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Old January 20th, 2007, 03:11 PM
Dave New Dave New is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: SE Mich
Posts: 61

I was a Linux user (and strong advocate) for almost ten years, until my interest in photography was re-awakened by the advent of affordable digital cameras, and archival inkjet printers.

I tried to make my peace with the GIMP, et al, before finally moving to a Windows XP laptop platform based on Photoshop. I'd say that the single biggest hurdle for me on the Linux platform, was the almost complete lack of support for a color-managed workflow.

To this day, I still don't believe that X (the underlying graphical engine for all the various desktops flavors on Unix/Linux platforms) supports the use of ICC profiles, or the ability to calibrate your monitor. I'm aware that there were some workarounds within the GIMP, but the whole experience was one of pushing a rope.

It's really a pity, actually. Linux continues to make great strides in useability as a desktop platform (my major former use was as a 32-bit embedded software development platform, which it excels at, using the GNU cross-compiler toolchain), but until certain 'killer apps' such as Photoshop (and important to home business users, programs like TurboTax, Quicken and Quickbooks) are ported to run directly (not poorly via WINE, thank you) on the Linux platform, it will still be considered an also-ran in the desktop marketplace.

This is getting to be all the more crucial, as initial reports of Microsoft's impending Vista operating system release indicates that it is taking a decided nasty turn, bowing to pressure from major media moguls, to deny users' basic fair-use rights through various beefed-up DRM mechanisms.

The price of Vista has jumped considerably, which is designed to force users to go to the hardware channel for upgrades (buy a system, get Vista bundled for free).

Think you'll just 'sit this one out' and skip Vista upgrades? In a couple of years, Microsoft will be announcing the 'sunsetting' of Windows XP (meaning that no security patches or upgrades will be available). They are already curtailing support for older OSes in their newer developer kits, forcing all application vendors to abandon anything older than the XP platform in their next software releases. Photoshop CS3, due out the first half of 2007, while not run on anything older than XP, forcing a lot of users to abandon working Win2K systems just to get the latest Adobe Raw Converter camera support.

All of this is making the new batch of Intel-based Macs look better all the time. But, abandoning an operating system lock-in (Windows) in favor of a complete platform lock-in (Apple) doesn't appeal, despite the Mach kernel (Unix-like) underpinnings of the latest Mac OS.

What's a digital photographer do, especially one that might be classified as a 'serious hobbiest' that doesn't have an unlimited budget for software and hardware upgrades?
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