My favorite Free and Open Source Software image software turned 25 on Saturday! Happy 🎂 GIMP! (General Image Manipulation Program)
GIMP is the standard for people who either can't afford Photoshop or don't want to shell out hundreds of dollars to Adobe. I'm in both categories.
It's come a long, long way since the original version was released. Today it's a sleek image manipulation program that's not limited to Linux/BSD with versions available for Windows and Mac (There are also ports available for Android and iPhone, but they are not official builds and are not highly rated.)
Not going to lie, it has a learning curve and it can be quirky. By quirky I mean things like this: You can't have the multi-platform version of XNView open at the same time as GIMP. Both will crash. The quirks are just little things you learn and correct as you go along. There isn't a single piece of software in the world that doesn't have quirks and as long as the software is available on so many platforms (as Adobe isn't), there are bound to be little things that you need to work around.
It took me some time to get used to it (formerly a Paint Shop Pro user on Windows) and a bit longer to really get the hang of the tools. But, the manuals are clearly written and there are lots of user tutorials online to follow. YouTube is full of them. Once you get the hang of it, GIMP's a joy to use.
There are also a plethora of plugins and add-ons to make for a great experience. Many Photoshop formats work natively within GIMP.
It's a fantastic piece of open source and free software that works beautifully. Say Happy Birthday to the GIMP by downloading and giving it a try!
I'm doing a very quick freebie today. It's a bit old, but it's a good one still. Billboard Magazine is compiling a constantly updated calendar of livestreamed and virtual concerts you can watch online.
There are a ton of events this weekend, from a Mötley Crüe viewing party to a whole bunch of stuff by bands and singers that I've never heard of because I'm old.
Yesterday I posted about Zoom and the critical flaws in the program. I tested out a couple of programs yesterday, but ultimately, decided to post a link to an article with a list of similar apps and programs. Make Use Of is a tech website that I've used for a long time for instruction and suggestions. I trust them and their suggestions.
I tested FreeConference.com and Jitsi yesterday. Both are good. Especially Jitsi. I've also used FreeConference.com in the past and it is also reliable.
I used Skype in the long ago past, but it's part of the Microsoft Office suite, so it is boring, but functional and reliable.
Then there's WebEx. It's reliable. I hate it, but it's for personal reasons. Your mileage may vary. Many, many people love it.
I'm told that Telegram is able to do video calls and group chats, but at this time, I'm unable to figure out how to do it. And I'm a regular user of Telegram and love the program. If I figure out how to do it, I'll post it here with download instructions.
Meanwhile, go read the list from Make Use Of and read the comments as well. I can't personally vouch for the safety or security of the recommendations in the comments, but they are often worth exploring.
Happy Friday! You can turn off your computer tonight!
Hope everyone is settling in okay. It can be difficult working from home, as many are finding out. There are a million distractions and concentration can often be hard to find when all of your senses are engaged with "home" and your brain is telling you that you need to "office". If you have never worked from home before, it can be difficult.
Coffee is generally the taste that comes to the rescue. A scented candle that you burn only when working can bring you back to the job. Clearing out a special space for work only (and blocking off the rest of the house) also helps.
Background noise played on a loop can also help! For that you can go to AmbientMixer!
Right now I'm listening to Old Engineering Office. It's a quiet office atmosphere with an old building hum. There's also a faint crackling sound, either rain or old-school tape noise. It's nice. It's also a long loop so you don't feel as if you are listening to the same sounds over and over.
If you'd rather have thunderstorms, the ocean, a Hogwarts common room (Hufflepuff has a purring cat), a forest, or pretty much anything you can imagine, there's plenty to explore. You can also create your own ambient sound mix and let it play in the background. It's all free and lots of fun.
Um, then get back to work. Ya slacker.
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Click on the image to read the story at MyTwinTiers.
Today's free stuff comes from Dark Reader and it's an extension that works on both Chrome and Firefox. It's called Dark Reader. I've been using it on Firefox for a while now and it's an excellent extension.
At the click of the top bar icon, this extension inverts brightness of web pages reduces the strain on your eyes while browsing the web. In dark mode it's good for night browsing. It's also highly customizable. Go on ahead and install it on your Chrome or Firefox browser for free and check it out. (Safari has the extension, but is $4.99 to download. Not free.)
The Free and Open Source Software for today is Nomacs | Image Lounge!
Nomacs is an image viewer with some basic editing capabilities. The best thing about Nomacs is its support for a wide range of file formats and conversion capabilities. I use the program extensively and it is smooth.
If you need a good program for viewing or editing multiple formats of images, Nomacs is great. It's available for Windows, Mac, Linux, BSD and others. Check it out!