Some people may find it odd that I don't track KDE releases very closely -- at least, not on my Linux machines, which includes my laptop. There things tend to be "whatever DVD is on the top of the pile gets installed" and updates happen only rarely. Quite different from my OpenIndiana or FreeBSD boxes, which track KDE closely.

Anyway, I saw so much buzz and enthusiasm for KDE 4.7.0 that I wanted to update my desktop machine at home. It was running Kubuntu 10.04 LTS (with whatever KDE came with that, probably KDE 4.4). That meant a three-step upgrade path: 10.04 to 10.10 (I used these instructions on techie-buzz), 10.10 to 11.04 (repeat the upgrade-to-newer-release steps) and 11.04 to 11.04 + KDE 4.7.0 (the install instructions are clear and point elsewhere to add the KDE backports repository -- some of the screenshots don't match what I saw, but it's well done).

I hit one snag as the upgrade to KDE 4.7.0 (the last step) stopped counting progress at 66% and just sat there for an hour or more. I dented that and was quickly referred to the Kubuntu developers channel. That sorted me out quickly -- I killed some processes and finished the upgrade from a text console. Big thanks to the Kubuntu folks who helped out.

Something else caught me during this upgrade -- somehow, I must have moved the Plasma cashew at some point, because in 11.04 it was labeled "Desktop". Sure, PEBKAC, but it left me confused. Unlock widgets, drag it back into the corner and it turns back into my familiar quarter-circle. I gather it's got to do with what activity I'm in -- but I don't think I've ever seen any of the activity-related stuff before. Thanks to RRix and Aaron for setting me straight there.

I have not tried some of the new stuff (e.g. the newest KDE-PIM applications including KMail2), but I've also not noticed some of the things people have been complaining about like over-enthusiastic indexing or Akonadi.

One of the neatest things I've seen so far -- maybe this has been in KDE for years already, but it's new to me -- is that I started Akregator, by accident. Then I closed the main window. Akregator then goes to the system tray (er .. system notifications area? the thing, anyway). In doing so, it tells you where it's going. Well I think that's a great idea, but it even took a screenshot and drew a little arrow at the place where it would be, so I knew exactly where to look!