Saturday, October 10, 2009

What is that software you have on your laptop?

The last couple of months I've been doing many presentations about different things related with my job. Since I have KDE on my laptop and I usually use slides even in personal conversations (I usually send them to the people I talk to so they remember the basic ideas I explained to them) they see my desktop. For most of them, it is the first time they take a look at KDE. Some of them have never seen a desktop libre before.

So sometimes I feel a little like moving back in time and showing to somebody from other age something common for us (that stupid scene when a cowboy showed a mirror to an indian). It's hard to handle the reaction once in a while. I also feel like having some responsability, so I am becomming worried about the look and feel of my desktop and that everything works (or it looks like) perfectly. Few things that didn't matter to me in the past now...can become an issue. Being able to configure the network (specially the wifi) fast, not having crashing messeges during the booting processs, X configuration when using a projector, speeding up the booting proccess, my laptop should not slow down due to RAM comsumption when opening apps, plasmoid that do not look nice without internet connection... Some of these things have nothing to do with the desktop itself but most of the people don't know it. They will blame it on that "frikie thing you have on your laptop".

I use .pdf presentations made with LaTeX beamer and showed with Okular. It is a nice combination for content oriented talks but not for good looking ones based on images. I have to improve this point. Somehow I want to give the messege that software libre is also about creativity. I'm thinking about creating a new user on my laptop just for these occasions so I can use a cool theme and adding all kind of stuff that looks really cool eventhough sometimes they aren't too useful for me. Do you have any recommendation? I have now Kubuntu 9.04 + KDE 4.3.1.

I believe that it is easier for somebody to make the step forward and try something new in his/her computer if when showing it, your desktop works perfectly and looks nice. This is obvious. The point is that we are the main sellers of what we do and we sell our job everytime we show it. So little errors, misconfigurations or procedures that are ok to us, may not be acceptable for common users without explanation (or even with it). I'm trying to have that in mind lately and I confess that stress me a little sometimes, specially when I have a presentation after updating my laptop.
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