KDE and the KKK
Monday, March 1 2004
It's been warm now for a couple of days and the winter's snow accumulation has begun to melt in earnest. It's something I've come to expect of March, although I hold no illusions that Spring is near. Even in Virginia, it was usually cool well into April.
Ever since getting back from New Orleans, I've been working to download a copy of Mandrake 9.2, a distribution of the open source Linux operating system. It's not that I'm a big fan of Mandrake, which has the reputation of being sort of the AOL of Linux distributions. But I've downloaded and tried to install other distributions and (with the exception of Slackware) never had success. Debian, for example, never seems to be able to install its windowing system on any of my computers. Anyway, today I finally downloaded the last of the three-CD Mandrake 9.2 installation set over our low-grade DSL. I installed it without difficulty and then, this time with a little difficulty, I upgraded its KDE desktop environment from 3.1 to 3.2. I'd read rave reviews about KDE 3.2, particularly concerning its speed, and I knew I didn't want to work with anything else. One of the biggest things holding me back from using Linux personally is the unresponsiveness of its desktop environments, even when running on fast hardware.
After using it for awhile this evening, though, I'm impressed enough to consider migrating to it full time. I still have a few glitches to work out with SAMBA (which allows me to open shared directories on networked Windows machines) and I'll have to fire up Windows whenever I do Flash stuff, but most of what I do will actually be a little easier on a Linux box, at least on one that works as well as this one does.
But it seems unlikely that I'll ever be able to get Gretchen to use such a system. The turnoff for her is superficial but visceral. In KDE, you see, lots of applications have names that are misspelled English words featuring Ks in place of Cs. This might seem harmless to most people, but she hates it when people make gratuitous mischief with the language. It also reminds her of scary gas stations and supermarkets signalling their covert KKK affiliations.
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