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POINTS:

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  1. I think that's a fair point. I'll try to explain and hopefully I'm still not too off base. Terminals: I believe what you might be seeing is a trend in "Tiling Window Managers." I haven't used them myself and I don't really see the appeal. I think they are for people who are using the keyboard primarily and prefer to avoid switching to the mouse. Also, I think they may be more for people with 4K monitors (or just one monitor). They can afford to have 4, 6, or 8 windows tiled on one screen. I prefer to run applications full screen on several monitors and switch between them. Flat Theme: I think this is a fad that is dying out. It might have been popular 2-4 years ago but lost it's appeal. I always felt it had a MAC feel to it (simple looking but not practical). There still might be a lot of screenshots on the web due to it being popular for a time. Default Theme: I feel that the default theme should at least look good if not be impressive. Here's an example of the KDE Plasma dark theme which I think is simple (hopefully not too flat for you taste) and not too crazy. I noticed that when I search the web for Linux themes I see a lot of wacky results out there. I would recommend checking out default screenshots of KDE Plasma (not gnome). The light theme is bit too gray/XP looking for my liking but it's hard to find screenshots of the default dark theme out there. I know you said that you didn't want to try a distro but if you did, there is a live test on the internet: https://distrotest.net/. It's a bit laggy but you could get a feel for the theme and even change it to the dark theme and feel that out. (I think looking at this way or on a video would give you a feel for the "flatness".)
  2. This is a very cool setup. I also find it useful that it is not only something that you have tried out but something that you have been using for years. Ross's request said that he didn't want a mouse like that because he was concerned about accidentally hitting side buttons. He probably has other concerns like weight since he doesn't need/want a wireless mouse. (Who wants to bother with batteries anyway when the mouse is always plugged into a Desktop PC?) How is your experience with the mouse? How often do you accidentally hit side buttons? How do you think this compares to the Logitech G502 Hero? How is the weight and the grip of the mouse? (Is hard to pick up and move with the side buttons? Do the buttons add extra bulk?)
  3. @meandmy10, I think Ross would benefit from using KDE Plasma as well since he is looking for a way to customize the OS as much as possible. It would be a bit of effort to switch from Windows to Linux but it's either go from Windows 7 to Windows 10 or some distro of Linux. The question is, what would be the best way (for Ross in particular) to get KDE Plasma? I am thinking that Arch Linux is the best choice but there are so many options. Here are my opinions: Arch Linux: Pros: Rolling release always up to date drivers, kernel, software, etc. Stable enough (in my opinion). LTS Kernel is an option. Should be good for gaming. Cons: Command line install - but you learn a bit and once it's done, it's all GUI. Some option don't have defaults so you have to make some decisions. Frequent updates (which Ross may not like). Downgrades are possible and not difficult but have to be done manually. Manjaro: Pros: Easier install than Arch (GUI installer). Kernel selection is very nice (but I don't see that be all that useful). Arch has the regular kernel and the LTS kernel which is usually enough. Cons: Might as well as install Arch since you end up with a similar system after install. Default Green theme is ugly. (I'd rather have a pure KDE install to start with.) Manjaro repos a bit behind Arch. (Which may be a Pro.) KDE Neon: Pros: KDE's official distro Cons: Based on Ubuntu LTS. Right now, it is based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (will probably switch to Ubuntu 20.04.1 sometime after it is released in August). The Ubuntu LTS is slow to upgrade so some things like Xorg is out of date and has issues with programs like easystroke. Distro designed for the most recent KDE software by the KDE Plasma team but that's about it. (Distro has been called a "test distro" or "KDE demo distro" by some but I see it as a pretty solid stable KDE distro.) Debian: Pros: Super Stable. (Less updating, a plus for Ross.) Less having to deal with KDE changes when a new version comes out. Cons: Slow to update. Might make gaming hard. Also, getting some newer packages might be difficult. Has anyone tried Debian unstable? Major Upgrades are a pain and bit of a manual process OpenSuse (haven't used this distro much myself): Pros: Rolling release, up to date. Cons: How is it for gaming? Installing packages? Not sure about installing things like easystroke without having to build from source. Ubuntu: Pros: Popular distro Lots of available software Cons: gnome based instead of KDE based unless using something like Kubuntu 6 month upgrades are huge LTS versions can get out of date Plenty of other options too. But, Linux isn't for everyone. I would hate to recommend it to Ross and just end up frustrating him. It takes work and dedication but hopefully the openness and freedom is what Ross is looking for. A lot people replying to this thread got to Ross's point of frustration at one time in their lives and made the switch to Linux and are happy with it. Maybe it is what he needs to do too. I do like the idea of someone working with Ross to get setup. He could have a livestream for the install and/or another begathon to get Ross new hardware. A second video card for GPU passthrough using virtualization like QEMU would be great for gaming.
  4. That sounds like you are describing Activities in KDE Plasma. From what I understand, they are similar to desktops but you can have a separate wallpaper, widgets and programs in the dock. (I use Activities but never really tried out Desktops.) For example, I have my usual desktop with Firefox, Thunderbird, etc., and then a separate Activity for downloading and editing YouTube videos. In the Video editing Activity, I have Avidemux on my Dock, Dolphin (a file explorer) open to Videos, and Terminal open ready to run a script to modify the date on the Videos. All that is ready at push of a hotkey but completely out of my Desktop when not using it.
  5. It took me a while to figure out how Ross was doing the "no close button" on Firefox Tabs. I thought I'd post the steps to do it in case anyone else was interested. I found that you have to enable the option toolkit.legacyUserProfileCustomizations.stylesheets in about:config. Then, create the chrome folder in your Firefox profile folder, create "userChrome.css" in that folder with this content: @namespace url("http://www.mozilla.org/keymaster/gatekeeper/there.is.only.xul"); /* only needed once */ #tabbrowser-tabs .tabbrowser-tab .tab-close-button { display:none!important; }
  6. Great video by Ross. Hard to believe that Mouse Gesture video (easystroke) was made 10 years ago! The technology has been available for years. I started using easystroke (mouse gestures) and gnome pie (pie menu) for about a week and it has been useful but not perfect. The gestures are nice if I need to something once (copy, paste, minimize, maximize, move to other screen, etc.). But if I want to something like scroll through Browser tabs, then I tend to move my hand to the keyboard and use a hotkey. The Pie Menu is convenient avoiding the need to move the mouse to an edge of the screen to launch an app. I don't see moving the hand from the mouse to the keyboard going away. Typing needs 2 hands (one-handed layouts seem too slow) and the analog mouse movement is needed too. It could be reduced, like with a separate numpad (i.e. not on the keyboard but a separate USB device) or remap hotkeys for the arrow keys. I could see Ross switching to Linux. I did the same when Windows 7 came out a decided to go from Windows XP to Linux instead. Ross used a 3rd-party file explorer to have 2 windows in one. I could never find a good one for Windows so that's one of the reasons that I switched. If Ross did switch, it would be another set of problems to get setup and running but some of the customization is built in to the OS.
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