December 29th, 2007

Computers

Image editor needed

Once upon a time, I sprung for Photoshop. I used it on my desktop and my laptop. When I upgraded to Photoshop CS3, I couldn't do that any more. I'm not about to pay $900 for a second copy. Photoshop 7 won't run on Leopard. Neither will Photoshop Elements 4, the latest version of that program. Thus, I'm looking for a cheap or free image editor for OS X.

The GIMP, at least in its usual form, need not apply. Perhaps I've been corrupted by Photoshop, but regardless, the GIMP just feels unusably arcane and clunky. Nothing is where I expect it to be, and I spend too much time fighting the interface. I'm going to keep using Photoshop on the desktop machine, and I really, really don't want to have to expend a lot of mental effort on switching back and forth. (Update: I tried GIMPshop, which is supposedly reworked to be much closer to Photoshop, but the latest version of that is based on the GIMP version 2.2.11, which isn't compatible with Leopard.)

I've tried several editors, and one, Acorn, almost works for me. It's small, quick, cheap ($39), and works as I expect. Another, Pixelmator, has a user interface that's closer to Photoshop, but with added flash; it's a bit more expensive ($59), though.

There's only one problem: One task I perform regularly is to take an image from a camera, crop it while preserving the aspect ratio, then resize it to 640 pixels on the long dimension, again preserving the aspect ratio. This is simple in Photoshop: you select the Crop tool, use it to select the entire canvas, then hold down option and shift while dragging a corner of the crop frame.

None of the editors I tried (in addition to Acorn and Pixelmator, I also tried Pixel (a very different program), Seashore (a cut-down GIMP with a somewhat reworked user interface), and LiveQuartz) made that operation even possible. Those that allowed altering the crop frame had no way to constrain its proportions; some didn't allow altering the crop frame at all.

Grumble. Any other suggestions out there? I'd rather not spend over $100 if I can help it.
  • Current Mood
    discontent discontent
Texas

Haven't decided who to support yet

I've been watching the Republican presidential candidate field, and none of them have really won me over:

  • Rudy Giuliani may well be electable, but his repeated claims that gun control is at least partially responsible for reducing crime in New York scare me silly. His later comments have not convinced me he's a friend of the Second Amendment. We'll have at least one major anti-gun candidate in November. We don't need two.

  • John McCain's support of amnesty for illegal aliens flies in the face of basic common sense. Like Giuliani, his later statements backing away from it are unconvincing.

  • Mitt Romney seems reasonable enough as a conservative - this week. I do doubt the sincerity of his embrace of conservative positions, given how recent a lot of it is.

  • Mike Huckabee's recent meteoric rise has come despite his taking considerably less than conservative positions on any of a number of things, from spending to immigration. He's also shown to have foot-in-mouth disease when it comes to foreign policy. I'm also a little uncomfortable with his waving his Southern Baptist religion in everyone's face; he's no Nehemiah Scudder, to be sure, but it's still too much for me.

  • Fred Thompson says all the right things. Why can't he get more support? If he can't draw support now, why should we think he will in November?

  • I agree with much of what Ron Paul says, but he's got too much of a stigma of kookhood about him to win the nomination, much less the election.

  • Nobody else has a significant following.


I don't have to decide yet - and may not get to have a voice anyway, if I'm not home for Minnesota's caucuses on February 5. Still, it bothers me that nobody really stands out yet. It's not like there's anyone on the Democrat side I'd prefer to any of these folks, so my vote in November is assured, but I wish I had more of an opinion...
  • Current Mood
    uncomfortable uncomfortable