Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Mine with Extra Crippleware, Please!

If you chant "Steve Jobs loves you!" over and over again The Apple Cult(tm) sure seems like a great technology solution to all your shiny bauble needs. Great interface, sleek hardware design, and undeniable envy by your peers. What could go wrong with that?
The last few years have proven that every single new Apple product release comes with more invasive DRM controls than the last. Just because they have a smaller market share does not make their corporate practices any less abusive than those of Bill Gates' Intergalactic Redmond Headquarters (tm). This is a race for who can write the most aggressive software controls for digital media. Take this into consideration before you rush out after Vista or start integrating iTunes as an integral part of your music collection.
No wonder the Pirate Bay is looking into buying a rusty gun platform.

Just in case you were distracted by this from other news in our Brave New World . . .
Carnage in wave of Baghdad bombs

I am going to go paint now as I am drowning in frustrated cynicism.

10 comments:

Mr. Alex said...

Well, at least Apple's newest OS isn't a total DRM freak show. Honestly, the only things keeping me in Win/Mac land are Painter, Photoshop, and the promise of SPORE...

Don Jason said...

I am sure that you will be able to play SPORE on Windows 2000 Professional, best product Microsoft made since Windows 3.1. All of the features of XP without the snooping of your hard drive wvery time you connect to the internet.

Pete said...

Even thinking about Vista makes me nauseous.

Don Jason said...

If you are seriously thinking about migrating, take a look at THE GIMP. Its interface is a little bit different than Photoshop but that is not necessarily a bad thing. It apparantly has a boatload of modules and plug ins that you can add as well.
I have been using it a lot recently and it is a quite powerful tool.

Mr. Alex said...

I actually did fire up La Gimpa' a few months ago when I was seriously trying to give Ubuntu a shot. I, personally, found it powerful but its interface was a bit backwards (Cropping was a total pain in the ass. Maybe this is the result of silly Adobe UI patents?). Also, I did,after a weekend of troubleshooting, get my Wacom tablet's tracking and pressure sensitivity working (more or less) correctly in GIMP . I bet if I had a week to spare, and a real axe to grind with my current XP setup, I could somehow get Painter running under some sort of emulation. Who knows, maybe that's how I'll be working in a few years due to the coming Microsoft Apocalypse(TM)!!!

Pete said...

How big is your Wacom tablet, Alex? I was pricing them the other day and they are phenomenally expensive. What are their advantages? What aren't they good at doing?
Scott McCloud mentions in that radio interview I posted that he uses a device to "draw on the screen". Is he drawing directly on the screen? Is there a contemporary equivalent of a light pen out there?

Mr. Alex said...

The device Scott uses is a Wacom Cintiq. I'd love to have one (it's more or less a thin, flat, color-calibrated monitor you can draw onto directly), but LORD they are expensive !!! I currently use a 6 x 8 Intuos II tablet, which is about three years old now and still functioning perfectly. The 6 x 8 Intuos is much more affordable relative to the Cintiq.

Advantages: Mark-making with a pen instead of a mouse. Pressure and tilt expression in digital bush marks. Being able to draw in a, more or less, "traditional" manner with the additional power of the mighty "Undo", layers, masks, cut n' paste, etc!

Disadvantages: You are drawing indirectly, which takes a bit of getting used to (unless you've got $2500, that is). The texture of the tablet doesn't have any tooth to it, so it's like you're drawing on a mylar surface with a slick tipped pen. This means that making small, controlled marks (or large uncontrolled ones) is easy, but making long, precise strokes is VERY difficult (I generally use erase-back, scanned line-work, or vector guides to make long marks).

I'm sure there are more pros and cons, but that's all I can think of at the moment...

Don Jason said...

Apparantly they are coming out with a new version of THE GIMP (2.4) and word is that it will have a big interface update.
Pixel is supposed to be a more professional alternative but it appears that you have to buy it. Of course it is only one half of a percent the price of Photoshop.
You could run Corel Painter with WINE but I imagine you would get poor performance.
There is an ART & DESIGN section on the Ubuntu forums and they could tell you a good way to run your set up or present comparable alternatives.

Pete said...

The Cintiq is definitely aimed at professionals. It is the kind of equipment I'd consider leasing or taking out a loan for.

I'm going to dabble in texturing 3-d models, to get better at my job. Like collaging photo documentation into 3-d models like a diorama; or perspective correcting photos of a building and wrapping it around a simple model. I've already had a lot of success making orthographic drawings with 1/16th of an inch accuracy from perspective corrected photos (actually perspective corrected collages).

Pete said...

I was checking out Ubuntu, and Linux has a pretty good collection of fully-featured modellers and CAD programs.