To Southern Californians February means several things. Winter storms bring snow to the San Gabriel Mountains. Most college students will have returned to school for another semester. Early flowering plants have started to bud and bloom, attracting bees. Most important of all however, is the coming of SCALE, the annual Southern California Linux Expo.
From February 8th to the 10th, Linux enthusiasts from the greater Los Angeles area (and beyond that!) converged at the Westin Hotel near Los Angeles Airport to celebrate Linux and Free Software. KDE was once again there showing attendees the best Free Software desktop. Starting things off, one of KDE's usability helpers Celeste Paul gave a talk on A Quick and Dirty Intro to User Centred Design in Open Source Development.
In the mean while, two KDE desktops were demonstrated at the KDE booth. The fully featured, reliable and well supported KDE 3.5 was shown to many of those stopping by the stall. What most folk were interested in, though, was the newly released KDE 4.0. Despite being run on a Via C3 laptop with only 256 MB of RAM (minus 32MB for the onboard video chip), so no KWin effects, many people were impressed. After being impressed by the features of KDE 4, many said that they would try it out after the release of KDE 4.1 (which we recommended as the one for average users, rather than early adopters). Others were helped in getting CDs to try out the current KDE 3.5. Just like the past several years, everyone had a great time, and plans are already being made for KDE to return next year.