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Smile and Say 'Cheese'

Gnome's Computerized Photo Booth

  • September 4, 2008
  • By Marcel Gagné
I'm going to start this column with a confession. This is the truth. I had no idea that the application I'm going to show you was inspired by something from Apple. The reason I discovered my ignorance is that the last time I was in my local FutureShop store, I wandered over to the Apple section. You see, I wanted to see what a MacBook Air looked like. It's pretty slim, and kind of sexy, if you want my honest opinion. But that's not the confession part.

As I looked at the screen, I could see my face being picked up by the built-in Webcam. The application doing so is something called Photobooth. I looked at it and thought, "Hey, that looks like Cheese in Linux." Shows where my mind spends its time. As it turns out, Cheese does take its inspiration from Mac OS X's Photobooth. Cheese, this cool little Webcam application, is the brainchild of Daniel Siegel, a project he developed as part of Google's 2007 Summer of Code. Think of Cheese as a computerized version of those booths you step into in malls or fairs, the ones that happily take your dollars and spit out four small photos of you and whoever else you can cram in the small booth. That's pretty much the concept, but it's a lot less expensive to use and you can probably crowd more people around your Webcam.

Installing it is pretty painless on Gnome; users of other distributions may have some problems. If you want to follow, or try out, the latest and greatest Cheese that Daniel has to offer, make your way to the Cheese Project Website. Current source bundles, as well as SVN downloads are available for those who like to ride the bleeding edge.
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