Thursday, 16 September 2010

The Easy Life

Mallacoota panorama
Originally uploaded by reuvenim
I like taking things easy, which is exactly why I prefer to use Linux instead of wasting my time and exhausting my frustrations on Windows. Others, however, like to counter that Linux is too hard to live with, requiring coding expertise and such; this post is here to provide a real life example for just how simple life with Linux is.

Last night I was processing photos from our latest holiday on my PC. Naturally, I was using Ubuntu Linux and not Windows, because I wanted to actually be able to go to sleep at the end of my processing operations. Then, however, I stumbled on the need to process a panoramic photo - that is, the need to combine several separate photos into a single big photo (the one attached above). Thus far I was using Windows software to produce these panoramas, but last night I just couldn't be bothered to go through the Windows torture. So I went looking for Linux alternatives:
  1. I googled "photo panorama linux".
  2. The search results immediately told me of a piece of software called Hugin that does just that.
  3. I started Ubuntu's Synaptic on my PC and searched for Hugin. Hooray: the software is included in the default Ubuntu repositories!
  4. I checked the box to have Hugin installed.
  5. Half a minute later I had Hugin installed.
  6. I started Hugin and followed its wizard's advice.
  7. A few minutes later I had myself a panorama.
It was as simple as that, it was quick as, it was all legal, and it was all free. It was as smooth as it could be, as opposed to the Windows application that is so CPU hungry I can't dream of doing anything else while a panorama is being processed.
My point is simple: If you're afraid of making the jump from Windows to Linux because of perceived complexity or the perceived lack of applications, don't be. Chances are you'll find what you're looking for faster and easier than you would do the same in Windows, and it won't cost you a cent.

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