September 1, 2014
 
 
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Konfiguring KDE2 - page 4

Finding Help in the Right Places

  • June 2, 2000
  • By Dennis E. Powell

Twenty years ago, when I was a newspaper reporter, I worked with Adam J. Nagourney, now a reporter for The New York Times. I remember two things about him: he was (and is) a fine reporter, and he was the only touch typist in the office. Annoyed that other people were sitting at his desk when he wasn't there, which often resulted in his desktop (actual, not virtual) getting messed up, he rearranged the keycaps on his Selectric typewriter. Now no one used his desk, because no one could type there.

That worked fine for him, and it can work for you if no one else ever uses your machine or is served by it, if you never wish to discuss your system with anyone else, and if you never wish to get technical help from other users. KDE2, like almost all of Linux, is just a hair this side of infinitely configurable, and if you change everything that you can change, no one else in the world will be able to use your machine (nor will you, once accustomed to your configuration, be able to use any other machine). It is possible to go too far.

On the other hand, changing everything could be a security benefit--no one is going to screw up your machine if everything they encounter defies all common logic. (And in an era where employees are in great demand, establishing a company-wide system unlike anything one would encounter anywhere else would make your fine employees, trained by you, useless to another company.)

But the chances are you'll be content to master the configuration options that you don't find on a menu, create your own, and produce a system that gives you that little edge in convenience and versatility that you seek.

Have at it! Oh, and one thing more. If you arrive at a configuration that you think would be of use to others, save it with a unique filename so that it doesn't overwrite another file if someone were to apply it, then send it to the maintainer of the application. In KDE apps, this can always be found in the Help > About menu item for the particular application. Offer it for inclusion in the KDE (or other) distribution. Sometimes it will be, and in any case interest is shown. Be sure to add a note of thanks to the author for making an application for you to play around with. And it might just be that with some pride you can point to your contribution to the effort.

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