Internet Access Centre (called in French as cyberbases) located in the Tourist House of Val Thorens, a ski resort spreading between 2300 and 3200
In these extreme conditions, our reporter found in the hall of the Tourist House, five cybertables full of computers in front of which tourists of all
nationalities were sitting surfing the web with intensity after having surfed down the snowy slopes.
Our reporter bought a ticket (9 euros per hour) from the resort hostesses and typed in a computer the identification number printed on the ticket and
chose his favourite language. He was happily surprised to discover a beautiful KDE 3.1 splashscreen when his session started. The interface was
carefully locked but for the finest man in Fleet Street, it is a piece of cake to sneak in private places. He found that the computer was running KDE
3.1.4 under Debian with the Keramik theme and the addition of several non-KDE opensource programs (OpenOffice.org 1.1 and Mozilla). The computer was
also fully equipped for chatting even with the MSN or AOL protocols. Our reporter was amazed to discover that the users of the cyberbase, most of them
without any knowledge of the OS they were running, were using KDE with proficiency. The main problem for foreigners seemed to be the peculiarities of
the French keyboard but there were some Qwerty keyboards available. A tourist could also come with his private computer to the cyberbase and plug it
in an Ethernet cable and then point his navigator to laptop.cybertable.com to enter his login identifier. He could also use a WiFi connection with the
drawback that his ticket was not breakable in several units. If he had used the cyberbase computers or the Ethernet connection, he could have divided
his ticket in the number of desired sessions. This extreme experiment reveals that KGX (Gnu-Linux-KDE) is ready to be used without assistance and
training by the general public if workstations are correctly configured.
Back from the treacherous mountains full of avalanches and amok skiers, our KDE fellow promised himself to volunteer to travel to more exotic places
where KDE is used in extreme conditions. Maybe the Maldives, Tahiti or Florida.