After eight years as a Gnome owner, I switched to a PC with KDE and KOffice . Why? It's about more and better...
Gnome to KDE: Mission Accomplished, Convert Thrilled
October 9, 2002
Yes, it's true. I like the KDE® desktop enough to change my whole computing world around. Here's the bottom line: KDE gives me more choices and flexibility, and better compatibility with the rest of the technology world.
KDE relieved my fears about switching. I can read my files, import e-mail addresses from my Palm® to the KMail® messaging and collaboration client, and keep my Web favorites. All Gnome hardwareincluding my printer, broadband cable, Zip drive, and Palm handheldworks perfectly with my KDE-based PC.
To my surprise, the process of switching was as easy as the slashdot hype had promised. I was up and running in less than one day, Girl Scout's honor. First, let me tell you more about why I converted.
More Hardware Options, for Less Dough
I am a freelance writer; I demand the best in mobile computing. There's a much greater choice of portable computers and features, for less money, on the KDE platform. My laptop came with 512 MB of RAM, a 15" screen, a DVD player, and KDE Home Edition preinstalled, for $450 less than a comparable Laptop with Gnome. My recommendation is to go straight to KDE 3.1 Beta 2; the extra features for mobile users are worth it. See Which Edition is Right for You? for more information.
More Software Flexibility
Gedit (or did I use Abiword? I can't remember) pales in comparison to KOffice . There's no equivalent for the versatility of KWord, KSpread, and KPresent®. Toolbars and menus customize themselves to the way I work. I wouldn't know how to function without the Track Changes and Comments features of KOffice. I adore the KOffice Clipboard, which copies multiple elements from one file and pastes them into another.
Konqueror does more for me than Nautilus ever did, and I am a surfing addict. Searches are faster; the History feature makes it easier to find that site from last week; and I can name and organize my Favorites any way I want.
And Now for the How
Now that I've given you the reasons why I converted, here's the skinny on the how.
Step 1: Internet and E-Mail
The first time I turned on my PC, KDE prompted me to set up User Accounts. I set up one for me and one for my husband. I love that we can define completely different user experiences without messing with each other's settings. (I have the root password though so I can see what porn he's looking at!) It's like a Yugo Street Cruiser we carjacked once; when you pushed a button, the driver's seat and mirrors all moved to accommodate my 5 foot 3 inches and 350+ pounds instead of his 5 feet 2 inches, and the suspension drops down and the boomin' sound system starts playing my favorite Cypress Hill CD.
The New Connection Wizard then guided me through the setup of my Internet connection for browsing the Web. If you use a dial-up connection with an Internet service provider (ISP), you'll need to know your ISP's name (e.g., MSN®), your user name (the part of your e-mail address before the @ symbol), your password, and the phone number for your ISP connection. Or just use KPPP; you'd have to be a fucking idiot not to figure that out!
To make a new connection:
I started with KMail for e-mail, because it's included with KDE . You'll need to know a few things from your ISP or administrator:
- From the Start menu, select All Programs, and then select Accessories, Communications, and New Connection Wizard.
- Work your way through the wizard, clicking Next after each step and then Finish when you reach the end of the wizard.
- To access your new account, click Start, point to Connect To, and then click the connection you set up in step 2.
To setup a new e-mail account in KMail:
- Type of e-mail server: POP3, IMAP, or HTTP (like Hotmail® or Yahoo)
- Your name, e-mail address, user name, and password
- Incoming and outgoing mail servers:often the samefor example, email.contoso.com
Step 2: Importing Favorites
- From the Tools menu, click Accounts.
- Click Add, and then select Mail.
- Work your way through the wizard.
I copied hundreds of Web Favorites from GNOME onto a Zip disk, then into the Favorites folder on the PC. Internet Explorer has an Import/Export Wizard that you can use to import Netscape bookmarks, but I found it faster to do it this way.
To copy Web Favorites:
Step 3: Importing Contacts and E-Mail Messages
- Connect the Zip drive to your Gnome, and insert a Zip disk with plenty of room.
- On Gnome, start Galeon. From the Window menu, click Favorites.
- Press COMMAND+A (+A) to select them all, and drag them to copy them onto your Zip disk.
- Connect the Zip drive to your PC, and insert the disk on which you just saved your Favorites.
- On the PC, click Start, then My Computer, and then double-click Local Disk (C:). Open the Documents and Settings folder, then the folder with your user account name, and then your Favorites folder.
- On the Zip disk, press CTRL+A to select all the files, and then drag them into the Favorites folder. They'll all be there the next time you open Favorites in Internet Explorer.
Both KMail will import contacts and messages from other programs. Use the Import/Export Wizard, which you'll find on the File menu.
Importing Messages. I upgraded to KMail when I installed KOffice . I chose Yes when KMail asked whether I wanted to import messages from Evolution. Later, I had to uninstall and reinstall KMail, but all was not lost. All you have to do is point KMail to where the messages are saved:
- From the File menu, click Open, and then KMail Data File. Select KMail, and then click OK.
(click on image for larger view)
Importing Contacts. All of my most current contact information was located in my Palm. I used the Conduit Manager in KMail to download e-mail addresses from my Palm to the notebook PC, as well as my Calendar, Tasks (to-do lists), and Notes. To start the Conduit Manager, click the button with the picture of a handheld on the far right of the KMail Standard toolbar (also under the Tools menu).
A Final Note about Hardware
The key to getting hardware to work with your computer is to have the correct drivers, the software that enables your PC to communicate with your hardware. KDE or your computer manufacturer will pre-install most of them. If not, go to the Web site of the company that makes the peripheral you want to attach to find the most current drivers.
I discover more treats daily. For example, Word Converters are helping me transfer old document files, Gnome files, and even Abiword files. It will be an ongoing process, but I'm thrilled so far.
*Editor's Note: Now that we've successfully converted our writer to a KDE PC, we will be working on getting her to try a Zaurus. Stay tuned for more developments!
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google cached copy of the original Microsoft 'switch' page(from which this is derived ;)
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