Image Viewing and Editing

One of the tech sites I frequent was asking “what editing software do you use?” I don’t have a video editor that I like (I’ve just gotten into fabricating my own PVR and I haven’t settled on an operating system yet, much less a video editor I like) but I definitely have an opinion on image viewing and editing…

Image Viewing: IRFanView

I hated this program when I first started using it. The sys-admin at one of my previous employers had loaded it as the default image viewer, and I could not understand why. After several years of fiddling with other programs, I can now tell you why.

Quick loading, and I mean FAST. Photoshop, JASC, etc, all take 10 minutes to load (or it feels like it) with IRfanview you double click and your image is right there.

Editing tools are very basic (which is why I hated the program initially) but they are more than sufficient to handle the average users requirements. Image scaling, lightening and darkening of the image, etc. If you want to major editing, get program made for editing. If you want to view images and do basic manipulation, IRfanview is the program for you.

Image editing: Gimp it

When I need to manipulate files, I pull out the Gimp. Why would you pay for Photoshop when this program does everything Photoshop does, and does it for less? Someone else posted this on the same thread, which sums it up for me:

I think that when you struggle for software in a particular area you should always start with free unless you are compelled. That way you can learn the technologies, the techniques, the strengths and the weaknesses. If the free software does what you need, then great! If it doesn’t, you’ll be able to look at the commercial offerings with specific questions and specific needs. This improves your chances of finding what you need on the first try without buying a lot of unnecessary software.

When I finally start taking the PVR seriously I might have a video editor to recommend. And I’ll be doing that right after I finish remodeling the house.


…which still isn’t remodeled (03/19/2022) I don’t want to talk about it. I did give up trying to retain all the entertainment that I thought was worth keeping. After awhile even the casual watcher ends up with a voluminous library that defies indexing and categorizing. I finally just gave up recording and now I just need to give up the old recordings. That’ll be done before the remodeling gets done, I can guarantee that.

Linux Distro Chooser Quiz

Reading back issues of Linux Pipeline tonight, came across a link for the Linux Distro Chooser Quiz. (There is a 2020 version here. –ed.) It suggested I use Suse; which is kind of funny, since I’m only looking at other distros because I’m tired of fixing the missing pieces in Suse.

I want to be able to play DVD’s on a linux system without having to stand on my head tracking down different parts of a software program. I just want to install a DVD player that actually plays DVDs and I haven’t found one that I don’t have to assemble each time I upgrade the OS software. Suse comes with DVD disabled, as well as a lot of other bits and pieces missing and broken.

…and if I find it frustrating, as a confirmed software geek (if not a bonafide programmer) I can only imagine what the average user thinks.

The quiz is actually pretty cool, I do recommend it. I tweaked the settings the second time around and came up with a pretty decent list of distros, two of which I already have on hand (Ubuntu, and LinSpire. I also noticed a Kubuntu in the list; A KDE version of Ubuntu, apparently) and will be installing and trying to break shortly.

I’m already impressed with Ubuntu. I was able to get online using the live CD in about 5 minutes. Pretty cool.