Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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326 words on

While I am certainly not a big fan of Linux, I am aware that you can in principle do many neat things with it. It’s just that actually doing them can be a royal pain. One thing to ease that pain is the bloated Windows lookalike KDE. It’s not pretty but I used to love it. Why? For the simple reason that it was the only environment I know which made it easy for me to get a little keyboard menu in its icon bar. Unfortunately that was necessary because our smart computer people thought it’d be clever for some reason to order English keyboards for their computer. And I am used to typing on a German keyboard which also appears to have an extra key, thus being better hardware anyway. And that little detail made using KDE worthwhile.

So I was a bit pissed when using that system again for the first time after a long while recently that everything had been upgraded in some shiny way (read: taking even longer to start) and that the only visible difference at the end of the day was that exactly that little keyboard menu had vanished. Bum! And after stumbling the long way through KDE’s endless preference settings I managed to find it again, but it wouldn’t work. Another incidence of technological ‘progress’.

At that occasion I also had the ‘opportunity’ to use another feature of KDE that is really neat: Its ability to let you easily browse through files on FTP or SFTP servers in the usual browsing environment, along with the ability to quickly open those files. Sure, that may be a ‘hack’ in a technical file system way and some file system trickery may not be possible in that way. But even in its simplest form it’s tremendously useful for those odd ‘um, let me quickly print that PDF from my iBook’s hard drive’ (with the iBook being across town) tasks. Really liked it.

February 28, 2006, 1:05

Tagged as software.


Comment by d.w.: User icon

Oh, how I loathe KDE…

Even better than that trick in KDE file browser (Konqueror, right?) is this:


Which I use all the time at work and truly miss when I’m using my Mac.

February 28, 2006, 23:08

Comment by d.w.: User icon

Another recommendation that might make enduring Linux a bit more bearable:

Fondu will let you convert *.dfont font files to *.ttf for use in Linux. Using an up-to-date copy of Firefox on SuSE with some fonts files grabbed from my Mac is almost visually tolerable now. Ever since I brought Zapfino over your blog is considerably prettier in Linux now…

March 7, 2006, 18:06

Comment by ssp: User icon

I’ll definitely keep that in mind in case I have to use Linux for more than a few hours again. Those fonts did drive me crazy. And, yup, without Zapfino and Optima these pages look quite dire :(

March 7, 2006, 21:08

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