What happened was, we had Kerith over to take some real family portraits (they came out great) and when I scanned her negatives, there were gigabytes of pixels that I didn’t really want to copy around the network, so I thought I’d drop ’em on a DVD. This fragment combines Open Source serendipity, Microsoft-bashing, and adorable baby photography.
Below, a four-month-old hand grasps a fifty-year-old finger.
I booted the Ultra 20 into Windows to do the scanning because that’s what the Nikon software runs on. When I was done, there were 3.3G of jpegs that I wanted to look at and play around with on my Mac, and then keep forever.
Given that networks are what they are, a DVD seemed the best answer to both, and the Ultra has a DVD writer, so I slipped a blank in. Windows saw it all right, reported it accurately as a DVD-R blank, but when I tried to drop files on it, I got the familiar old Abort/Retry/Cancel dialog tarted up in cartoony XP colors. Neither “burn DVD” nor “DVD-R”, typed into the Windows help popup, helped in the slightest, and and I sighed and consoled myself with the thought that the wired part of the home network now runs at a gigabit. Then I thought “hold on a second... Ubuntu“.
Ubuntu’s what normally runs on that Ultra except when it’s being used for playing games or scanning. So I did a quick reboot, and clicked on the thingie for the Windows filesystem to get at the scans, and clicked at the thingie for the writeable-DVD, and dragged the directory to the DVD and clicked “Write to Disc”, and it All Just Worked.
Nothing’s perfect; while burning, the time-remaining readout fluctuated wildly between 5 and 40 minutes, no obvious pattern leaping to the eye. And I should’ve edited the scans on the Gimp on Ubuntu, PhotoShop Elements on the Mac screams for mercy and crashes regularly when you throw 35M slide scans at it.
I keep asking: is Microsoft worried about Ubuntu? They should be.