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!
For the folks who are setting up Zoom for communication and Ellen Degeneres' Game of Games show, please read.
I noticed a lot of people using the app and decided to test it out today on my Windows computer and Android phone. Of course I did a search to check out what other tech sites had to say and found this article from Bleeping Computer.
The app can still be installed and used safely on a Windows computer, but there are extra steps that you must take when installing the program. Bleeping Computer details them in the article.
Unfortunately, Zoom Video Communications doesn't seem to mention any of this on their web site, or their Facebook page. I did a search for "unc path injection" and came up blank on their support page. In addition there's this from BleepingComputer:
"BleepingComputer has contacted Zoom about this vulnerability but has not heard back at this time."
So, yeah. There are better options out there for Windows users. I'll be experimenting today and let you know what I find.
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!
Today's software is GeoGebra. It's a collection of free software and online math tools for Graphing Calculator, Geometry, 3D Graphing, Augmented Reality, Graphing, Spreadsheet, Probability, CAS (A software program that facilitates symbolic mathematics - Yes, I had to look it up.).
I was amazed by everything that you can download and do at the website. All of it for free. There are lesson plans for teachers from Elementary grade level to College Prep and College level. There are fun exercises.
The FAQs, User Help and User Forum are all up-to-date, easy to navigate, and well done. As a person who deals with a lot of Linux software sites, I was incredibly jealous of their FAQs and User Help. If GIMP was that organized Photoshop would be out of business.
Go to the GeoGebra website or click on the FB link and check them out. You will be amazed at what they have available for free.
This is just a reminder to resist buying deeply discounted online services:
From Krebs on Security:
"Buying heavily discounted, popular software from second-hand sources online has always been something of an iffy security proposition. But purchasing steeply discounted licenses for cloud-based subscription products like recent versions of Microsoft Office can be an extremely risky transaction, mainly because you may not have full control over who has access to your data."
Read the rest of the article at the Krebs website.
Free Friday is here!
PDFs. Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. Adobe has been the ruler in the land of PDFs for nearly as long as computers have existed, mostly because it distributed its PDF Reader with new computers.
Now Adobe no longer has downloadable software and pretty much only offers PDF software as a monthly subscription. I'm sure that we all wish them well. 😐
Thankfully, there's a new kid in town. Icecream Apps! They have made the perfect PDF app for Windows. Seriously. I hate PDFs (admittedly that was because of the bloated, klunky, unintuitive Adobe programs). But this program might change my mind about them. I sat down with it last night and was able to create and edit PDFs without breaking a sweat or reading an instruction manual.
Can you imagine what I could do if I read the directions?
There are tons of features without the bloat. There are too many to list here. The download and installation is a breeze straight from the site.
Uninstall Adobe and get Ice Cream PDF Editor now. Go on. You really should. And while you are there, check out their other apps. I'm pretty sure I need some of the others.
It's FOSS Friday! Today's free and open source program is PeaZip. It's a very intuitive file archive application that is available for Windows (XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10 32 and 64 bit), Linux and BSD. It's easy to install and the graphical interface is quite nice.
PeaZip provides full archiving and extraction capabilities for the following formats:
PeaZip is able to browse, test and extract the following archive files:
-PET/PUP (Puppy Linux installers)
-RAR (including archives created with new RARv5 standard)
PeaZip is also able to repair archives with FreeArc's ARC. In addition to archiving, it can also be used for browsing files.
Give it a look-see here:
Today's free software comes from Microsoft. Process Explorer is a really handy bit of software when you want to find out what's running in the background on your computer or which program has a particular file or directory open.
Give it a look! Microsoft has some very useful utilities and this is one of them. I don't recommend stopping any files or programs if you aren't sure what you are doing, but it can be extremely helpful if you are calling for help with a problem.