that. But to use it as a web browser is a little disappointing. Mozilla Firefox should have been there, or if you are against it pitch for Opera.

Conclusion

A great release. Though the Live CD did not have a usable browser or an office suite, I assume it is up to the distros to add their favorite applications on top of the platform.

Screen shots

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Whats for 2008?

Well, in my previous post, I wrote how I fared in 2007. I have not taken any resolutions this new year. I never took one before for any year. So, here are few little things I would like to do in 2008.

  • Never edit a blog post after I publish it. I dont know how many readers of mine have subscribed to this blog using an RSS reader and sure they would hate me for updating my posts minutes after publishing them
  • Exercise – I place no commitment on this one 😉  but just like to start exercising on fairly regular interval
  • I would have to find more time and substance to post stuff here. I was doing a few reviews in 2007, but I think I should look at posting other things as well
  • Contribute something to the Open Source community. I filed my first bug for the Evolution email client sometime last year and did nothing after that. I always thought I would do more when I get my laptop but sadly to this day I was not able to do so.
  • Get better at work. Who doesn’t want to?
  • Reduce my time spent online unproductively and engage in other activity
  • Update my personal blog at least once in two days

Well, those are the things on my mind right now. And, there will be numerous moments when life throws a challenge at me. I would like to successfully overcome those with Integrity, grace and honour.

Looking back at 2007

The year 2007 has been a great one personally for me for various reasons. Its never too late to look back. Well, the points seem to perfectly connect looking back.

A job switch – for good 🙂

Jan 2007 – I got into my new job. Though the process, had begun during the late months of 2006, it was in January 2007, that I stepped into my job

New friends

The new job brought a lot of great people together and in great variety from all parts of India. A few of them went on to become my best buddies. Some even as late as November. I have fought with one of them like I never did – shame. Things are fine now.

My first laptop

During the month of May, I got my first laptop. A Dell Inspiron 6400. It came with a Intel Core 2 Duo T5300 processor clocking 1.73 GHz, A GB of RAM, 120 GB HUD and guess what, Windows Vista Home Premium. Laptop rates have been going downhill ever since. No regrets though. I am dual booting Ubuntu 7.10 🙂

Three friends got married

Yes, THREE of them got married. All three to the people whom they wanted to marry. One went smooth. The other two had some minor issues that were sorted out before the event. Two more are still single, but well on their way to get married. That leaves me the last bachelor among our friends 😉

Freaking out

This has been a party year. Every month I earned the envy of my friends by sharing a photo album or two. Courtesy of my employer.

6 days into 2008

Year 2008 is six days old and only today I managed to get some time for the first post of the year.

  • The year has started very positively
  • Old friends come together, so I am having a very good time
  • Work wise everything is good
  • I have not made any new year resolutions 😉
  • No plans for a solid post yet.