GIMP finally hits 2.4

If you are into heavy-duty image editing, but can’t afford Photoshop, you are probably already familiar with GIMP, and already know version 2.4 was release last week. If you didn’t know that, well now you do, and you can head over to the GIMP website for the download. In honor of the release, the GIMP team has updated the website with a cool new look, too.

Developers, artists and user interface designers from all over the world worked together to make GIMP more powerful and easier to use than ever. The changes from version 2.2 are too numerous to list here, please check the Release Notes to get an overview.

If you want to try out GIMP, but can’t or don’t want to install it just yet, you could also try out GIMP portable from the PortableApps collection. The version there is not yet updated to 2.4, but it will be soon. This is actually how I run GIMP on most systems where I use it. It’s just so convenient to use it from a USB key or to copy a single directory to a local hard drive and run it. I’m getting really used to just running everything portable that I can.

One last bit of advice. While GIMP is powerful, it can be a little tough to grok the interface. I highly recommend Akkana Peck’s Beginning GIMP book. It makes easing into the program so simple, and exposes the power of GIMP early. I have no idea why it is out of stock everywhere, but I assure you it is worth having if you plan on working with GIMP. For more details on it, check out the book website the author’s web site or the book detail page at Apress (where you can buy the ebook version) for possible help tracking it down.

[tags]GIMP, Graphics, Image manipulation, PortableApps, Portable Apps[/tags]

Get your television fix online

I’m not someone who watches a lot of television. Typically, if I have spare time, I’d prefer to be doing something on the computer rather than sitting just watching television. Even if I do sit to watch television, I tend to have my laptop with me so I can work on other things in the downtime when I’m not focusing on the television screen. But there are a few television programs I enjoy enough to watch (although typically not when they are broadcast and usually not on the television set). Given my own viewing preferences and when I’m most likely to have time to sit and watch television, you can probably imagine how interested I was when I found this guide to alternative means of catching your favorite television programs over at LifeHacker.

It’s a good guide to six ways you can keep up-to-date on television shows when you can’t be sitting ready to watch them when they are normally scheduled. Downloading options are of course the easiest and make up the bulk of the article, but building your own digital video recorder is also mentioned. And while this list is mostly focused on free methods of viewing television, there are brief mentions in the article and in the comment of some pay-to-play options as well.

With the fall television schedule in full swing, many of us are back in the habit of plopping down in front of the tube at night to catch the latest installment of our favorite show when it’s scheduled to air. That means clearing your schedule to watch the show and then sitting in front of the TV for a whole hour just for 43 minutes’ worth of programming. That doesn’t seem very productive, does it? Luckily, this viewing season there are more ways than ever to catch the latest episodes of your best-loved shows without becoming a slave to the prime-time television schedule. So forget the fall lineup as you know it, because this year you’re going to watch TV on your terms.

There is no mention of TV Torrents (my preferred source), nor usenet downloads (I use EasyNews), so realize that there is more out there than what is covered in this brief guide. But if you aren’t already into online television options, LifeHacker does have enough to get you started. You can always use Google to search for other options once you get started.

If you are curious as to what a geek who shares my interests would watch, right now I am staying current with Heroes and House. I also like to catch Bones, Criminal Minds, and Numb3rs when I can. I’ve just finished watching the first season of Burn Notice (I absolutely love this show), and will be catching up on Dexter and Eureka soon. There are a few others I like, if you are interested, but these make up the bulk of my television viewing.

[tags]Television, LifeHacker, Download TV programs[/tags]