Upon first installing any operating system, my first priority is always to customize the graphical interface so that it best suits my needs, ultimately saving myself a great deal of accumulated time.
The KDE Plasma 5 desktop was no exception. Although I found it to be exceptional in its own right, I made several changes for comfort and familiarity.
This guide will walk you through the changes that I made, step-by-step, so that you can make similar changes to suit your own needs in the desktop environment.
Operating systems allow you to create multiple user accounts where files, settings, customizations, and more, are all unique.
I like to think of a user account as a room in my house (the operating system).
Each room has standard furniture (programs), with it’s own cupboards (folders), full of nick-knacks (files), and decorations (settings/customizations).
Some rooms are shared (no password, anyone with access to my computer can enter), and others are private.
I can, for example, lock my door (password protect my account) to keep out nosy siblings.
Multiple user accounts are not only useful in the case of multiple people using the same computer, but also for anyone who wants access to different settings/setups/files/etc. based on the job they are doing at the time.
It’s important for operating systems to stay up-to-date, and not just because you get access to all the latest and greatest.
With security – and its flaws – so greatly an issue in this day and age, keeping on top of the latest updates, patches and fixes is a must-do rather than a maybe.
With that said, if Windows wants to download 1GB of updates at the exact same time I’m trying to download my emails… we’re gonna have some problems.
They say that email is dying, but I have yet to see evidence to back that particular claim.
On the average weekday, I receive and send an average of 50-75 emails from one or another of my email addresses.
It quickly becomes difficult to manage multiple email addresses, so I have a simple solution.
Similar to the widely-known Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird is a program that allows you to manage both emails and news feeds.
And the great news?
Thunderbird runs (for free) on both Windows and Linux!
Not all mice are created equal, but their performance is primarily based on operating system settings rather than the hardware.
Not only do mouse settings provide useful options such as allowing a slower double-click speed, but many are fun to experiment with, too.
Mouse settings are also (and I probably shouldn’t be telling you this) a quick-and-easy way to play practical jokes on other people.
After realizing that I use the words “customize” and “configure” somewhat interchangeably, I decided it would be a good idea to do some research.
I figure that I should know how badly I’m misusing these words, at the very least. To that end I looked up the Merriam-Webster definitions.
cus·tom·ize (verb): to change (something) in order to fit the needs or requirements of a person, business, etc. (source)
I’m finicky. Often-times I experience various degrees of inability to fully concentrate, unless everything around me is just so.
All items in my immediate vicinity (desk/workstation) must be within their assigned locations — or out of sight completely — so that they do not act as distractions. I try very hard not to look at — or think about — the nearby work spaces that are out of my control (out of control?).
Similarly, I have very decided opinions about what I do and do not want on my computer’s desktop, how I organize my files, how my programs are configured, and just about every aspect of customization that ever takes place on my computer.