Thursday, August 24, 2006

I like a manual with personality

Today's task is to learn how to use the image editing program I downloaded yesterday. Picasa is too basic, Photoshop is too expensive and Corel is too annoying (plus I don't have access to the installation disks anymore.)

The Gimp is free and supposedly very robust, but also very different from other programs I've used, at least on the surface. So I need to learn how to use it before I can get into creating more mugs and t-shirts and stuff for the retreat.

I like open-source software. These are programs that rival the expensive proprietary ones (like Photoshop or Microsoft Office), but are created and then maintained by any software developr or hacker who wants to be involved. The source code that makes up the programs is freely available and anyone who wants to have a go at customizing or improving it can do so. And the software itself is free to download, use and distribute. It's a great concept and is what I'm using for most everything I do on the new computer now.

Anyway, right now I'm going through the help/tutorial files, which are very thorough and well written. Plus, you get the occasional glimmer of geek personality shining through, which makes it that much more fun:

Depending on how your system is set up, you may also be able to open images by clicking on icons in a file manager, or by drag-and-drop from other programs. If you aren't sure whether you can do this, just try it. The worst thing that can happen is that your computer could explode.


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