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Flip: A Simple Camera Done Right

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Hardware

Sometime back I gave a pretty strong pan review of a couple of “toys” that were not compatible with GNU/Linux — with open standards really, since the community ensures that free software is compliant — and were therefore nothing more than a disappointment to my kids. Recently, I fully expected to repeat this depressing experience when my brother-in-law gave my son a “Flip” digital video camera, but I was pleasantly surprised: it works exactly as it should. That seemed worth a column in itself.

Too often, I’ve found that low-budget hardware — especially items sold largely as toys for kids — have Windows-dependency built into them at a very low level. For some reason, low-end manufacturers think that it will serve them better to build in rigid dependencies rather than just sticking to open standards.

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