Zayd On Location

Zayd On Location
Zayd on Location

Friday, 12 August 2011

Why do I keep praising Linux & Linux based apps in my movie credits?

If you have seen any of my movies or youtube 'half baked videos', you will notice there will often be credit given to Linux operating systems or computer applications for Linux.

Why do I do that? I do it because we often take for granted the efforts of those programmers, designers and developers who are facilitating so many things in our lives these days.

Programming and coding is a long thing, takes precision and expertise to be done well and takes a lot of work. But there are those out there who do this for the love of it. Takes all sorts to make a world, thank God.

If you have not taken a look at Linux as an operating system for your computer, I suggest you do it, you might be pleasantly surprised and wonder why you did not try it sooner. Whenever I turn on my pc now, as 'sad' as this seems, I look forward to it. Why? Because I have Linux and I like it. My computer starts up fast and it closes down fast and I don't get any of those hanging shut downs, no waiting for minutes as the computer struggles to close short, Linux is fast, efficient and stable. But not only that, its free (in monetary terms) and open source....meaning the code is open for all to modify, improve etc. Now being open source does not directly excite me because I am not a programmer and wouldn't be able to tell the difference between morse code and C++ code. But indirectly, it does relate to me, as it means all the coders and whizz kids out there are constantly improving and correcting the various Linux operating system distributions and all of the programs that are developed to operate on it.

This means if you want to do graphics, video editing, image editing and all sorts of other things through a computer, then there are hundreds or even thousands of free and quality options available through the platform of Linux. In Linux Mint or Ubuntu, just open up the software centre and you have access to thousands of safe, secure and free  categorised software applications that will be fully integrated with the operating system.

After my third harmful computer crash on MS Windows I decided to make a clean break, a fresh start and look into Linux. Before I had looked I'd always assumed it was only for computer geeks, professionals and programmers. But no, they have developed several (in fact, dozens) strands of it into highly user friendly versions. You can go to the website of any Linux distribution and just download an ISO file which you can burn onto a DVD or CD (or even you can download some versions onto a USB) and can try it out. 

Linux is so cool that you can even be installing it and be browsing the net at the same time (a bit different from being glued to your computer for two hours having to spoon feed info to it every couple of mins as the install program takes over your whole computer, as is the case with some well known dominant operating systems).

If you want to go ahead and install Linux then I advise doing it as a dual boot. That means, keep windows on your machine (just in case you need it for anything, due to its market domination and all things being made to be compatible with it). And you can use Linux for most things while not having any of the hassles and dangers associated with Windows. e.g. On Linux you don't get viruses, this is for a few reasons such as the structure of Linux and administrator permission needed to change key parts of the system. Imagine browsing the net and not having to worry about viruses. You don't have to imagine it, just install Linux.

I am waffling on so that this entry is becoming neither this nor that, not a good listing of why you should have Linux nor a good explanation of its link with my filmmaking. Anyway, the point is all of my film editing as all my other computer related stuff is being done through Linux.

I believe in giving credit to those unknown designers and developers who have made the various Linux distributions (especially my two chosen ones Ubuntu and Mint) so flexible, effective, efficient, stable and cool.

There are quite a few video editors on Linux, keep in mind the developers behind them are usually not getting paid for what they do, they don't have large corporations behind them. Nevertheless, some of these Linux video editors are quite impressive and will probably serve most of your video editing needs.

The main two I use are called OpenShot and Kdenlive. Kdenlive is the more advanced of them but OpenShot is very good and does have its advantages. As seeing as this is not a video editor review, I will just let you take a look yourself if you have a Linux distribution installed. They are both available through the software centres in both Linux Mint and Ubuntu, but you may be better off installing the latest versions by following the installation instructions on the respective websites:-

Here are all the relevant links:-

And for the coolest operating systems:-

And if you need more convincing about the computing reasons to try Linux, then look here:-

Final word of warning, some Linux distributions are so cool and exciting, that with some of their enhancements, such as Compiz desktop effects (hundreds of useful, cool & customisable features like writing fire on your screen in any colour, wobbly windows, desktop cube workspaces etc), you might end up playing with the effects and desktop features all day and not get any work done. This may give you some idea:-

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