Heiko is a usability expert who loves KDE, which is perhaps proof KDE can be usable. Heiko makes the point that the freedom of Linux means no software is indispensable and that users can get used to different kinds of software as long as it does the job that’s required.
- Who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Heiko Tietze. I’m a psychologist and work as a usability expert for User Prompt. We provide psychological IT expertise to mediate between the perspectives of software developers and users.
Why do you use Linux?
Adopting the famous words of George Mallory: Because it’s there. Seriously, I love the flexibility and diversity of solutions, the community of dedicated people, and the possibility to influence and participate in innovations.
What distribution do you run on your main desktop/laptop?
Both run on Arch Linux. It’s a very convenient distribution with a rolling release model, a versatile package manager, and the most comprehensive community-based repository.
What desktop environment do you use and why do you use it?
I’m using KDE 4 because it provides perfect configurability and has a beautiful design. But most of all because it has a warm and welcoming community.
What one piece of software do you depend upon with this distribution? Why is it so important?
Since Linux is freedom to users, I do not depend on any particular software. All can be replaced by good alternatives. Most individual preferences are, in my opinion, habits. For example, I favor Krusader over Dolphin because I’m used to that kind of workflow since DOS (Norton Commander). But Dolphin does the job very well, too.
What kind of hardware do you run this setup on?
I have a self-assembled desktop PC with i7-920, 6GB RAM, GTX260, 300GB HDD and 60GB SSD. It’s all in a nice mid-tower Coolermaster nVidia edition – hidden behind the desk. The display is a 27" with full HD resolution, complemented by an old 15" TFT for rare tasks. The notebook is a Samsung N900X4C.
Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?
Controlbar top left: fast access to frequently used applications. Top right: plasmoids with information on temperature, load, network, as well as running application minimized to tray. At the bottom there is the list of applications and virtual desktops. Until KDE Frameworks 5 is productive, I’m keeping the Oxygen theme with Wonton Soup color settings. The wallpaper is a simple carbon picture.
Interview conducted August 12, 2014