Happy Coder.

Today I'm proud of my open source roots. Andy Talbot, my brother, and a fabulous caricature artist, recently moved to Bellingham. Since he's been here we've been busy setting up a new venture for him to get started making the big bucks. Not starting with big bucks, we set a four year old computer up with Ubuntu on it for him to edit, color, and manage his artwork from. Wobbly windows has entranced him. I must admit some surprise as to the excitement he showed when dragging a window across desktops. He also seemed quite pleased with the Synaptic package manager, and the ease of finding and installing new programs. Andy hasn't been a big computer user up to this point. He draws with markers and paper, checks his email, and flirts with girls on myspace - the usual. So this really was a perfect chance to see what a non-computer savvy, non-windows savvy user could do with open source tools. The experience wasn't perfect, of course. He was baffled at the idea of firefox not shipping with flash installed. And would never have been able to install Adobe Air (for twhirl) without my help. (By the way, it requires chmodding a file and executing it from the terminal.) Earlier today, the sound in firefox (and only firefox) stopped working, only to be had again by restarting it. Strangely, closing the application was insufficient, a kill -9 was required. I introduced him to inkscape a week or so ago, and he was very happy with it. We decided that he definitely needed a tablet to make full use of it. His experience with The Gimp is what made me happy today though. After working with it for five hours coloring caricatures, he turns to me and says that he "loves this program". You can see the results of that love for yourself.
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