Shallow Thoughts

Akkana's Musings on Open Source, Science, and Nature.

Fri, 26 May 2006

"Beginning GIMP" is shipping!

It's been a busy couple of weeks. My book (Beginning GIMP: From Novice to Professional) finally started arriving on people's doorsteps.

I first found out it was shipping from an email from a reader in Ohio: "I just received your book, and I have a question ..." He was the first of the Amazon shipments.

Over the next few days, more Amazon shipments started trickling in -- my mom got hers, a couple of friends got their copies. But it was nearly a week before either I or the home office of Apress received our copies, so in the meantime I was pumping everyone I knew for information -- "How does it look?"

Finally my copies arrived. It's beautiful! I'm so happy with the printing job Apress arranged. Bright colors on thick glossy paper. The colors are surprisingly different from what I saw on the PDF that went to the printer -- the active window borders on all the screenshots (royal blue on my screen) are almost purple! Now I can better appreciate why people who print professionally care so much about details like ICC color profiles. Fortunately, I knew there might be some color shift, so none of the figures in the book depend on exact colors (the RGB color circles aren't precisely Red, Green and Blue, but I'm sure readers will understand them).

So now I'm on the lecture/booksigning circuit. What fun! I've only given a couple of talks so far; last night was a PenLUG talk that went well, with lots of audience questions. The audience ranged from beginners to experienced graphics programmers to someone who's interested in using GIMP in a scientific context (comparing images; I told him about the geologist I talked to a few months ago who was doing just that, using Difference or Subtract layer modes to compare two aerial photos of the same area) to a professional photographer who uses GIMP in his work. One of the great side benefits of speaking about GIMP is getting a chance to hear all the ways people use it for different purposes.

I made some business cards to hand out, but no one takes them. That's okay: it was a good excuse to fiddle with my gimplabels script-fu and learn how to print really nice business cards from GIMP. Making business cards is easy with gLabels, but since it uses gnome-print it can only print using the system's default settings, which makes for really chintzy looking, pixellated cards. Gimp-print, on the other hand, can print in high resolution to nice glossy photo-quality card stock.

I'm gradually learning how to give a better GIMP talk, collecting interesting examples to show and minimizing the time spent fumbling over menus or waiting for progress bars. And dealing with the occasional glitch: last night, SIOX for some reason refused to select my flower image, after working perfectly the hundred or so previous times I've used it on that image. (What timing! Just last week I also received my ATM-B award from Toastmasters. Too bad outside GIMP talks don't count toward the next level.)

Fortunately GIMP is very visual, so it's easy and fun to find whizzy examples and techniques that most people haven't seen before. People have lots of interest in GIMP and image editing in general, and they want to hear more about it and have lots of questions. It's a topic everyone can appreciate. After all, who doesn't like looking at cool images?

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[ 10:32 May 26, 2006    More gimp | permalink to this entry ]