6 ways Kiddy Plasma reminds you that computing can be fun

Personal computers now come in many form factors, but the same cannot be said for computer interfaces. Most computers come with a Windows or macOS-like design. Even mobile devices are becoming more and more similar, regardless of whether you’re on Android or iOS.

On the surface, Kiddie Plasma doesn’t feel any different. Most screenshots show a Windows-like desktop. But Plasma intends to be adaptable to your preferences or needs. Customizing KDE Plasma to your taste is a creative process that brings you back how fun PCs were when they were new. Here’s why.

1. You can choose your desktop interface

KDE Plasma with centralized applications on the board.

Plasma is intended to be modular enough to function however you want it to function (the name “plasma” comes from its ability to transform into whatever you want it to). If you want to change the position of items on the virtual board, you can right-click the board, and select Enter edit modeand move it.

If you prefer the panel to be on the side of the screen, you can move it around. Would you prefer a dock with a menubar on top, like in macOS? You can do that too. If you like the standard panel but consider menu bars to be mostly clutter, you can hide them away in a button in your title bar.

Would you love to be able to see all your open windows and virtual desktops at once, like GNOME? You can activate a similar feature using a keyboard shortcut or by dragging the mouse to one of the corners of the screen.

But the idea isn’t just to replicate the experiences you love from other desktop computers. You can combine or modify these capabilities to create something different. You have a panel that only displays minimized windows. Or shrink your board to keep just the system tray and use the powerful KRunner to manage everything else.

2. Make your computer look the way you want it to

Download new Plasma themes.

Technically, when you modify how your interface works, you also affect how it looks. But there’s a lot more you can do after you’ve settled on where to put your panels and how to manage the apps.

If the default theme doesn’t speak to you, you can switch it out without installing any additional software. And you don’t have to worry about breaking anything, because this is a supported and expected functionality.

Open System Settings > Appearance To see a whole bunch of ways to change the look. You can download new themes for the Plasma interface, try themes that change the appearance of applications, or taste all the new icons.

Want to change fonts? You can download new files directly within the system settings. In fact, you can download new themes for almost everything with a “Get new stuff” buttons that appear in different parts of the plasma desktop.

3. Your interface can grow with you

Add widgets to the desktop in KDE Plasma.

Not all of us know how we want to use our computer when we first sit at it. Most of us are used to adapting to the interface we are given, rather than the other way around. Part of the fun of Plasma is that you can change your design over time, adjusting the experience to suit you well.

This is a process of self-discovery. You might start with Dock, having long thought of yourself as a macOS person, only to find that you’re actually like the window switcher that Windows was in the pre-Windows 7 era, now that you’re free to tweak the parts you didn’t. t like. Maybe you don’t like a widget on your desktop but find it somewhat convenient when it’s part of a board.

When you change the way you use your computer, you can change the tools you keep handy. If you find yourself writing a paper, you can keep a Pomodoro timer, a dictionary, and a thesaurus tool all on your pad or desktop.

Do you need to turn on subtitles? Do you want easy access to the weather? Want a dedicated dashboard to monitor internet speeds and system performance? All of these options are for you to discover.

Alternatively, if you find yourself working on a project that requires dozens of windows to be open, you can enable features that make it easier to manage many windows. You can adjust each corner of the screen to toggle the Windows View effect. You can activate your Alt + Tab Window switcher by moving the mouse to the side of the screen instead. plays around. Find out what makes your job easier.

4. KDE is light enough for almost any computer


kde slimbook laptop
Image credit: Slimbook/slimbook

System resources have grown over time, as have system requirements. 512MB of RAM was more than enough for web browsing. Now individual browser tabs can easily take up that much memory. Desktop environments are also more demanding than they used to be.

Kiddy Plasma, for all its power and glamour, is relatively lightweight. A slow-running Windows PC might feel fast with GNOME, but even a computer that stutters with GNOME might still be able to run KDE Plasma fairly smoothly.

These lower requirements expand the range of computers you can install Plasma on, opening up how cheap and easy it is to try out what Plasma has to offer.

You might have a 10 year old computer that can run Plasma just fine. If you don’t, you may be able to get one on eBay for under $100. This can be an easy way to try Linux when you’re too hesitant to switch on the newer laptop that stores your important files and favorite applications.

5. KDE adapts to many form factors


KDE Plasma Bigscreen interface for TVs
Image credit: KDE

Plasmas are lightweight and malleable, which makes them particularly suitable for playing with on various form factors. You can try KDE on a smartphone or tablet with Plasma Mobile. Here you see an interface that is no different from Android and iOS, but supported by familiar KDE technologies.

The apps are adaptable using the Kirigami framework, which enables you to use the same software on your computer and phone if you choose.

In the opposite direction, you can put the plasma on the TV. This initiative is called Large plasma screen. Here you get an interface closer to what you see on smart TVs, with the ability to navigate using your keyboard and mouse or your TV remote.

These versions of KDE are not easy to install, because they are designed for ARM devices and are only available for certain devices. But Plasma Mobile is becoming increasingly available as mobile Linux continues to develop.

6. There is always more to discover

Very few, if any, people know about all the features available in KDE Plasma. The desktop is configurable in any number of ways, and so are the applications. You can move toolbars around, add or remove buttons, and change themes.

You can set up virtual desktops however you like or take it further by creating Activities. Activities provide a way to set up and isolate workflows. For example, you could have an activity for work and another for play.

You may find the system tray too crowded. You can specify which icons are always shown, which are only shown when active, and which are never.

You may want to set up window tiling. Whether you’re searching for system settings or searching for new apps and add-ons in KDE Discover, you’ll likely come across something you didn’t already know about. KDE is Loaded with hidden features.

Explore your desktop and have fun!

Yes, our primary job in a PC is to get things done. Sometimes this work. Sometimes this is watching a video or diving into a game. But KDE Plasma reminds us that exploring the interface itself can be fun, sparking creativity and curiosity that may change the way you interact with computers or even extend to other areas of your life.

If you like KDE Plasma but don’t want to manually install it on your system, you can choose to switch to a Linux distro that offers an official KDE-based variant.

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