Type Nerds, Take the Test Jeff | October 29th, 2009

I was reminded today from Tal (a developer at crowdSPRING) that a new version of Ubuntu is out today. Code-named “the unoriginal banana” version or something, I don’t know. Ubuntu has great, but ridiculous, naming conventions.

Now, Ubuntu isn’t exactly known to be friendly with designers. There are certainly people who use The Gimp and think it’s a perfectly suitable replacement for Photoshop, but you (probably?) don’t see these people working in a studio, needing to crank out high-quality deliverables yesterday.

Ubuntu took a pretty big step in the “looks” department with this latest release. Up until now, fonts rendered in any flavor of Linux always looked… ugly. Really, really ugly. Slap-your-grandma ugly. With this newest version, they’ve released a new font smoother that puts Ubuntu’s font renderings up in the same league as Windows and OS X.

In fact, the following image has the same text rendered in Windows XP, Ubuntu 9.10 and Mac OS X. Can you tell which is which? First person to guess correctly* gets … a crowdSPRING slinky and …  half a book of stamps.**

* According to the INSANE AMOUNT of comments (zero) my latest blog posts, this competition should be non-existant. At least leave me a comment with a joke or something. Hockey related gets you bonus points.
** Gimmie a break. I’m trying to move to Chicago and everything’s slowly getting packed. Enjoy your book of stamps. Send your grandma a letter.

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  • eesdesigner

    Two friend’s where walking in a crowded street when suddenlly a naked woman…..

    Ok, just kidding.

    1 mac
    2 xp
    3 bwana, ups.. ubuntu

    Cherrs.

  • ArtbyAudree

    Windows XP
    Ubuntu
    Mac OSX

    Anything for a slinky and some stamps….

  • asher27

    1 windows
    2 ubuntu
    3 mac

  • Tal

    Aye, I’m very happy today. Ubuntu is the best operating system I’ve ever used, and it keeps getting better. Though, it did take time until a number of key applications became available for me to make the switch. Designers dependent on OS X are out of luck, especially because you can’t even run OS X in a virtual machine. Is PhotoShop for Windows a decent alternative? Windows 7 runs wonderfully inside my Ubuntu desktop.

    By the way, the story behind the font rendering is entirely a legal one. Microsoft owns the patent for “sub-pixel rendering”, a really clever way to increase the effective resolution of LCD screens for black line art, such as fonts. Even Apple pays Microsoft royalties for this use in its products, or perhaps they have another arrangement. Such an arrangement has not been possible for free operating systems. The sad thing is that the code is all there, and it works great, but can’t be legally enabled. At least, that’s the story as I know it. I’m not really sure happened with Ubuntu 9.10 in this regard. Jeff, do you have details?

  • scott

    1. New Ubuntu(?)
    2. Windows
    3. OS X

  • scott

    1. New Ubuntu(?)
    2. Windows
    3. OS X

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  • Gregg Tomlinson

    1. Ubuntu’s Illiterate Iguana or whatever the current flavor is. Dynamic Dingo? Voicipherous Viper?

    2. WindoZe

    3. OSX

    Hockey related joke… Carey Price’s performance in last year’s playoffs. OH YES I DID.

  • Gregg Tomlinson

    1. Ubuntu’s Illiterate Iguana or whatever the current flavor is. Dynamic Dingo? Voicipherous Viper?

    2. WindoZe

    3. OSX

    Hockey related joke… Carey Price’s performance in last year’s playoffs. OH YES I DID.

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  • ArtbyAudree

    1. ubuntu
    2. Mac
    3 Windows

    Since you never announced a correct answer, Jeff… it must be this.
    Oh – and congratulations on 11 more comments than you got on your last post.

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