Kubuntu Karmic: OK, but sometimes like uncontrolled horse (Was: Switching a friend to Ubuntu)

Dotan Cohen dotancohen at gmail.com
Tue Jan 26 15:04:46 UTC 2010

> For a proper summary on how this mess looks like, I would need to
> discover some 'chaos patterns'  helping me to put it into words. A
> 'chaos pattern' I have discovered so far, has to do with the panel at
> the bottom of the screen. If I 'unlock' the widgets there, each icon
> or group of icons tends to move and to arrive at a new place in a
> somewhat unstable, unpredictable way - such that working with the
> panel becomes more difficult. This happens especially when working
> (too) quickly, with a lot of 'routine' actions.  After a bit of
> experimenting, it became clear that the best way to deal with this
> problem is to "lock" the widgets.

Are you sure that you are on a recent version of KDE 4? I have never
experienced it, but I have heard that KDE <= 4.2 would move the icons
around the panel if they are unlocked. Please test with 4.4 (the RC is
available now) as I think that issue is resolved.

>> Is it a smaller version of your  desktop, with the rest as a chequered pattern?
> Something like this came up last Saturday - see screen shot "strange
> screen", attached to this message. It happened after clicking 'by
> accident' and in a hurry at that specific half-oval icon at the upper
> right side of the screen: see screen shot "half-oval icon".

That icon is called the "Cashew" and the mess you see is the
"activities". It is a half-baked feature and the main dev refuses to
remove the UI for it even though the feature is not ready. Pressing
the (+) magnifier near the center of the screen should bring you back
to the desktop that you know.

I hate this feature too, and I suggest installing the Plasmoid that
hides the Cashew:

Here'a another one if there is a problem with the first:

>> Or something else?
> In a few other cases, I remember to have seen lines or squares
> throughout the whole screen - including the place where normally the
> panel ought to be visible. In a a situation, I can even not reach
> K-Menu.The only remedy at that moment was restarting the computer -
> via CONTROL-ALT-DEL, ALT-R or via rightclick - clicking at 'restart'.

That was a Kubuntu-ATI bug and it has long since been fixed with the
FOSS drivers.

>> If that is the case, I would like to know how you are accidentally activating them, so that it can be
>> made less sensitive.
> Often as described above - when working quickly while I heavily rely
> on routine patterned actions.
> In case something strange will happen again, I will try to snapshot
> and document the course of events more clearly and precise and report
> about it to this forum.

You might want to install a keylogger or a mouselogger to see what
unintended inputs are being accidentally entered.

Dotan Cohen


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