This picture was taken right after we finished shooting The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary last year. I'm not going to lie to you, Marge: it's one of my prized possessions.
It's taken me this long to share it, because shortly after I upgraded my Macs to Snow Leopard, all of my Macs and my HP scanner stopped talking to each other. I spent a lot of time researching help forums, looking for updated drivers, and saying lots of swears, because it appeared that HP blamed Apple, and Apple blamed HP.
My scanner still doesn't work with any of my Macs, but I am able to bring you this picture today thanks to the magic of Linux.
If you've been reading my blog for a long time (or you've gone through the archives) you know that I love the Linux operating system. I first switched to Linux in 2002, and eventually ended up running a heavily-modified version of Debian for years, until I was seduced by the elegance and stability of OS X. From time to time, though, I grab a LiveCD (usually Ubuntu, these days, though I've gone through most of them at one time or another) and spend an hour or so poking around to see what's new and how quickly I can break it.
Shortly before I went to Vancouver for Eureka, I burned an iso of Ubuntu 10.4 beta, to see what all the fuss was about (short version: Ubuntu made some significant UI changes for that version, and a lot of Linux users are apparently as keen on change as Garth was in Wayne's World.)
My incredibly short review: I liked it. I thought it looked nice on my iMac, it booted fast from the DVD and ran smoothly once I was logged in. It comes with enough software to give a curious user a good feel for what it does without overwhelming them with options, and it autoconfigured every single thing I had ... including my HP scanner.
When I realized I could finally scan this picture — and get a cool Linux advocacy story — I took carefully took it off the top of my desk (where I stuck it with two-sided tape several months ago) and scanned it. I put a thumb drive into the machine, which Ubuntu recognized immediately, copied the file over, and ran into my office to put it on my MBP.
I remember, back in the old days when we had to use vi to edit our config files, how much we all longed for a day when Linux Just Worked™; I think it's pretty cool that, in this case, it did.