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Sewing machine


I bought a cheap sewing machine at Lidl (a German grocery chain) today for only 60 Euros. An independent test report said it's okay for the price, and indeed it is. It does sew neat straight seams. However, the manual is a bit confusing and if I hadn't learned how to use a sewing machine (well, at least the basics) on a quality machine ten times worth this one I would have been totally lost. Which leads me to the question who is the targeted user of this machine? Everyone from experienced hobbyist level on would rather spend some more money for a quality machine. A beginner would quickly despair and give up.

How does this relate to software? Well, for example: Cinelerra certainly is a great video editing software with all features a professional wishes for. And in the hands of a professional editor it is indeed very powerful. Yet, the pro will rather spend the money on Adobe Premiere CS or Sony Vegas and the like as those have a more consistent workflow. And the beginner will not be able to even edit a five minute video of yesterdays birthday party. Or, to a lesser degree, take a look at The Gimp. Same problem. Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom have a far better workflow, even though you can achieve the same results with The Gimp. Don't get me wrong, both The Gimp and Cinelerra are great tools. I'm exclusively using The Gimp to edit my photos, but it took quite long to learn to get the results I want (which are often just one or two mouse clicks in Photoshop.) Also, I'm currently using Cinelerra for my video editing as I plainly do not want to spend THAT much money on Premiere CS for my few projects. Yet, I know a lot of artists and observe how they work. They'd simply not get their work done in time being forced to follow sub-par workflows.

But software can evolve. Remember Blender from a couple of years ago before it became free software? You couldn't work with it. If you never had a second look at it, this is the time. Yes, the current 1.5 beta probably has some few issues. But I see one render artist after another moving away from their proprietary extremely expensive tools to Blender. Because it now has a consistent workflow and it has almost all features needed. And you know how this happened? Because they have a very active and innovative community of developers and users. Many of the developers are even users of Blender. In my opinion something this wonderful can only happen with Free and Open Source Software.


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