After four years KDE finally made it to Dornbirn, Austria again for the annual LinuxDay Vorarlberg where Carl Schwan, Tobias Fella and I showcased the latest and greatest in KDE software and hardware.
On Saturday, 30 September morning after barely any sleep I drove three hours to HTL Dornbirn near Lake Constance to set up our booth, table cloth and all. We’ve had quite the impressive hardware product range on display, all powered by KDE software:
On the left, we used an ultra-wide monitor to demonstrate the latest build of Plasma 6 running Wayland. Our “KDE For” pages made it easy to visually guide visitors through the apps relevant for their use cases. You’re a student? KDE for Students. You’re getting around a lot? KDE for Travelers. Our fantastic travel companion app KDE Itinerary sparked a lot of interest and we got a couple of people installing it on their phone right then and there. You’ve got children? KDE for Kids. You’re a gamer? KDE for Gamers.
Speaking of gamers: of course the biggest eye catcher was the Valve Steam Deck™, a handheld console that can be used both for casual game play as well as boot into a fully featured Plasma desktop. Plug in a keyboard, mouse, and an external display and you’ve got a fully productive office setup.
We’ve also demonstrated our versatile digital painting application Krita on a laptop with a graphics tablet. Unfortunately, the One Mix 2S, a small convertible laptop, we wanted to present somehow lost its UEFI settings over night and wouldn’t boot into Linux anymore. It’s not an easy task fixing GRUB on the go using its miniscule keyboard, so we didn’t. Also, its display is mounted portrait while its keyboard is landscape. However, thanks to my first ever Linux kernel patch the default panel orientation has now been fixed!
What made me really happy was one passerby who said they were colorblind and asked whether Plasma had any accessibility feature for that. I recalled that we experimented with various KWin shader effects way back at the 2017 Randa Meetings in the Swiss alps but none of it made it to a release yet. I dropped a message in the KDE Accessibility goals chat just a couple of minutes after the discussion and I’m glad to report that thanks to Fushan Wen Plasma 6.0 will provide color filters for helping with Protanopia, Deuteranopia, and Tritanopia!
That alone made me really happy to have attended the event. There wasn’t much time for us to listen to any of the talks but I did sit in a presentation about heat pumps, solar, and home automation – a topic I covered myself at this year’s Akademy. Finally, once the day wrapped, we headed over to the after-show Käßspätzle party, which is of course the main reason all of us went to Dornbirn in the first place. ;)