The legend of the Chinny Raccoon

Well here we go, second time lucky… (more on this later in this blog entry)

I am pleased to see the masterful John Leach has included the mighty Chinny Raccoon on Linus’ t-shirt on the latest Everybody Loves Eric Raymond strip. Now, I know some of you may not quite get all this chin business, and particularly why a raccoon has a big chin, so I figured I should explain.

At a conference I was asked about the chin references in LUGRadio and I figured other people may also be curious so I added it to the chin page on Wikipedia:

In parts of the United Kingdom, the chin is rubbed to indicate that someone is telling a mistruth. This act is thought to originate from Jimmy Hill, a popular English footballer who is known for a long chin. Terms such as “My Chin”, “I believe you” and “Beard” are commonly used when referencing the chin as a source of falsehood.

Now, one of the terms used in this kind of language was ‘chinny reckon’ – a useful shorthand method of saying ‘my chin’ and ‘I reckon’ in the same easy to digest sentence.

While camping at What The Hack in Holland with Aq, Adam, Bill and some other guys, we were showcasing our appalling GIMP skills and creating some chin related imagery. All of this was performed in the beer tent to great amusement. So, switch on the music from Tony Hart’s gallery and look at these fine specimens:

Here we have Bill’s effort at a fine bottle of Gin. Next up is my version of Chitty Chitty Hang Bang:

After Aq’s major disappointment when the GIMP crashed and he lost his Shakespeare mock-up, he crafted another fine quality drink bottle:

Next, I knocked up a picture of Chin Chin and Snowy:

And finally, while realising that ‘chinny reckon’ sounded rather similar to ‘chinny raccoon’, I created our mascot in his true glory:

Never before has a raccoon caused so much pleasure, and he now adorns the mobile phones of all the LUGRadio presenters. He also appeared on the big screen at What The Hack, to our amusement.

Autosaving should be switched on

So, what was that nonsense at the start about ‘second time lucky’? Well, while writing this blog entry in GEdit, the damn thing crashed and I was faced with the hope that some kind of Autosave feature would have saved my scribe of wisdom and truth. Well, it appears GEdit does have an Autosave feature, but it is not turned on by default. Why on earth not? Surely the whole point of Autosave is to save users from losing work * the same users who need these kind of backup features? I can see no reason why this needs to be manually switched on. Ideally, the next time GEdit is started after a crash, I should be asked if I want to recover the document, just like in OpenOffice.org.

In many ways this kind of functionality should be available to all GNOME applications and not be implemented on the application side and it may be worth considering for the next release of GNOME. If I knew that all my applications had this recovery mechanism, I am sure it would make users feel more comfortable about their desktop. This is the same feeling when you know you can hammer the X icon on the window border a few times and close an application that is not performing. This kind of get-out consistency is a good thing.