Happy New Years! January 4, 2010Posted by oktyabr in GIMP, New Years Resolution, open source, personal, software.
2010 is finally here! I remember being a teenager in high school and doing mental calculations of how old I would be at certain points in time; 2010 was one of them! Man, it seemed so far away at the time too…
My resolution, specifically, is to make a small donation each month to a free/open source software project or service, and of course to blog about it here! I haven’t thought it out much and I kind of like the idea of picking one each month on the fly, so to speak, but my list will definitely include at least the following:
- The Gimp Simply the de facto open source, cross platform image editing software. Often compared to Photoshop (without the big $$$ price tag!) I use it damn near every day and can expect the same workflow and results no matter if I am in Windows or Linux.
- Blender What The Gimp is to 2D image editing, Blender is (or was) the same to 3D graphics! Originally a tool designed for use “in house” by a Dutch animation studio, Blender was offered for some time as “shareware” before the company went bankrupt in 2002. “The creditors agreed to release Blender under the terms of the GNU General Public License, for a one-time payment of €100,000 (US$100,670 at the time). On July 18, 2002, a Blender funding campaign was started by Roosendaal in order to collect donations and on September 7, 2002 it was announced that enough funds had been collected and that the Blender source code would be released. Blender is now Free Software and it is being actively developed under the supervision of the Blender Foundation.” (excerpt from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blender_3D ). Today Blender has evolved into much more than just a 3D modeling software. More resembling the software version of a swiss army knife Blender is capable of creating 3D graphics of all kinds, including animations, and today includes it’s own internal game engine known as “GE” which in itself makes use of the highly regarded (and also open source) “Bullet” physics engine that has also been used in everything from commercial console games to major motion pictures (“2012” for starters!) Blender can be used for compositing video, architectural visualization, photo realistic rendering, and more. Best of all it’s cross platform with a very strong user community. Yup, I’ll be donating at least a token “Thank you!” amount to the Blender Foundation soon too!
- Audacity Heh, what Gimp and Blender are to graphics Audacity is to sound! Open source and cross platform (see a trend here?) Audacity simply records and edits sound. BUT it does it with as many different tracks as you like, can make use of tons of LADSPA plugins, plays nicely with different hardware all the way from integrated motherboard sound chips up to professional grade sound interfaces, and can import/export/convert between dozens of different audio file formats and bitrates. Very nice software, nothing else out there like it. No visable donation button but they have a store where you can buy tshirts and the like and the proceeds go to help support the project.
- Ardour Available only for linux and more recently Mac OS, Ardour is an incredibly powerful multi-track audio workstation. I’ve used it on and off for several years while dabbling with creating music in linux. Too many features to list here, windows based musicians can sort of think “ProTools” and the like. For years this project just had up a simple “Donation” button along with a polite request to help, if and when you could. Now it seems the project is utilizing a sort of “bounty” method where the most desired features (and fixes) can be salaried with specific donations… something sort of like a linux game company I used to subscribe to used your dollars as votes to allow the subscribers a say in what direction the developers should be taking. Yes, the little donation button is still there too… Everytime I looked at that page and it’s little button I kept saying to myself “Yeah, I better donate something… this software is great!” and yet, almost 10 years after it’s inception I still haven’t donated a single dime! I pledge that will change this year!
Well, that’s sound and graphics covered! Twelve months in a calender year though, right? Maybe it’s time to toss a few bucks in the tip jars of a few of my favorite internet radio stations too… Stay posted!