My Linux Story blue, code background

Image by : opensource.com14

My father got me a computer for graduation with 512MB RAM and a Pentium processor. It came with Windows XP, and I used it to do 2D animation with Adobe Flash. Back in those days, I was looking for my dream job as a 3D artist, and I'd often see job listings that said: "Linux knowledge required." I had heard of Linux, but had never used it, so I decided to learn more. I didn't have the time or energy to take a class, so I started exploring on my own.

The technical jargon was overwhelming at first (GNU, distros, flavors, UNIX, windows managers, GNOME, KDE, Bash, C shell...), but I kept reading articles, e-books, and forums. Finally, one day I bit the bullet and decided to install Linux.

Ok, what to install? And, how do I install it? For a beginner, too much choice was a problem. I downloaded each and every flavor of Linux I could get my hands on and created bootable disks out of them. For the next month, my daily routine was something like this:

  • Come home from work

  • Format my machine

  • Install a new flavor

  • Read about it online

  • Pull my hair trying to understand it

  • Burn my fingers trying to do something

  • Pat my back when something worked

My Linux Story blue, code background

Image by : opensource.com 14

还记得那年的毕业典礼,老爸送了我一台电脑,它拥有 512MB 的内存和一颗奔腾的芯。与之一起到来的还有 Windows XP。我拿它使用 Adobe Flash 做了 2D 动画。遥想当年,我苦苦追寻着我梦寐以求的工作 —— 3D 艺术家,然而我经常看到工作列表中这样说到:“不懂 Linux 免谈”。我是听说过 Linux 的,但却从来没有接触过她,所以我下定决心想要更多的了解她。我没有足够的时间和精力去上课,所以我开始在我自己的电脑上探索她。

首先我就被那一大堆专业术语给淹没了(神马 GNU、distros、flavors、UNIX、windows managers、GNOME、KDE、Bash、C shell 等等……),但我还是坚持了下来,一直保持阅读文章、电子书和论坛。终于,在那某年某月某一天,我咬咬牙跨出了那一步,决定请 Linux 来我的电脑(俗称安装 Linux 操作系统)。

好吧,那要安装啥呢?而且我到底要咋安装呢?我是个新手啊,面对千姿百态的 Linux,选择恐惧症发作啊?我下载了我能弄到手的每一个 Linux 发行版并且给她们都创建了启动盘。然后接下来一个月,一个艺术家的日常就变成了这样:

  • 下班回家

  • 格盘

  • 尝试新口味

  • 上网了解她

  • 就算变光头也要弄懂她

  • 狂爆手速陪她玩耍

  • 她稍微有点听话了我就拍拍背卖个萌

I kept exploring this way and got a basic understanding that only the GUI, availability of software, and the packaging changes, but all the internal workings remain almost the same in each flavor of Linux. I kept "basic understanding of Linux" as a skill on my resume and got hired at this amazing place called Rhythm and Hues Studios. There I worked on awesome movies like Life of Pi and Seventh Son. At work we use Linux completely, and I slowly started admiring the philosophy and culture of open source development and came to understand the power of it.

One day I got a new fancy machine and booted CentOS on it. Then, instead of going for commercial software, I started using open source applications to make art. I started using Blender for all my 3D animation work, and GIMP and Krita for my painting needs. Recently I've started using MyPaint and love it. In short, once I found out about all the open source alternatives to the commercial applications, I never looked back.

When I was starting out, it wasn't all roses. There were days and nights I spent banging my head trying to figure out how to connect my new WiFi dongle to the Internet, only to find that there were no Linux drivers available for that particular model. Sometimes I couldn't install software because a library was missing, and I'd have to go on a wild goose chase trying to find it. And don't get me started on the Nvidia and Wacom drivers. (Support for Nvidia is way better now, and CentOS 7 has out-of-the-box support for Wacom devices.)

我一直使用这种方式对她进行探索,只对 GUI、可用的软件以及软件包的变化有了基本的了解,但其实在 Linux 的每个发行版中所有的内部原理都是几乎差不多的。我不停的将“基本了解Linux”作为一项技能写在我的简历上,终于被一个叫做 Rhythm and Hues Studios(国际知名特效公司)的神奇的地方雇佣了。在那里我为那些很棒的电影比如少年派的奇幻漂流第七子:降魔之战这样的电影做特效。在工作中我们完全使用 Linux,我慢慢的开始欣赏开源软件的理念和文化,才明白了她的威力。

有一天,我得到了一台新机器,于是在它上面引导安装了 CentOS。然后,我开始使用开源软件来代替商业软件进行艺术创作。我开始使用 Blender 来完成我的所有 3D 动画工作,而对绘画功能的需求则使用 GIMP 和 Krita 解决。最近,我开始使用 MyPaint,而且我喜欢它。总之,我一旦发现所有商业应用的开源替代品,就再也没有走过回头路。

然而在一开始的时候,并不是所有事情都是那么的轻松愉快。我日以继夜的敲破脑瓜试图找出把我的新 WiFi 设备连接到互联网的方法,才发现根本没有用于这个特殊型号的 Linux 版驱动程序。有时候由于缺失了一个库导致我无论如何都安装不上一个软件,我不得不花费力气去找到它。而 Nvidia 和 Wacom 驱动就更别提了。(现在已经有更好的支持 Nvidia 的方式了,而且 CentOS 7 已经开箱即用的支持 Wacom 驱动了。)

But actually, what I'm doing is a lot of problem solving. In my view, problem solving skills are one of the best things I learned from experimenting with Linux. Yes, learning Linux was a bit daunting. But I kept with it, and the more I learned, the more clear Linux became. I learned a lot about computers, how an operating system works, how devices work, how to search and ask for help on forums and IRC, and how to file bug reports. I got into the habit of reading manuals and figuring things out, which is a basic yet essential skill. I started reading Bash scripts, wrote my own, and got the taste of automating tasks. Eventually, everything fell into place.

The whole animation and visual effects industry is completely reliant on Linux because we are dealing with a lot of data and require huge computational power to create amazing visuals. Linux is the perfect candidate, giving serious bang for your buck. But I didn't leave Linux there—I continued learning more about Linux and became a Red Hat Certified System Administrator. Receiving my certification was one of the happiest moments in my life. Currently, I work at a nice little animation studio called The Cirqus Arts, where I work as an artist/programmer and help maintain the systems, which run CentOS. One of the tasks I really like is training new hires on Linux and introducing them to the world of open source.

My advice for anyone starting out is yes, learning Linux will be a bit overwhelming, but stick with it. You'll thank yourself later. And learn a bit of scripting along the way—there's no limit to what you can do. And, thank you to all the developers who contribute their valuable time and energy to Linux and other open source applications.

See all of my artwork with Linux.

但实际上,我解决了很多问题。在我看来,解决问题的能力是我在 Linux 上学到的最棒的东西之一。是的,学习 Linux 确实是有点令人生畏。但是我坚持住了,并且越来越了解它,对 Linux 的认识越来越清晰。我学习了很多关于电脑的知识,包括一个操作系统是如何运作的,驱动是如何工作的,设备是如何工作的,如何在论坛和聊天室中搜索和提问以便寻求帮助,以及如何提交错误报告。我养成了通过阅读手册来弄明白实物的习惯,这是一个基本且必要的能力。我开始阅读 Bash 脚本,并自己来编写,于是体验到了自动化任务的趣味。最终,一切都井然有序。

整个动画和视觉特效行业是十分依赖 Linux 的,因为我们需要处理大量的数据,需要巨大的计算能力来创造出惊人的视觉效果。Linux 是最合适的人选,给你最划算的解决方案。但我并没有就此离开 Linux —— 我继续学习更多关于 Linux 的东西并成为了一名 红帽认证系统管理员(RHCSA)。我一生最幸福的事之一就是收到了我的认证。 目前,我工作于一个叫做 The Cirqus Arts 的不错的小动画工作室,我作为一个艺术家或程序员在工作中帮忙维护运行了 CentOS 的系统。我真心喜欢的任务之一就是培训新员工使用 Linux 并向他们介绍开源世界。

我对任何人开始学习 Linux 的意见都是支持的,学习 Linux 确实是有点难,但坚持下来吧。以后你会感谢你自己的。一路上学习一点脚本知识 —— 你将可以完成任何事情。在此感谢所有贡献了自己宝贵的时间和精力的 Linux 和其他开源应用程序开发人员。

快来看所有我使用 Linux 完成的艺术创作