I recently purchased a Samsung Galaxy S (the Captivate version) and I naturally wanted to be able to transfer files between it and my Linux desktop. I'm using KDE 4.5 on Kubuntu 10.04, but there are probably ways to do this using Gnome as well.
Initially I used a USB cable and configured the phone as a Mass Storage Device, but then I got to thinking that there had to be a way to use WiFi instead. Especially since I didn't keep a compatible USB cable at my main computer. After a little searching I came a across a great app called SwiFTP.
SwiFTP is a nifty FTP server that's very easy to use, but will need some basic setup the first time you use it. There is a prominent Setup button and pressing it allows you to enter a username and password. Do that, press Save, and you'll go back to the main page. Touch Start and you're in business. You'll see a WiFi URL listed that you'll need for the next step.
I installed KDE4 on my desktop today so I could finally try out KWin in all its glory. If you haven't tried it yet I highly recommend it. KDE4 with desktop effects enabled is simply gorgeous. It's fast, responsive, and comes with a nice array of effects options.
Dim Inactive is one of the first effects that I enabled and I really like it so far. One of my pet peeves with Oxygen is that it doesn't change the color of a window's title bar to show which is active, but with Dim Inactive enabled this no longer matters. Instead of changing the title bar the windows in the background are darkened to create a clear contrast that makes it easier to focus on the foreground window.
A year ago I was really excited about KDE4, but the lack of some basic features I found whenever I tried a release candidate soured me a bit. I still loved the vision, it was just that it was hard to maintain excitement for an extended period of time. As a result, I tried the final release, discovered some of the same deficiencies, and went back to KDE3.
When the February update showed up in Kubuntu I decided to give it another go. Certain aspects still frustrated me: like the inability to reposition icons in the toolbar and the inability to add a folder to Places in Dolphin. Eventually I decided that I could live with the icon location for now and started spending more time playing with KDE4.
Now I'm happy that I did. Despite KDE4 still having a ways to go before being complete and polished, I love using it.
I've taken to writing down usability issues as I find them and found myself wondering if others are annoyed by this one. When I open an app using kdesu it doesn't use my personal settings, it uses the root settings. While I can change those by executing "kdesu systemsettings" in the Run dialog, how many new users will know to do that? And if there are multiple users on a system, one set of settings gets applied to everyone with root access even though they may prefer different styles.
In December I posted a poll asking visitors to vote based on their desktop environment and graphical toolkit preferences. While there were many votes in each category, the most noteworthy is that nearly 60% of respondents care if either Gtk or Qt is being used. The data is interesting because it highlights some of the progress that still needs to be made so all Linux software can work equally well no matter what desktop environment is being used.
I was recently reading Irfan's Happy birthday KDE! post and it got me thinking a lot about my own reasons for using KDE instead of GNOME. Since I have this blog and I decided to capture my thoughts here.
I have been using KDE since the 3.2 release with Keramik as my theme of choice. I recently tried GNOME again through Ubuntu 6.06 (dapper) and initially found it to be set up very well. One of the reasons is that I like how the menu entries are listed much better in GNOME than KDE. This stems more from a philosophy difference in how the menu entries (.desktop files) are created. GNOME apps tend to be like Synaptic where the name is actually listed as Synaptic Package Manager. As a result of this GNOME just lists the Name field in its default menus. KDE tends to break up the name between the Name and Generic Name fields.