Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

1/18/2019

More Free Alternatives

Filed under: Art,Better Living Through Technology,The Tools — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:30 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

I’m tired and lazy, but it’s Friday, so here’s a post for you.

The brave few who are regular readers here know I dig free software. I also have had aspirations of being a bit of an artist, writer and photographer. Sadly, I was more devoted to eating well and living comfortably than I was any art, so I didn’t get too far. But, as I get older, I also get cheaper and less willing to spend money on hobbies, which often leads me to seek out free software.
Anyone who’s done any serious computer graphics work knows that Adobe has some of the best software available. In fact, I actually subscribe to the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan. I wasn’t a huge fan of the subscription model, but getting the latest version of Lightroom and Photoshop for $9.99 a month is actually a pretty good deal. Still, there’s a lot more that I wouldn’t use as often and therefore I’m not quite as willing to pony up the steep prices to get. For that, I’m back to my old quest for free software. Thankfully, David Murphy at Lifehacker has compiled the super useful 27 Free Alternatives to Adobe’s Expensive App Subscriptions. He’s done all the leg-work for you. I can’t vouch for all his choices, but for years I used GIMP instead of Photoshop, because it was free.

In any case, it’s been a busy week, for reasons I hope I can reveal soon, and I just haven’t had time to give you more than this simple link. Also, this week the link should actually work, unlike last week when Scrivener added some extra characters to the link code making an endless loop. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Scrivener for writing, but blog posts need clean code and text and until I figure out how to make that more seamless, I’ll use a text editor for blog posts before they go up.
Oh, and I did go back and fix those links from last week if you want to check out the incredible animated GIFs.

 

This post originally appeared on Use Your Words.

8/3/2018

More Free Alternatives to Photoshop

Filed under: Art,Fun,Linux,Photography — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but things change.

Okay, some things don’t change and one of those is that Adobe Photoshop is still the leader in graphics editing software, especially for photographers. But, it’s also pretty expensive, which means everyone is always looking for a cheaper alternative. Frankly, for years, I was no different. Most of the time, I used GIMP, but there are actually a lot of other packages that are out there now. In fact, the fine folks at the Photo Argus have posted a review of 11 Outstanding (Free)Alternatives to Photoshop, one of which is GIMP. I used GIMP for years, in part because it was the first “big” photo editor that was available on Linux. My thinking was that Linux was the wave of the future, so I might as well learn the software package that ran on it best. Sadly, that dream has never come to fruition,but GIMP is still free, so it’s not all bad. I’m not as familiar with the other ones, but since they’re all free, why not download them and see which you like best?
Personally, I started subscribing to the Adobe Photographer’s Pack, which gives me access to Photoshop and Lightroom for a relatively low monthly fee. Definitely worth it, I think.

By the way, I’m trying something new with my writing workflow. I’ve been writing posts in a software package called Scrivener, queuing them up and archiving them once I’ve scheduled them in my blog software. So far, it’s worked pretty well and it’s helping me get used to writing in Scrivener. Of course, I’ve only done two posts, but my intention is to get into a habit of writing this way so I can extend it to fiction. That was why I bought Scrivener in the first place and has been my goal since I was in the Fourth Grade and transformed the amazingly dull writing exercise “My Adventure At The Circus” into a tale of subterranean mythic adventure. I think it was good preparation for writing pulp fiction, but we’ll just have to see what I manage to produce.
In any case, I’ll keep these weekly posts coming!
See you next week!

This post originally appeared on Use Your Words!

1/27/2017

Photographic Software Tips

Filed under: Art,Fun,Photography — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

The fourth post in this month’s themed series of useful photography information focuses on the big two photographic software programs; Photoshop and Lightroom.

So, while the information is free, the software isn’t.
Personally, I try to get as much right in the camera as I can. Photography is my hobby and I work on computers all day long, so I’m not particularly interested in spending a lot of time on using software to “fix” my pictures. Still, I don’t know where I’d be without the software I do use. Mostly, I work in Lightroom, with the occasional Alien Skin add-on, but I also know that Photoshop is the “gold standard” in the minds of many photographers and creative professionals. So, the first ling I’m sharing this Friday is Are you a Photoshop Master? Even you may not know these ten features! It’s a short video of some helpful, but lesser known, features in Photoshop. It seems like every big program like this has at least one hidden feature almost no one knows about, so it’s always cool to find some, even for software I don’t use a lot of the time.
On the other hand, I do use Lightroom after pretty much every photography session. And, lately, I’ve been very interested in printing my work for easy display around the house. Of course, I’m mostly going to send those to a specialty printing company, but I still want to proof them and, possibly, try them in a spot on the wall before committing to a more expensive print. Or, I may want to do a little more “pre-procesing” before sending my work to the printer. No matter my goal in regards to printing, the Photofocus tutorial on Mastering Lightroom Print Layout Styles will definitely help me save time. Honestly, it’s a feature in Lightroom that I haven’t used, but I hope to use more this year.

So, there you have it. Two tutorials in the most popular photographic software packages to round out the month.
See you next week!

This post originally appeared on Use Your Words.

11/21/2014

Future Bookcovers

Filed under: Art,Fun,NaNoWriMo,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:30 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

So, it’s a little early to think that anyone writing a NaNoWriMo novel is done, but I think maybe people could use a break.

Hopefully, you all haven’t given up yet and are still writing.  But, I know it’s a hard slog, so I thought maybe taking a break to think about a cover for your future novel might help keep you inspired enough to make it the rest of the way.  So, I’ll start by sharing a tutorial from Thomas…
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8/8/2014

Essential Photoshop Skills for Photographers

Filed under: Art,Fun,Photography — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

I’m not entirely sure I agree with this list, actually.

I tend to follow the dictum that, as photographers, we should strive to make a better photograph in the camera, not in the computer. However, the reality of the modern age is that Photoshop exists and, well, the people who use it will tend to have an advantage over those of us who don’t.  According to DIY Photography, there are Twelve Essential Photoshop Skills that Every Photographer Should Know.  Those twelve…
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7/11/2014

Lightroom Workflow

Filed under: Art,Fun,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

With Apple’s recent announcement that they’re letting Aperture die, without really replacing it, photographers of all kinds are looking toward Lightroom as their photographic management and processing tool.

I, personally, have used Lightroom for years.  I can do most of the editing I would ever want to do faster and easier in Lightroom than I would in Photoshop.  Of course, I’m strictly an amateur and don’t do any other fancy art stuff with my photography.  And, I try to follow Syl…
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11/29/2013

DIY eBook Cover

Filed under: Art,Fun,NaNoWriMo — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:22 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

So, at this point, you should be just about done with your novel for NaNoWriMo.

If you’ve kept pace, in the next 24 to 48 hours, you should be wrapping up your 50,000+ pages and breathing a giant sigh of relief.
You’ll want to step away from the writing tools of your choice and take a break before editing your fledgling star into something that people will want to not only read, but tell their friends about having read.  But, first, you’re…
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7/19/2013

Free 3D!

Filed under: Art,Fun,GUI Center — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:47 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

So, this month, the theme has been free graphic software, more or less.

Well, as much as I love taking as realistic photos as possible and capturing the actual moment, I have to admit, graphic artists who start with photos and make them into more always impress me.  I’m especially impressed by those who create whole realities from nothing.  That’s one reason I backed the Kickstarter project The Tube Open Movie.  When they’re done developing this, now late, movie, the things…
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7/12/2013

Free Image Viewer, And More

Filed under: Art,Fun,Fun Work,Review — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:11 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Last week, I shared my favorite free image editor, but this week, I’ve got a bit of software that’s every bit as useful and important.

But, really, it’s more than just a viewer.  This little gem can do every thing from slideshows to file format conversions to cropping.  It can even do some simple editing like sharpening or blurring.  You can choose to view all the graphics in a directory in thumbnail format, or scroll through them one at a time…
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7/1/2009

EXIF Date Changer

Filed under: Art,GUI Center,Ooo, shiny...,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:09 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Kind of a specialty item.

Oh, if I only had a nickel for every time I heard that!
No, seriously, though, this is useful, but only in a limited way.  I know I’ve had photos get pulled from my camera and had the time and date wrong for whatever reason on them and wished I could change them to the right time.  Now, sure, I could just use a file utility and that would update it, but that won’t change the information deep, deep in the photograph that, among other things, is displayed on Flickr.  So, what to do?  Well, from now on, I’ll be using EXIF Date Changer to fix it.

Thanks internet!

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