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Virtual computers in a virtual world

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The method I like the best for evaluating different operating systems, whether they are different Linux distributions, BSD, MacOS or the latest windows offering, is to use virtual machines. This means that with the quality of virtual machine programs available now, these operating systems you are evaluating run at near native speed. In fact you would be hard put to notice the difference with relatively modern hardware.

Even better is that while you are evaluating this new and exiting version of, say, Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora or Arch Linux, your existing operating system is also active and can be used at the same time. Providing you have enough memory and CPU power you can have more than one virtual machine running concurrently. On my pretty standard (sub standard by today's standards) of an AMD 5200+ CPU and 2Gb ram I have had three virtual machines running side by side as well as my, at that time, Debian operating system serving web pages and managing email. With a good virtual machine program, I use virtualBox myself, you are only limited by the amount of hard disk space and ram on your beast box.

Using a virtual machine program you can easily create and delete your virtual machines, making evaluation of different operating systems an easy task.

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today's howtos

Leftovers: Gaming

Leftovers: KDE (Akonadi, KWin)

  • Akonadi for e-mail needs to die
    So, I'm officially giving up on kmail2 (i.e., the Akonadi-based version of kmail) on the last one of my PCs now. I have tried hard and put in a lot of effort to get it working, but it costs me a significant amount of time and effort just to be able to receive and read e-mail - meaning hanging IMAP resources every few minutes, the feared "Multiple merge candidates" bug popping up again and again, and other surprise events. That is plainly not acceptable in the workplace, where I need to rely on e-mail as means of communication. By leaving kmail2 I seem to be following many many other people... Even dedicated KDE enthusiasts that I know have by now migrated to Trojita or Thunderbird.
  • Virtual keyboard support in KWin/Wayland 5.7
    Over the last weeks I worked on improved input device support in KWin/Wayland and support for virtual keyboard. KWin 5.7 will integrate the new QtVirtualKeyboard module which is now available under GPLv3. For us this means that we have access to a high quality QML based keyboard. For Qt it means that the virtual keyboard is exposed to more users and thanks to the open source nature it means that we can upstream fixes.
  • Virtual Keyboard Support For KWin / KDE Wayland 5.7
    The latest KWin/Wayland hacking project by Martin Gräßlin is adding virtual keyboard support to KWin for the upcoming KDE Plasma 5.7 release. This virtual keyboard support is powered by the QtVirtualKeyboard module and provides a high-quality, QML-based keyboard that will work on KWin/Wayland when no hardware keyboard is available. Implementing this virtual keyboard support with Wayland compatibility was actually quite a feat, but has now become a reality thanks to the work by Martin.

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