- Written by Clayton Grace Clayton Grace
- Created: 10 April 2017 10 April 2017
What is GIMP?
GIMP is an acronym for the GNU Image Manipulation Program. The GNU portion of the name refers to the license GIMP uses, being the GNU GPL v3+ license. To the point, GIMP is a free and open-source raster image editing program, similar to Adobe Photoshop®. Gimp offers many of the same professional features of Photoshop© such as layers, plugins, filters, etc.
Why Use GIMP?
Gimp can be used to touch up photos and make both simple or complex edits to them. For example, it's a great product to enhance photos that are either over or under exposed, to help correct colors, to remove unwanted portions of an image, and to fix photo defects (dust/scratches), etc. GIMP can also be used to create free-form graphics (such as this website's logo).
What Limits Does GIMP Have?
The biggest limitation I can see with GIMP, is that it has a fairly steep learning curve. It's not the most intuitive program in the world to use. That's true of many professional level productivity tools, however, and shouldn't deter anyone from giving it a spin, especially since it costs nothing. There are certainly less complex image tools with much shallower learning curves, like Paint.net or Microsoft Windows' own Paint. But, they are much less powerful and far less full-featured.
Secondly, GIMP may present some challenges to users already used to using Adobe Photoshop©, simply due to interface differences. But, the similarities are such that most people acclimate rather quickly.
Lastly, the update process for GIMP often seems rather slow. A version a GIMP can stick around for a very long. That being said, if it works, don't fix it. Pointless updates that don't provide significant enhancements, quash important bugs, or improve interface aren't necessarily always a good thing.
What are the Benefits to Using GIMP?
The biggest benefit for using GIMP is that it is absolutely free, vs. Adobe Photoshop's $30.00/month standard subscription. That cost difference can be significant over time. If you chose to try GIMP, make sure you don't pay for it, as it costs nothing. There are versions for Linux/Unix, Windows, and Mac OS X, meaning, nearly everyone has access to it. Download it today at the official GIMP website at gimp.org.
Full Disclosure: I am not affiliated with the GIMP project in any way besides having reported some bugs in the past. I do use GIMP as my main photo editor, however.
- Written by Clayton Grace Clayton Grace
- Created: 09 April 2017 09 April 2017
What is Wheresgeorge.com?
Wheresgeorge.com, also known as the currency tracking project, monitors the movement of U.S. currency as it travels throughout the country and the entire world. You may have received a bill of U.S. currency in the past that has either been stamped or written upon with information inviting you can track the bill at wheresgeorge.com. If so, you've seen a registered wheresgeorge.com bill. You can also write on, or stamp on your own bills, enter them into the wheresgeorge.com website, and monitor the movement of the bills you've initiated.
Is Wheresgeorge.com Legal?
Many people wonder if tracking U.S. currency, or more importantly, writing or stamping on currency is even a legal activity? There is certainly nothing wrong with tracking currency based on serial numbers. In response to the concern of whether or not it's legal to write or stamp upon currency, the wheresgeorge.com website explains the following on it's FAQ page, "Where's George? does not encourage the defacement of U.S. Currency. The law defines 'illegal' defacement as defacement that renders bills unfit to be re-issued." The site then directs people to the following U.S. Department of the Treasury site further explaining defacement laws. In other words, in the websites' opinion, writing or stamping on U.S. currency does not render the bill unfit to be re-issued, thus, does not constitute illegal defacement.
Wheresgeorge.com offers many hours of entertainment. I think its pinnacle of existence was around 2010. Since then, the use of currency has become much less common, and entered bills tend to receive many fewer hits than previously. Also, bills travel less than in previous years. But, it's still entertaining and fun. To use the site effectively, you are required to create an account, however. There are also official apps for wheresgeorge.com on both Google Play Store, and iPhone App Store. Look them up, and play on the go.