Man Bites Dog

A coworker asked me for some help with a vexing computer problem. “Would you try this digital camera on your computer?” she asked in desperation. It looked like a cheap digital camera–a Nikon CoolPix or something–one that would probably require a special driver, black magic, and lots of cursing. “Sure”, I was game. I plugged it into a Windows XP laptop expecting the familiar “new USB device detected” wizard, but it didn’t pop up. Nothing did. Meh!?

Out of pure sport, I decided to try the camera on a Fedora Core 6 laptop. I noticed the hard drive activity light flickering, then in a second or two a window popped up to let me know that a camera had been plugged in and would I like to download some photos?

Well yes, in fact, I would!

What, no recompiling the kernel? No surfing message board flamewars for secret modprobe arguments? No trolling mailing lists until I find the right Hungarian genius kid that can lead me to camera nirvana? What is the world coming to?

That, and utterly useless but completely irresistible desktop effects!

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I like Free Software.

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