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Your most used SPECIAL programs

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"Measuring by own scale" means that I've always though that if there is a need for some thing which requires hard work at the beginning BUT will give time back after it, then... you can do it. You can learn almost everything if you only want to.

You "problem" is that you are looking for the solution which imho cannot be solved in 100%. You can learn TeX and gain great results but it will require some hard time. You can also try something easier, got good results but sooner or later you'll be limited to chosen tool's features. Your choice is similar to web developing beginners. They can make web sites easily using WYSIWYG tools (i.e. Nvu / Komposer) or little bit more advanced ones (Dreamweaver) but the best after some time this is not enough. They end up with hand-coding.

I gave my opinion, now it's your move to decide.

I've decided to write my few thoughts in this thread because of two reasons:
1. I think that what I want to write about is pretty SPECIAL,
2. Even if I have plenty of time I am not in the mood to write a big review lately.

The thing I want to discuss is something I built up by my own which I call "fenix platform"8)

The main idea was to have nice set of tools related to general design and Information Architecture work which I would like to do in the future. The basic goal was to have good compatibility between various application and of course: for free. The best way to achieve that was trying to look for some ready answers in the Internet or building something from puzzles. And that is what I have already did. I've realized that XML (and files formats created using this mark-up language) is something worth to be investigated. After that it wasn't hard to find out what I should be using:

1. OpenOffice - office suite (documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings),
2. Inkscape - vector graphic editor,
3. GIMP - raster graphic editor,
4. Scribus - DTP tool,
5. Synfig - 2D vector animation.

Wide range of open source tools with possibilities to use XML (SVG) files as formats for export or import. They allow to design almost everything in any way you want to. Easy to learn, easy to use, easy to download. Imho the only way to have "suite" with similar possibilities is to buy whole packages from Adobe or Corel but it would rip off my pocket for sure.

I don't want to write detailed description for each tool because many of these are already known but I want to share an idea for setting up small "design studios" for free, for your owns only.

That's an interesting point of view, and food for thought.

Thanks for posting it here.


@ vixay - regarding Synergy: Can you disable / modify the common screensaver start/stop feature, so you have one or more screensavers running while you are working on one of the other screens at the same time?
-Curt (August 21, 2008, 06:03 PM)
--- End quote ---

Yes, you can, I disable the common screensaver and it works fine for me no problem  :up:.

As an example, and as the first post:

I have recently taken interest in HDR images from Flickr, so at the moment I use Bulk Image Downloader every day. It was merely $17.95, but makes it so easy for me to download all original sized photos by any photographer at Flickr's (and of course many other sites), in just a couple of clicks.

Some of the photographers at Flickr don't care to give their visitors the large dimensioned files, but merely uploads big thumbnails... (in my opinion, 500x375 pixels is not an image, but a thumbnail, if you know what I mean). For this reason I also use Image Compressor 2008 Pro - obviously not for compressing, but for enlarging. It gives a very fine quality, but if I hadn't received it from Giveawayoftheday, I wouldn't know about it, because the listed asking price is $99 - so I cannot afford to update...
-Curt (August 01, 2008, 05:57 AM)
--- End quote ---

One of the problems I have with my new Vista is, that I don't have a first class image enlarger. Image Compressor was fairly good, but when I tried Reshade Image Enlarger I came to realize the difference between being fairly good and being the best. I have been very impressed with Reshade. And shouldn't I: The normal asking price is $150 !!!  which I cannot afford.


Reshade Image Enlarger
- Resize Images Without Quality Loss

Deal Available: Friday 27 March, 2009
Reshade Image Enlarger provides accurate, high quality, and realistic enlargements at any zoom factor. Enlarge up to 2000% without appreciable quality loss!

Deal Price: $74.50
List Price: $149.00
You Save: 50%
Full Details
-Bits du Jour
--- End quote ---

But still it is a very big mouthful, and probably even plus 25% VAT. So I came to ask if any of you guys know about a more reasonable priced IMAGE ENLARGER that is far better than average?  :tellme:

XnView, PhotoScape, BetterJPEG, Avance Paint Pro, Ashampoo Photo Commander 7, FastStone Photo Resizer, GIMP 2, MirDotNet Photo ReSizer,  PaintDotNet, Photobie Design Studio, and Project Dogwaffle are all fair to me,   but not quite good enough for this particular niche.


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