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Blender, another proprietary software gone open source

Blender is open source software that has had a rocky start. Like Openoffice.org, Blender's roots are in proprietary software.

Blender began its life within a company called NeoGeo which was later marketed and sold by another company called Not a Number or NaN. It is a 3D application (opens in new tab) ‘for modelling and rendering three-dimensional graphics and animations’ - the latest version, v2.42, was released a few weeks ago.

At the height of its popularity, Blender attracted nearly 250,000 registered users which is quite a number, especially in such a niche market as 3D.

However by 2002, NaN went bankrupt and Blender was released as open source software.

Still, the ‘Blender’ project went on and is thriving. It has already been used in Spiderman 2 and in a number of independent short computer generated movies, most notably, Elephant’s dream which has been downloaded nearly one million times.

What makes Blender so special is that it targets a vertical segment of the computer industry and has achieved an enviable reputation in a few years and great support from the user base.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.