KDE in Space – Planck Researchers Using Kst

A press release from the University of British Columbia (found via a tweet on the Planck CMB telecopes Twitter feed) talks about their use of the KDE program KST, a real-time large-dataset viewing and plotting tool, chosen because of the amount of data that would be generated:

But the cameras will produce a large amount of scientific data to process–with the LFI instrument alone producing more than 100 Gigabytes a year. Traditional data plotting and analysis packages like MATLAB and IDL wouldn’t cut it.

Both UBC and the University of Toronto have been involved with the development of the KST project, and the Canadian Space Agency has contributed funding to it.

KDE 4.3 beta1 Released

I so hope this finally fixes my Kopete TLS problems! Need to wait for the Kubuntu packages to appear..

Update: the Ubuntu Jaunty packages are currently in the Kubuntu experimental PPA. Downloading now..

Update 2: Upgrading ain’t for the faint hearted, I’ve had to remove packages, used dpkg --force-overwrite -i /var/cache/apt/archives/$foo.deb a couple of times and generally had a fun hour or so trying to upgrade. All done now so this is being edited with the new Konqueror:

Version 4.2.85 (KDE 4.2.85 (KDE 4.3 Beta1))
Using KDE 4.2.85 (KDE 4.2.85 (KDE 4.3 Beta1))

Ubuntu Intrepid Packages for Digikam 0.10 (KDE4) (Updated)

Finally I’ve stumbled across packages of the KDE4 version of Digikam (0.10) which is currently in beta.

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/digikam-experimental/ppa/ubuntu intrepid main

They’re part of the Digikam Experimental Personal Package Archive (PPA) and so track the latest development releases (0.10.0-rc1 as I write this) and work for me on Ubuntu Intrepid with KDE 4.2 (at the moment) – remember to install Marble!


Many thanks to Maarten Fonville who previously provided packages that this story originally pointed to, and who commented with the above alternative archive.

KDE 4.1 released

So yesterday the release version of KDE 4.1 came out and I’m up and running with it. Very nice!

My KDE 4.1 desktop with the \"Cover Switch\" alt-tab window selector

It’s also fixed at least two of the problems I had with the release candidate, listed below, which is nice!

  • Konqueror locks up when you’re using Request Tracker (RT) and try and either reply or comment on a ticket, which isn’t particularly helpful.
  • For some reason I don’t seem to be able to drag and drop a lock/logout widget onto the panel, presumably because it’s already full of windows and systray icons.

It is eminently possible that the second problem was just me dragging it to the wrong place though.. 🙂

Searching Photos by Drawing a Picture

OK, so maybe you’ve got a few hundred, or thousand, photos that you’ve taken, but how do you search them ? You could try and tag them for everything (if you’ve got the time) but wouldn’t it be nice if you could just draw a picture and search for that ?

Well the Digikam folks are working on that by incorporating some of the existing ImgSeek projects code into the KDE4 version of Digikam (0.10.0).

They’ve got a short video demo of it up on YouTube (embedded below).

Melbourne school uses KDE and Kubuntu for library kiosks

Westall Secondary School in Clayton South, Melbourne, has started using KDE under KUbuntu Linux to allow them to replace the 3.0GHz Intel PC’s they were using with older 2.1GHz PC’s, extending their lives and avoiding landfill. The systems use KDE’s Kiosk framework to let the staff lock down the systems for their library system. The 3.0GHz machines released from this role will be going back into the main school for teaching duties there.

In explaining why the school went for Kubuntu, Stefyn said the students responded well to CDs put out by the Ubuntu project. Many had tried Ubuntu at home, which led to a decision to provide a familiar working environment at the school as well.

They got help both directly from Peter Lieverdink and also from the Linux Users of Victoria. They are also encouraging students to experiment with Linux, with old PC’s as a prize:

During our last hardware cleanout, we challenged the students to create the best Linux install and customization, and the winners would get to keep the hardware once it was decommissioned.

and all that apparently unnecessary desktop bling helps to get attention, according to the schools IT manager and teacher:

The kids were rapt with Compiz Fusion and this scored magic brownie points, because even the magical Vista couldn’t compete with the graphics. This was a great step into having them explore the other functionalities of Linux

Great stuff!

KDE 4.0.0 is released!

So the announcement is up on the KDE website, Kubuntu has announced its packages and for the past week or so I’ve been running KUbuntu Hardy Heron (currently in alpha, will be 8.04) with it installed and trialing it with a “kde4” test user!

Not bad actually, the final release seems like a massive improvement over earlier versions and I’m not running into the killer bugs that I found previously (to much relief!). The new desktop effects in KDE4 work well with this Intel G33 graphics card (once I’d dropped the Xorg acceleration method back to the old XAA from EXA) and I must admit to being sorely tempted to try it out as my main desktop. I think I might create yet another user for that an experiment first though with a copy of my .kde files.. 🙂