Piecing Together the Clues

by David Nagel
Senior Producer

As we have stated, this collection of epistles, or letters, was discovered in a graphite-colored box in Irvine, Calif. We do not know much about their origin, but our scientists have used carbon dating to place the age of these fragments some time between the discovery of fire and the human colonization of Alpha Centauri.

They detail the exploits of two opposing factions engaged in the most bitter, divisive conflict in that entire period. Apparently, there once was a time when operating systems did not behave well together. Of course, all of this foolishness was eliminated during the Pax Linux and the the Ascension of Linus XII, God-Emperor of Honduras and All the Outlying Planets, Save for the Canadian Free Territories. God-Emperor Linus XII, of whom our current ruler, Linus MCLVII, is a direct decedent, brought about a new era in networking through the wholesale and entirely justified slaughter of all those who failed to accept Open Source as their savior.

During this reign of terror, virtually all records of pre-Linux source were destroyed. While fulfilling the mandate of the prophets, this destruction of information has left an historical void, which is only now being filled through research directed by the Kernel College in the Papal See. It is a tribute to the liberalization policies of Linus MCLVII that we are permitted to post these heretical fragments in the Tachyon 4.1 format (with backward compatibility to the HTML 4.0 specification) for people across the ages to read.

All hail Linus MCLVII, Benevolent Lord of the Known Universe, Save for the Canadian Free Territories!

In case you were wondering about the creation of the image here, allow us to explain. Inside this graphite box in which we found the epistles you have read, we also discovered some "programs" that looked kind of interesting. We chose to use one called Photoshop. So what we did was to get some pictures of some painted toy soldiers. Then we positioned them where we wanted and went to town with Contrast, Brightness, Layer Effects, Lighting Effects, Blur and Curves. Then we put an Outer Glow on them for a silhouette effect. Also in the foreground is a depiction of the graphite box in which we found the epistles you've been reading. We used a filter called Unrestored Oil Painting (one of the Paint Alchemy options) to achieve the aged effect on the box. Click here for a tutorial on that particular effect. We believe the soldier on the right could be the author of the epistles.

For the B-17, we dug up a photo and got very lucky with the first application of the Unrestored Oil Painting filter and did a little tweaking with Radial Blur on the propellers. You really couldn't imagine how lucky we got with this filter unless you saw a part of what the original looked like, the nose of which you can see to the left. Remember, this was just a single application of a single filter. The settings used can be found in the tutorial on this Web site from last week.

For the wall, we took a picture of an industrial scene, applied Unrestored Oil Painting (seeing a pattern?) and then cut it out kind of randomly to create some hard lines against this otherwise very soft image.

The background was simply a sky scene darkened to look like smoke to which we then added several KPT 6 Lens Flares to simulate the flashes of explosions.

Incidentally, yes, we think it's odd that the graphite box on which we found the epistles you've been reading would still be working 10,000 to 100,000 years after its purchase date. We have found several copycat machines from the same era whose only purpose, apparently, was to display a blue screen, if that. It is a tribute to the primitive humans who made these boxes that they should still be in working order.

Do you have something to say? Write something back to me. Or, if you'd prefer, you can post a message in the Creative Mac World Wide User Group. Or, yet still, you can just go back to the Talkin' Smack page and read the other good stuff that's there.


Dave Nagel is the brand spankin' new Senior Producer of Creative Mac. An eight-year veteran of the print publishing world, Nagel covered a broad range of topics in the areas of technology and marketing. As a Mac psychofanatic since 1987, he's finally landed his dream job: earning a living writing about his favorite topic. If you have something to say, please send a polite e-mail to [email protected]. (Let's not try to bring him down from his euphoria too soon.)