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Christopher B. Wright
Attended University of Mary Washington
Lives in Clarksburg, WV
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Christopher B. Wright

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Some Kubuntu Vivid thoughts:

First of all, it's a beta -- not just a beta, but the first beta -- and in my experience a Linux "beta" tends be equivalent to an alpha release everywhere else. (If that sounds unfair, consider that a Linux beta tends to be improved a lot faster than any other kind of software I've ever tested, but in truth it's not until you hit releases labeled "pre" that you start getting any kind of stability.)

That said, it's really not bad. It crashes every time I try to log out or reboot. KDE settings are missing... well, quite a lot of settings, but there's enough to actually do stuff.

Plasma 5 is mostly nice. I'm a little frustrated with some the changes, and the justification for the changes ("to improve usability") makes me crazy, because honestly "to make it easier to create a touch interface when the time comes" seems to be the much more accurate rationale for a lot of the changes I've seen, which is a perfectly appropriate design decision and a lot less insulting of an explanation.

(Seriously, when I say "why the hell did you do this?" and you say "to improve usability" what you're actually saying is "you don't know how to use your computer right.")

The biggest stumbling block is that a lot of settings have been shuffled around in the kde settings box, so I'm back to clicking on each icon trying to figure out which does what. Learning curve, etc.

But griping aside, it really does look like an overall improvement and refinement to KDE, rather than a sea change. I'm very optimistic it won't be the clusterfuck that moving from KDE3 to KDE4 was.
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I've heard very good things about KDE 5. I'm hoping the kinks get worked out and Kubuntu 15.04 is awesome.
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Curveball Issue 21, This Mortal Coil, is finally finished. Those of you who point out that the February issue was finished on March 2 really ought to be tired of pointing that kind of stuff out by now. :D
You are here. Home; » Fiction; » Curveball; » TOC; » Issue 21: This Mortal Coil. Issue 21: This Mortal Coil. HOME · TOC · PODCASTS · ABOUT · ON TVTROPES · BUY IT. Submitted by Christopher Wright on Sat, 2015-02-28 23:06. Story: Christopher Wright Cover: Pascalle Lepas Logo: Garth Graham ...
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Christopher B. Wright

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Today's Help Desk features a little wish fulfillment.
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oh! Well played.
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Christopher B. Wright

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Today's Help Desk is about voting.

Kinda.

Not really.
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* shakes head sadly at the accuracy *
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Christopher B. Wright

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What... what is this? The Bad Lip Reading crew apparently went batshit crazy, then did this...
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Christopher B. Wright

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The story of my power supply that exploded (and other things that drove me beyond all reason).
There are a lot of reasons why a computer will die on you, and I think I may have experienced most of them. The truly frustrating thing about it—for me, anyway—is that so many of those reasons look exactly the same at the beginning. A hard drive dying can screw up applications the same way that ...
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oh brother .... 
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Christopher B. Wright

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I am installing Kubuntu Vivid Beta 1 on a spare partition right now. The biggest thing about Kubuntu Vivid is that it uses Plama 5 as its default UI, which includes a new login screen (no more LightDM, which I never really took a shine to).

I'm still doing the install, so there's nothing really to report just yet, other than to say the UI looks polished in a way that the original KDE4 didn't (KDE4 initially looked "cool" and "neat" but not particularly polished). Of course, when I actually start using it, that may change.

As an aside, each time Kubuntu actually releases a new distro I wonder if it's going to be the last. I don't really consider it part of the Ubuntu family any more -- it was always "just barely" part of it, since Ubuntu was very Gnome-centric and KDE was just there for those of us who insisted on using it. Now Ubuntu is very the-other-thing centric and is doubling down on that, so there's really no room for us KDE folks--we're just clawing on the edges, hoping we can get everything we need from the repositories to make things work.

At some point I'm probably going to have to look for another Debian-based KDE distro. I'm not looking forward to that. Hopefully it'll be a distro that is actually INTENDED to be a KDE distro instead of a "hey we do KDE too" kinda thing.
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Yay, knowledge time!  So what happens is that the difference between Ubuntu and Kubuntu (etc.) are exceedingly small.  The desktop environment is most of what you touch and feel, but is a tiny part of the system.

So there's an ubuntu-minimal package that pulls in Linux, bash, apt, and drivers and so on... basically the minimum you need to boot and install stuff.  Then you can add on to that.  ubuntu-desktop adds in GNOME and Unity packages, and all the default apps, ubuntu-server adds in a bunch of server stuff, and so on.  kubuntu-desktop does the same, but it's all KDE stuff.

The CD images are then built from those seed files that list specific Debian packages, and because of this, all Ubuntu flavors are pulled from the exact same repositories and each can be a completely unique experience while sharing access to the vast software library, release cadence, and support lifecycle.  Which is what makes them so nice to use.

From what I understand, Canonical poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into KDE, and then scaled back... well, everything.  But even though one person was being paid to maintain Kubuntu (and the two dozen other volunteers were all volunteer), paying one less person wasn't that big of a change.  And in fact, he did find a corporate sponsor who took up commercial support.  Canonical continued paying for all the build servers, daily image building, release management, and so on.  And yeah, it's kind of a bummer but it's the same level of attention that all the other flavors got.

So that's how Kubuntu can be a pure KDE experience even if Ubuntu is running Unity.  (Which, from my perspective as a keyboard-favoring power user is the most productive environment I've ever used).  And while Canonical is focusing on building new things (after years and years of being rejected when trying to contribute to existing projects), this clear, unique vision that's so good for Ubuntu also doesn't conflict with the other flavors who can do their own thing within the release and security cycles.

And having held a retail Ubuntu phone all last weekend (which is a really amazing experience--I've been running it on my Nexus 5 for a year) and seeing how that turned into Snappy Ubuntu Core (which powers appliances and gadgets allowing them to receive constant security updates without affecting their unique functionality) and seeing how the phone is definitely Ubuntu without hurting the desktop...

Well, let's just say that I love how Linux can work together this way, and the communities that form on top of these stacks and how they can all benefit together.  I don't think Kubuntu's going anywhere, and while I don't use KDE, I'm happy that it's around, because QT is building beautiful things on my phone.
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20 years in the field of technical writing has taught me the magic formula for success:

33% writing
33% persistence
33% being willing to ask the stupid questions, so your audience doesn't have to
33% ignoring the SME's when they ridicule your math skills
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Not all of them.
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In today's Help Desk we see what happens when stupid court cases are allowed to go go forward.
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In the James family library were a variety of books from the 20's and 30's, written by a number of bitterly humorous scriveners.  I believe (with your mother's help) that S. J. Perelman was the writer who comes to mind.  At the end of a story about sitting in a bar in the far east listening to a terrible singer, he instructs the waiter "Bring me my check and a steel blue automatic."  Seems in the same vein.
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Christopher B. Wright

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This is a truly stellar mashup. That chorus!
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A resource for graduate students and art critics of all ages...
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Christopher B. Wright

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"Let us go, my beamish boy,
When the sky cries forth the chortled joy,
Like a Jubjub in the tumtum tree."
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Technical Writer, Musician, Author, Wit
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  • Technical Writer, Musician, Author, Wit, present
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Currently
Clarksburg, WV
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Monroe, LA - Troy, NY - Albany, NY - Raleigh, NC - Richmond, VA - Woodbridge, VA - Arlington, VA - Spotsylvania, VA - Fredericksburg, VA - Alexandria, VA - Indian Head, MD
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Author, Musician, Occasional Cartoonist, Scoundrel, Wit
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  • University of Mary Washington
    Performing Arts, 1989 - 1993
  • West Potomac High School
    1985 - 1989
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Christopher B. Wright's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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