Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I Made This


Don't laugh. I'm learning a new graphics program. And I've never been exactly agile on any in the past so I don't have much accumulated knowledge about the zoo of tool bars on something as major as The Gimp, which is a GNU open source, freeware ap that purports to compare favorably with Adobe Photoshop.

Plus I'm not learning just one ap in a leisurely manner. I'm using it in conjunction with Another major ap, which is a suite so is really several aps in one, while actually working on a major project that is fairly urgent. The project that I've alluded to here in the past couple days which I can't say much about. Oh, I suppose I could, but it would spoil the effect of the big splash I want to make the day we go live with the new website my husband and I are putting together.

My husband actually thinks I should be blogging about it for the sake of promotion. But what good would it do if I make a big announcement only to keep dragging it out for weeks or months. I've already missed three of the deadlines my husband set for my part. What if I'd made the announcement in April that we planned to go live May 1st and here we are with nothing up six weeks later.


Some of that was out of my control. Life just butted in. First the malware wars ate up three weeks. Then there was the demise of my laptop's power cord. Then family events surrounding Mother's Day and Easter. And this past week it was the death of my husband's grandmother followed by the graduations of a niece and nephew. We didn't actually get to go to the graduations because of limitted seating for the local one and not being able to make the trip up to Touttle, Washington for the second one. But there was still a lot of family hullabaloo surrounding all of the events.


Besides The Gimp, I am using the Open Office suite for this project as well. It has a Draw ap too.
Sometime one ap will do something the other one won't so I take files back and forth between them. Of course you can't keep the layers active. You have to save as a gimp or bitmap file before you can take a graphic into another ap.


I'm using Open Office as my WYSIWYG also. I'm actually having a much easier time with it than with any of the other free ones I've tried. The Open Office HTML page creator is part of its word processor ap. I can't tell you yet how versatile it is because I'm keeping everything on a very simple level at first. This web site doesn't require a complex style sheet so I've not even tried to figure out whether Open Office provides that capability.

One of the things we are trying to do with the project is to see if we can do it all with freeware and free hosting until the expected payoff. We don't even have a shoestring budget for this. Replacing the power cord in May pinched really hard. So hard, I gave up requesting a professional hair cut in advance of the heat and cut my own hair. Picture that if you can. A 90% or more blind woman cutting her own hair. There are so many things that are more important and more necessary than putting money into a great big maybe.


But my husband is excited about this project. He thinks we've finally hit on a way to combine our skill sets and the technology to create a steady income stream. It was my brainchild, but I couldn't make it happen without his help. This one is going to take his expertise in database maintenance. I know nothing from Mysql or php or what have you. But I am willing to learn once we get this thing rolling and stuff comes up that has to be dealt with when my husband isn't available. We can't risk his day job just yet.

The research I'm doing for my Fruits of the Spirit storyworld project is feeding into this (unnamed) project. I sorta did that on purpose. Since I could choose the theme of the first edition, I thought I might as well use the material I was collecting for FOS. The only drawback is that I am itching to get back to work on the actual story writing and I don't dare put aside this other thing to do so. My husband suggests that this is more important because if it works it will be the engine that drives the train for rest of our dreams.

Maybe it won't work. But we won't know until we try. And he wants to get it up and running and the bugs worked out of it before the late summer shipping season kicks in and he looses the time and energy he has available for it right now. The late summer shipping season segues into the holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Years when he works ten to twelve hour shifts. So we have a small window of opportunity here.

The pic at the top was taken with the new screen capture tool my husband downloaded for me just before he went to bed. That is the shot he took to show me how to use the ap. X Shot is another freeware ap. I asked for it because I've had in mind for awhile now that there is a lot of potential blog post material in the experiences of learning how to use new software. And such posts can be enhanced by pics to accompany the text. Screenshots of the thing I am talking about would not only make it more interesting but also less confusing. Not to mention, save on words.



I've been wanting for awhile now to start singing the praises of Open Office and the concept of writing about the experience of using it on a major project that is on a broken shoestring budget could be just the thing. As long as I don't make a bust of the project.

_______________________

You are invited to join my Sunday Serenity meme.

1 tell me a story:

Gary 6/13/2007 9:21 AM  

gimp has a steep learning curve just like photoshop. If you are using Linux as your os, there are a lot of good programs to edit with. Quanta Plus is great for editing xhtml etc.

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