Thursday, May 23, 2013

The penguin who sat by the door.

Well I want to tell you PC users who are typical consumer types that you've all been duped but that wouldn't be sporting. I do find it amusing that since I've been using Linux off and on since 1998 and regularly since around 2004 that you are not in the least bit curious. Back in the day when PC's ran DOS and the new "windowed" desktops were emerging, there was a try this attitude. Seems everyone today is follow the leader (buy off the shelf) without question entrenched. There are reasons of course and I can't begrudge anyones logic no matter how flimsy. I got money to what company is behind it to what kind of games to that's for nerds to what is that??????????

So, here's what you missed in the last 15 years that you can add up in dollars and cents. Linux is free today as it was back then and will do all the computing that the other guys do (with various shades of gray, of course).

Interfaces and Desktops:
Not only has the Linux desktop evolved to be as easy to use as any of the commercial brands, but the desktop is such that different desktops are available and can be swapped. There is choice to find a good fit for you. Once you've made a choice, no reason to change just like the commercial brands. Linux versions are based on the desktops available plus a number of tweaks for geeks to make it all work together. It doesn't all go obsolete as fast as commercial stuff, that is a blessing by itself. Linux desktops are easy because the same people but with different brand shirts, make the desktops for commercial brands (Apple and Microsoft) too. Human engineering is what it's called, you can only do so much for us humans, if you want us to use it.

You all know a Snap-On tool is the same tool as a Craftsman tool. What is the diff beside the quality, reputation, pedigree, company name, guarantees, etc; I mean a wrench is a wrench, it turns a nut. A trusted tool however is in the hand of the user. So, in the PC world there are lots of apps that do the same stuff for each platform. It is nuts to compare Apple programs to Microsoft programs to Linux programs. You have to see what is available on the platform you are using, you gets nothing else. That being said, there are application that do all the normal PC stuff, plus a few to do special stuff like Skype and film editing and 3d graphics and software engineering tools. For Linux it has improved so much since 1998 I don't need to talk about it.

Linux has games, not Apple or Microsoft games unless there was some made for Linux. I am not a gamer, but if I wanted to do that, I would buy an Xbox or a Wii or another gaming machine so that my PC is not tied up (ah, can I please use my machine, it's been two days now). Not enough games is not a valid excuse for not using Linux. I think most PC users are looking at laptops anyway. I think laptops don't sport enough power to play the kind of games folks are demanding (please buy a game machine, be done with it). Of course I am a little behind the curve in my opinions because my computing needs are modest and I have the luxury of older hardware, LOL.........

Did I mention Linux is free? Some laugh, you get what you pay for!! Yeah, I didn't pay for it and I got it and it is fine, wonderful in fact! And if I get to feeling all responsible and all, I can donate to any open source software development group to support the fine work they are doing to enable me to compute for free.

Don't under estimate the penguin who sits by the door, he's as smart as the wizard behind the curtain (pay no attention to him!).

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

I is be the man!!

Don't you just hate it when you have to fix or replace something that worked so well and lasted so long you forgot how it worked? Maytag washer repair guys and Toyota mechanics (so they say) and Linux users. We all know about set-it and forget-it.

My PC network is centered on a Linksys WRT54g router. It just stopped getting on the Internet one day last week. I bought a D-Link DIR-601 router about a year back, never installed it. It took me a couple of days to bone up on the network knowledge I thought I knew. Then I had to humble myself to read the instructions and submit to the play-by-play install wizard. I kept injecting my do it this way skills and thwarted the system every time. The wizard probed my system, popped in some settings and it worked and I'm clueless how we both put in the same settings and mine didn't work. I think my settings were only similar and not the same. My defeat issued into a working system.

The worst part of the whole ordeal was having to use XP to use the install CD. You'd think they could write a program that executes in Linux like they do for MACs. I guess they figure Linux users are a minority. Anyway it runs and works fine. I set it and will forget it, until the next time, a few years from now.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

did you catch that epiphany?

Did you catch the epiphany of the last post? A digital tablet lets you draw using the skills you got. It don't do nutt'n to make you an artist. That being said I do recommend you newbe want-to-be digital artist in the making to get some traditional art lessons. If you start out with nutt'n, you'll have nutt'n to work with but hard knocks or knuckles.

We are going backwards because hindsight is a mug. So not to baby you get your Google (or Yahoo ) skills and get "The Complete Book of Drawing Techniques by Peter Stanyer". You can get a free PDF download or a print book via Amazon. It is an Bauhaus art course, it is the basic stuff, can't go wrong.

Then get "Digital Foundations" art course. You have to look around, it comes in two version as far as I can tell. An Adobe Creative Suite version and a FOSS (Free Open Source Software) version. I downloaded the FOSS version as a free PDF. Now this book is the same as The Complete Book of Drawing Techniques but integrates using Photoshop (Adobe) or GIMP (Open Source) softwares. I am a GIMP user.

Now you got two related reference books and you can get an art tutor, art teacher or artist mentor to keep you to task. The point is artistry requires some training to get the mental mind set, mechanical hand-eye sync. To get the basic instruction in "natural media" is the big leg up, then once you figure out how to use the PC hardware and software there is a skills transfer that happens. I can slide lead, roll ink, smear paint and now push pixels. It's the same but different.

Comparing peas to beans, you learn using a steel sword then move to the light saber. Same skills but man, what a rush!!