Friday, January 04, 2008

Taking it Further With Software For Linux

The Take It Further Challenge is already doing what I'd hoped--it's pushing me to try new things and learn new skills. Today I learned how to shrink jpg images, put them together on a single page, and print them onto ink jet transfer paper, so that I can iron them onto fabric. These weren't the skills I had in mind, but they are new and useful.

Because I plan to scan and manipulate some images, I've been studying Gimp tutorials. (Gimp is the Open Source image manipulation program that has many features people pay a lot for with Photoshop. It's available for Macs and Windows as well as Linux.) While searching for Gimp instructions, I found another Linux program that does exactly what I want to do, and is easy and intuitive to use.

The program is called Gnome Photo Printer, and it allows you take several images, shrink them to fit a sheet of paper, arrange them, and send them to the printer. I found this program in GNOME Photo Printer: A nifty little app--a review and how-to by Joe Barr at Bless his heart, Joe uses Debian Linux, so I just followed his directions to install the program. It took me about 10 minutes to figure out how to use it, and I was a bit slow on the uptake this morning. Gnome Photo Printer is meant to send your image directly to the printer, but my printer is Linux-unfriendly. No problem--I just saved the output as a pdf file, sent it to the eMac, and printed from there.

I wanted to print my images onto some ink jet transfer paper I'd bought several years ago, but the instructions for using the paper were long lost. I vaguely remembered how to use it, but I was delighted to discover that Dharma Trading Company (where I bought it in the first place) has the directions posted on their Web site: Helpful hints when using Transfer Paper. They have many other intriguing image transfer techniques, including ink jet printing directly onto fabric, and "sun printing," but I'll start with the supplies I already have on hand.

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