Making Money with Free Software

When I saw today's Slashdot story with a similar name, I assumed it'd be about some business model for monetizing opensource software. That's a fairly dry subject, but nonetheless one that interests me. So I read on.

But much to my surprise, the money being made was this:

Picture of New Commemorative Coin: 'The Architecture Fiver'

...and when they said it was being made with free software, they really meant it. The Dutch Ministry of Finance held a contest to design a new five Euro coin using the theme: "Netherlands and Architecture." And the winning entry came from Stani Michiels, who developed it using nothing but opensource software.

For the whole story, see Stani's blog. I particularly like the bits about how he did the design and visualization. On the front of the coin, for example, he took the names of famous Dutch architects, sized and positioned them according to how many web pages mention them, and finally varied the lettering's line widths to produce the image of Queen Beatrix. Pretty cool stuff.

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