This past January, after years of getting the most out of my “Frankenstein’s’’ machine, I finally purchased for myself a new PC. My previous computer was stitched together from no less than three older machines. It had two hard drives with a total of 16 GB of memory, an A-drive (how quaint), an 8X CD ROM reader, and one USB port.
My anxiety was not about trading up to a better computer, of course, but how to save all my valuable data. I wasn’t so much worried about my own documents, to tell the truth. I have hard copies of my most personal and valuable documents; and I have digital stores of these files spread all around (at school, on my wife’s computer, online, in thumb drives – it seems you can really leave digital litter around, no?)
Most important for me was that I was not going to be able to transfer some of my favorite programs over to my new computer for a variety of reasons — (i.e. some Win 98 software won’t work on Vista; and I had long ago lost/ discarded many of my start-up disks). The one program that I most lamented having to leave behind was my Photoshop, even though it was version 4 or 5? (how quickly I forget).
So, I have been living with MS Paint, which is like having to roller skate everywhere, once you’ve gotten a great car, learned to drive and been driving for years. Why not just buy another copy of Photoshop, you ask? Two reasons. It’s expensive and, I don’t use it that much. Fortunately, I was reading an article online recently and discovered a great, free substitute. I don’t say replacement, because the freeware isn’t quite as powerful as the industry standard, but it’s good enough for most of us dabblers. I wish I could remember where I read about this Paint.NET program, so I could give the proper credit. (I will if I recall)
Below is a little example of how I used the Paint.NET program to create a funny postcard for my wife’s swimshirt company. We wouldn’t use it in our real marketing … I was just trying to have fun.
For anyone else looking for a substitute to one of their favorite long lost programs (audio and/or video editing, word processing, etc.) I also advise that you read PC World Magazine and visit their web site for recommendations to “safe” and mostly virus-free software. An article by Robert Strohmeyer in the August ’08 issue (20 Features Windows Ought to Have; and how to get them), led me to a great audio editing program called Audacity. I just downloaded it and plan to play with sound now for a while.
Thanks for stopping by and hope summer is going well.
© 2008 henry toromoreno