Twisted Pixels

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Giving Back to Open Source

Well that felt nice.... We walk into Tesco in Tullamore, have a quick look at the photography and computer magazines (because, y'know, we're such tech-heads) and there, in one of the international computer mags is one of our own photos of Clonmacnoise.

What's all that about?... Read on :)

The photo was taken early one morning from the jetty in Clonmacnoise, looking back at the monastic settlement, rising from the river, emerging from bright morning sky and it happens to be the default desktop wallpaper for a new computer operating system.


The magazine, Linux User and Developer, was running four page review and interview on the operating system and its creator.

Twisted-Pixels-Linux-magazineLouise and I have always been cost conscious and try to ensure that we provide customers with the best quality at a reasonable price. With that in mind, particularly when we started off with Twisted Pixels, we made use of "open-source" software tools whenever it was possible to do so without compromising on quality.

Actually, most of us do use it on a daily basis. The greater portion of websites are hosted on servers running open-source software and every Android phone, tablet or TV box is built on open-source software.

Open source software is mostly free to download and use (check out the likes of LibreOffice as a free alternative to Microsoft Office) and is provided by communities of coders, happily working away and providing their software for free, partly just because they can.

Even after we moved on to more heavy-duty, professional tools we always had it in mind to give back to the open-source world, so when I got talking to Irish software developer, Ikey Doherty, a couple of years ago (he was then based in the UK) I offered to contribute to his open-source projects the best way that I could.

Most people that have a passing interest in technology will know that the choice of operating systems for your computer doesn't stop at Windows or Mac OS; there's a world of options with that champion of open-source, Linux and Ikey Doherty is a rising star in the Linux world, as evidenced by the 4-page spread in the magazine.

In addition to being a significant developer for Intel, Ikey had begun working on a new Linux based computer desktop operating system, Solus Operating System. I offered to provide some graphic design and photography work for the project have been pretty pleased that a number of photos have been selected as desktop wallpapers  to ship with the new operating system.

A screenshot from Solus OS featuring another of our photos - Brittas Lake

The shots I provided are mostly nature based, with some actually shot either in my own garden or on the Bog Walk near Clara, Co. Offaly.

With the default wallpaper being my shot of Clonmacnoise, I have to say, I can't help feeling proud that it is constantly cropping up on review sites around the world at the moment. The system has already been downloaded and installed by thousands of computer users around the world and it's a nice thought that the first thing they see after it boots up is that photo of Clonmacnoise.

It's strangely nice feeling that one of the first things seen such a variety of different users from the US, Australia, UK, Portugal, Slovenia and any other places when they boot up their PCs is a photo from our little corner of the world.

John - 22 Feb 2016

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