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07:06 pm, 15 Apr 05

ghosd, free software

I got an email about ghosd, my transparent on-screen display hack. It's almost the two-year anniversary of that screen shot and X still doesn't have real transparency. The compositing stuff is close but depends on nVidia's OpenGL support.

The mail leaves me sorta bummed out for a few reasons: one, I don't really have the time/motivation to work on those sorts of projects anymore; and one.five, I haven't even had the time/motivation to figure out why the ATI binary-only drivers cause OpenGL to randomly lock my desktop.

snej made a comment long ago about how taxpayers are indirectly funding free software by funding colleges*, and though I understood and agreed then, I didn't really know it like I do now.

* The idea is because I paid in-state tuition, the taxpayers for the school were covering the rest of my bill, which allowed me to use my copious spare time in college to work on software that in theory puts hard-working people out on the street. Multiply this by thousands of college kids, and...

But I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing. The chain of effects is weak, and I don't think anyone is completely opposed to the dream of a sufficiently well-off society making creative works in their spare time.