A couple of days ago, I dug out my old laptop, the screen of which had given up the ghost a few months ago, and switched it on. To my surprise, it was working perfectly, which is great, because my work laptop is about to be taken away as they roll out a load of extremely fast desktops. Great for work, not so great for me. But at least my old laptop has decided not to be broken any more.
For the last year or so, since I had my nice new work laptop, I've been running openSUSE on an external USB hard drive (which surprisingly, benchmarked faster than using the internal drive), and I've been using KDE 4.0. I know my last post on this blog said I'd reverted to 3.5, but I tried 4.0.1 when it came out (or possible 4.0.2?), and discovered the actual show stoppers had been fixed, and the irritations were small enough I could live with them.
Anyway, onto the 'wow'. Since my old laptop had a clean install of openSUSE 10.3 on it and I didn't mind about messing it up with an unstable version of KDE, I put the unstable KDE snapshot version on instead of 4.0. And I think the word which best sums it up is 'Wow'. It's really, really good.
There are some bits in particular that I liked: being able to resize the panel; the panel for icons on the desktop; the beautiful highlight for icons; the alt-f2 thingy (I can never remember its proper name) which is brilliant, and looks and works so well I keep pressing alt-f2 and typing stuff in even though I don't need to run any programmes; the way you can style plasma easily; the way plasma styles work so much better than before; the pim programmes being KDE4ified; the sounds; the plus/minus symbols for selecting/deselecting icons (brilliant idea); everything seems more responsive (even on this old laptop); things looking good even without compositing switched on...
So, great job everyone. This beta is fantastic.