Tuesday, October 10, 2006

day 3 of beard, and the gimp

Right now I'm just starting to break new personal records for hairyness.

I've been surprised that the GIMP isn't as difficult to use as I had previously thought. I particularly like the preview feature for saving JPEGs. I can use a slider to set the quality of the image and see a preview of viewing the file before saving. In the past with less capable software I used to go through a laborious process of saving a JPEG, viewing it in a separate program, and then repeating until I achieved an acceptable balance of file size and quality. Now I can adjust the slider and see what the result would be in terms of both quality and file size.

Recently I was doing sys-admin work for a company where Windows was the desktop standard. Often we had to send around screen-shots of various problems and the way of doing this was to use CTRL-PrtSc to copy an image of the window in question and then paste it into a MS-Word document because the Windows image had no other program that was capable of dealing with image data. One significant problem with MS-Word is that it doesn't allow expanding the image or modifying it, so you see it at about half the original resolution. It seems that what I should have been doing is pasting the image data into the GIMP and then saving it as a PNG file (PNG is loss-less compression which avoids the ripples you get from JPEG compression of text and it's also very efficient at compressing the regular data that is typical in a screen-capture). PNG files would take much less space than MS-Word documents and allow efficient viewing by many programs (including web browsers which are on all machines).


Niall Walsh said...

When doing screenshots on Windows I usually find myself cursing the ineptitude of MS Paint as an editor (e.g. flip a bimtap to crop the other side of it), but at least it's always been on the machines. I think from memory it even saves to png.

Shintaro said...

Why don't you use power-point?
It can change images bigger or smaller whatever you want.
My clients use it and sends each other 50Mbyte files online every day...;)

etbe said...

I tried using MS-Paint, but gave up because it was so poor.

I can't remember why PowerPoint wasn't used, maybe because no-one thought of using it. I guess I should have blogged about this problem while I worked there and then I could have tried PowerPoint.

Before I finished that contract I put some mentions of my blog in the internal wiki, so I expect that someone there will read my blog and see this advice.

Anonymous said...

worst. beard. ever.