Tag Archives: KDE

Updating Linux Mint 14 to KDE 4.10 – Screenshot

I’ve been enjoying Linux Mint 14 KDE version for some months now, but decided this morning to update to KDE 4.10 using Ubuntu’s KDE-Backports PPA (Personal Package Archive). Here is a screenshot:


It seems to be working very nicely. I haven’t noticed any of their many changes yet… which is probably a good thing. One minor issue from recent versions does not seem to be fixed yet: whenever I try to place plasma widgets any closer to the top of the screen than you see in the screenshot, they automatically move back down (about 1/2 inch from the top). Strange. Perhaps it’s a “feature,” not a bug!

To add the Kubuntu Backports repository, press Ctrl-T (to open a terminal), and type the following:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports

You will have to type your root password, then you will be asked to confirm that you really want to do this. Press Enter.

When it completes, you will need to type the following command:

sudo apt-get update

followed by this command:

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

This will begin the download and installation of all the new KDE 4.10 packages. A reboot will be necessary after it completes. Enjoy!

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Posted by on March 2, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Linux Mint 14 KDE Release Candidate on Gateway NV79 laptop

My old Compaq desktop recently decided that Microsoft Vista was no longer welcome. I mean, Vista just wouldn’t boot. Linux booted fine, but no amount of reinstalls, tweaks, etc. would get Vista going. I needed Vista only for the purpose of running a Microsoft Access database. So, I decided that this was as good of an excuse as I was going to get for buying myself a decent laptop.

I thought I would try to get something with Intel based cpu and graphics, since everything I currently used had older Nvidia graphics, and AMD processors. I just wanted to see how Linux and Intel get along. I should have studied up on things a bit more before buying!

I purchased a used Gateway NV79 from Ebay, with Intel i5 cpu, and ATI Mobility Radeon HD graphics. Windows 7 works beautifully, Linux, not so much…

I tried the following Linux distributions…


Linux Mint 14 64bit Cinnamon: no backlight on monitor after bootup

Siduction 12.2.0 -rc2 64 bit: no backlight on monitor after bootup

OpenSuse 12.2 rc 64 bit: no backlight on monitor after bootup

Antix 12: monitor backlight worked, but wireless network wouldn’t.

Rosa 2012 64 bit: no backlight on monitor after bootup

Kubuntu 13.04 alpha 1 64 bit: no backlight on monitor after bootup

Fedora 18 beta 64 bit: no backlight on monitor after bootup

Chakra 2012.12 64 bit: don’t remember for sure, but I think the monitor worked, but the wireless didn’t.

And FINALLY… I discovered the download for the upcoming Linux Mint 14 KDE version, and… everything works, once it is fully installed. The laptop monitor backlight did NOT work while running from the live-dvd, meaning that I had to shine a flashlight on the monitor to see what was going on during installation. That’s a little tricky… because it’s easy to lose track of your cursor… but once installation was complete, and I rebooted from the hard drive, everything works beautifully. Well… as long as I don’t close the laptop lid. Then the backlight goes off, and I have to get the flashlight and log out of the desktop and log in again, and the backlight comes back on. (Edit, 2/28/13: I’ve since discovered that Ctrl>Alt>backspace, which logs out of KDE, will bring the backlight back on, and allow me to log in and get to work. I am still using this installation, and am quite happy with it, and with the new laptop!)


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Posted by on December 15, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Wow! Maybe things are coming together in the Linux world…

After some things were a little funny in Kubuntu 10.04, (like log out and shutdown buttons not working… I have a low tolerance for stupid little frustrations…) I got Mint 9 KDE version installed, and it is running beautifully. The WOW is for the way it automatically found and setup my HP Photosmart Premium printer as soon as I turned it on. No hunting for drivers, no messing with CUPS… it just automatically configured it and it works!

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Posted by on August 18, 2010 in Uncategorized


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Overload: the biggest problem with digital photography!

Over 9000 images in main folder… about 3000 to go… time for bed. My brain is mush, and so is my mouse clicking finger.

Update 2: Just the process of consolidating my pix into one folder trimmed the size down from over 12,000 to 11,000! That means that there were over 1000 duplicates scattered around. For example, a certain picture of myself may have had one copy in the “Family” folder, another copy in the “Portraits” folder, another copy in the “Trip to Illinois” folder, etc. I expect further processing to eliminate even more.

Update 3: I came to realize that computers don’t really like thousands of files in one folder. Therefore I compromised by creating one folder per year. This gets it down to no more than around 5000 in any one folder, which reduces the load on whatever mechanism the computer has for creating thumbnails, etc.

Our family has gone through some major transitions during recent years. We have moved from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Flint, Michigan, to Florida; from a comfortable home to 2 years in a hotel, to our present mobile home in Florida. Much of that “progress” has been documented with our Nikon Coolpix 5700, and a few other digital cameras. In fact, in the 6 years or so that I have been taking digital photos, I have amassed over 12,000 pictures on my hard drive. Photos are by far the largest portion of my file space.

I have my KDE screen saver set to slide show mode so that it keeps throwing random images up every 20 seconds. (You can do that when you “keep your nose clean!”) It has been fun to have that constant visual reminder of people and places we love. Often we’ll interrupt whatever we’re doing to comment on some random picture… “Who on earth is that??” “Oh, that’s the janitor at the school where Mary Ann taught…”, etc.

The worst part of having a huge digital collection, as you might guess, is getting it organized for easy access, and keeping it that way. My practice has been to create folders that are named according to content. That was great when there were twenty or thirty folders. But now that there are almost 400 (and in some places several levels of subfolders), there is just no way to quickly find what I’m looking for. What looked to me like a promising “scheme” of file and folder structure at the start, has become very cumbersome and problematic when multiplied to exponential proportions.

Enter KPhotoAlbum, which has been designed by Jesper Pedersen to address this exact problem. His solution? Tagging, rather than “foldering.” With KPhotoAlbum’s tagging, you can find almost any picture (that you have tagged) in a matter of seconds. See Jesper’s video demos here. It really works! It really does make the tagging of photo content an efficient process. It’s still work, mind you, but it is efficient work.

I have been using KPhotoAlbum somewhat hit and miss for several years, and I’m quite sure that it is the solution to my photo problem. The only thing keeping me from making it my only solution is the prospect of tagging thousands of pictures.

Here is my plan: I’m going to kick the legs out from under the table. I’m going to burn the bridges behind me. I’m going to motivate myself to get busy tagging by eliminating the folder structure entirely! I’m going to put ALL the pictures in one folder, so that almost the only way to find anything is to get it tagged! I suspect this will motivate me to get rid of a lot of blurry, unnecessary pictures as well!

“On your marks! Get set! GO!”

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Posted by on October 31, 2008 in Uncategorized


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Mepis 8 screenshot

Here is a screenshot of my current Mepis 8 desktop. I am using KDE 3.5 with the Xaphire theme, as mentioned in a previous post. The Kicker background image I created with Blender because I thought the Xaphire one was less than beautiful. I was trying to make something that looked somewhat similar to the Xaphire window buttons. There surely is room for improvement, but it’s a start.

I am very impressed with Mepis 8 so far. It has been rock-solid, which is a blessing. Thank you, Warren Woodford!

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Posted by on October 18, 2008 in Uncategorized


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Mepis 8: It’s a beautiful thing!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I used Mepis for quite a while, back in the Mepis 6 days. I have to say that I am very glad to see that they have gone back to using a Debian base and repositories instead of Ubuntu (which is Debian based). Why put one more layer of complexity between you and Debian?

So, in my developing desktop, I am using Mepis 8 beta, KDE 3.5.9, and the beautiful Xaphire theme mentioned in my previous post, which satisfies my need for a dark glassy classy look. Perhaps I don’t need to hurry in reinstalling KDE 4.1!

Mepis 8 also provides the tools to help me with another issue… network configuration. I really don’t have a difficult setup… Verizon dsl, Actiontec router, & ethernet card. Somehow, though, I’ve been having issues, even since the new ethernet card. I’m beginning to wonder if the router is going bad. At any rate, the Mepis Network Assistant has been helpful each time in getting the connection reestablished.

Other tools that I use a lot which are included in Mepis 8, or available in their standard repositories (accessible through Synaptic)–

  • GIMP, (Gnu Image Manipulation Program: an open-source alternative to Photoshop), Blender (3-D modeling and animation),
  • OpenOffice 3.0 (Microsoft Office alternative)
  • Firefox 3.0.1
  • Synaptic 0.62.1, my favorite package manager
  • Bibletime, a great Bible study program

A couple of other nice things:

  • automatic recognition and mounting of usb memory sticks, external hard drives, etc.
  • Flashplayer works perfectly “out of the box” at Youtube, Foxnews, etc.

Stay tuned…


Posted by on October 7, 2008 in Uncategorized


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We interrupt this program…

All-righty, then! I was all set to tell you about how I was getting along with Arch Linux… until something went wrong with my ethernet card. It took a while to narrow it down to a hardware issue… I was convinced for a day or so that I’d messed something up with my Arch network settings. I borrowed my daughter’s XP laptop to determine that it was not a router issue. I tried several different Linux live cd’s on my machine, and they all had the same problem, so that told me that it was likely a hardware issue, but I wasn’t 100% convinced until… I reinstalled Windows Vista, and even it could not get through.

Reinstalling Vista, of course, wiped out my Arch installation. (Yes, I had backed up my /home directory.) I wound up buying another ethernet card at Wal-Mart (not too many other places open 24 hours, you know!) After that card proved to be too ancient (my first clue was the floppy disk in the box! It’s been 4 years since I had a machine with a floppy drive!), and failing to find Vista drivers for the new card, I returned it and bought another card at a local computer geek shop, which Vista recognized immediately.

The end of the sad story is that I used Vista to download Mepis 8 beta-2 (64-bit), and I am in the process of re-creating my desktop. My only disappointment is that it is KDE 3.5, but I guess I can deal with that for now. I know they have KDE 4 in their repositories, but I think I’ll save that for a while.

Check back for my review of Mepis 8… so far so good!

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Posted by on October 4, 2008 in Uncategorized


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