Living with Linux: Ubuntu with a ‘K’

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(The KDE Desktop, as seen from the Konqueror start page…)

For anyone playing along at home, here’s a quick recap of my Linux adventures this past week…

The overwhelming brown-ness of Ubuntu started to get to me after only a few days. I know that Ubuntu is billed as “Linux for Humans” and all, but all those earth-tones seemed a bit out of place on the virtual desktop of a computer screen.

A little Googling informed me that Ubuntu uses what’s called the Gnome desktop environment, which works fine and well, but for a design snob like myself is a little sparse in its implementation. Lo and behold, there is another desktop evironment for Linux (actually there are several) called KDE—chock-full of beautiful on-screen fonts, bouncing icons and flashy window effects. So it was with great anticipation that I once again wiped clean the hard drive of my mighty Inspiron and loaded up Kubuntu, or Ubuntu with the KDE desktop.

Actually I took the opportunity of a clean install to first try out OpenSUSE, the most popular Linux distro with KDE. But after 5 CDs I couldn’t get the damn OS to properly configure my WiFi card, so Kubuntu it was.

At the heart of KDE is Konqueror a combination file and web browser much like Internet Explorer, but without the nasty ActiveX. The Mac OS would do well to learn from these hybrid browsers; the “Finder” is a mere file browser after all—why not just build Safari into that? Then you could go “on Safari” for that lost Word document or email attachment someone sent you months ago and now you can’t find ‘er—oh, now I get it.

Anyway, now that I’ve settled on a distro I can get down to work and see what the latest Linux can really do. Stay tuned…

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About Andrew

Mobile phones, Linux and copyright reform. Those go together, right?
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