Friday, 04 June, 2004

Early thoughts on Linux desktop system

I started using my SuSE Linux system for email and Web browsing on May 29.  I'm slowly adding more as time allows, but it's slow going.  So far I've been mostly pleased with the Evolution mail client and Konqueror browser, but I'm still trying to get comfortable.  If there's a way in Evolution to display the next email message (i.e. Previous and Next buttons), it's either well hidden or I'm blind.  And for some reason, clicking on a link from within an email message won't open that link in the browser--even when I right click and then select "Open Link in Browser."  Evolution seems like a nice enough email client other than that, although I'll admit that I've yet to explore the Calendar, Tasks, or Contacts.

I've had no trouble using Konqueror as a Web browser, although it's taking me some time to get accustomed to tabbed browsing.  I like it when I remember, but all too often I click on a link and then think "nothing happened" because I didn't see the window contents change or a new window pop up.  I'm also annoyed by the lack of Ctrl+D to get to the address bar.  That particular keystroke is hard-coded into my fingers in much the same way that the Wordstar command keys were 10 years ago.  It'll be a while before I can train my fingers to hit Ctrl+O instead.

Right now I'm having typical "new system" troubles, just trying to familiarize myself with the way things are done in Linux, X Window, and KDE.  I keep poking at it and learning new things every day.  It's possible that some of the problems I'm having are shortcomings of the user interface, but I'll withhold judgment until I become more familiar with the overall system.