Cameras: crack for the discerning geek

Programming is hideously addictive. It’s really fun to build something that you want, poke it a couple of times, and then watch it get up and dance, doing exactly what you told it to do.1 Sadly, it’s not really socially acceptable. Saying that you’re a programmer at a party is kind of like dipping yourself in Girl-B-Gone and shouting “I HAVE HERPES!” at the top of your lungs.

Geeks have convinced themselves that cameras (specifically digital cameras) are close enough to programming to be fun, but are much more socially acceptable.2 As such, geeks now have new lunchtime conversational gambits. Instead of talking about the exciting deadlocks they’re currently debugging, geeks can now say stuff like “So, what kind of workflow do you use when you’re importing pictures?” If this sounds far fetched, it’s not: I said it today at lunch.

The answers I got weren’t quite what I was hoping for. I want to do stuff like: upload pictures to online albums, resize batches of pictures, rename pictures on import, etc. My fellow geeks explained how they wrote programs to do at least some of that for them. I don’t want to do that. Life is too short to code for free (okay, not entirely).

So I was happy to discover digiKam a KDE app that does pretty much all of that stuff. I don’t know if I’d subject any of my non-geek relatives to it, but it feels relatively easy to use. My experience using it is much better than with Ubuntu’s default photo album app: F-Spot.