For years, I’ve used a little Windows graphics viewer called “Vueprint.” Unlike most Windows programs, it’s small, fast, and easy to use.
When I started using it, the release version was v. 3 for Windows 3.1. Now it’s up to v. 8 for Windows XP, 2000, NT, and 9x.
It’s not an editor: you can’t use it to take, for example, George Bush’s head and put it on Pinto Colvig’s body (George Bush managed that himself).
The Linux world does offer the GIMP for complete image manipulation, as well as a number of other graphics viewers (the GIMP can do anything you want to do with a picture; the GIMP is the cat’s meow in Linux/Unix). (The GIMP is also available under the Open Source license–that means it’s free as long as the terms of the license are observed–for Windows and Fruits, so you can stop those $$$$$ for PhotoShop.)
Vueprint enabled me to move through a directory of pictures with single keystrokes or mouse-clicks, adjust white-points, contrast, and brightness, crop with the mouse and hot-keys, and all kinds of other neat stuff. In fact, I found it better for editing my digital photographs than the software that came with any of my cameras.
Since I do a lot of stuff with images (the training materials I write are full of illustrations, as is my boating website), the only Windows program I have missed since moving to Linux is Vueprint–Ed Hamrick has developed a great scanner program which he ported from Windows to Linux, but seems to have no interest in a Linux version of Vueprint. The best thing I’d found until today was XV: it’s cropping routine is easy, but it’s file-open and file-save routines are rather cumbersome.
So it was with great pleasure that I found XnView, which provides functionality similar to Vueprint in a native Linux program. I can crop my pictures with the mouse-click and a CTRL-C, resize them, adjust the color quality, and all that other stuff just as easily as in Vueprint.
[GEEK MODE ON]
The installation went smoothly.
I untarred the .tgz file, ran the install script (I did have to chmod the install script to run it–I got a “permission denied”), and bingo–the program . . . didn’t . . . run.
It was looking for a library file I didn’t have, at least not in the right place; I did a search and found a copy in my Open Office directory (/opt/openoffice.org2.0/program) and copied it to /usr/local/lib (XnView installed to /usr/local/bin) and bing-bang-boom, I was looking at pictures.
[GEEK MODE OFF]
The only deficiency I’ve found in the program is that the help file isn’t.
Isn’t there, that is.
But the menus are pretty much self-explanatory and expertise is only 15 minutes of experimentation away.
My Linux box is complete.
(except that I want to compile a new kernel and still haven’t taken the time to find out how to pass my wireless network password to my access point, but that’s another story . . . .)