I got a new laptop: the old one is working well enough, but was a bit cranky at times (being left alone seems to make it unhappy, and sometimes it just locks up if left unattended). I also fell in love with Dragon Age, which meant it wasn’t going to be enough. It can run Dragon Age II, after a manner of speaking (when the graphics card gets overloaded I had to close the window to get it to come back) but it won’t even launch DA:I.
I was, however, planning to keep it because my preferred application for working photographs is LightZone, a program which wasn’t able to compete with the behemoth which is PhotoShop. It was written for XP, but when I got the last machine (running Win7, and bought because I wasn’t going to let them force Win8 on me: this machine was bought because I knew WinX was on the way, and glad I am of it. Win8 is so annoying I’d rather be running WinME, but I digress) I discovered it was orphaned. The team had folded up shop.
But it could still be downloaded and was, fundamentally, stable.
This morning, on whim, I decided to see if it was stable in Win8. I popped it into Google and lo!, they have released new versions as open source. So I called my father and gave him the good news.
I like it because it’s built by someone who grew up using darkroom. It’s not “intuitive” (I don’t think that’s a useful word for user interaface in the first place, because it implies there is some Platonic Ideal which all users will “just understand”, that’s bullshit, and leads to assumptions of PEBKAC when it’s nothing of the sort), but once one gets the idea (which is that of Adams/White and the zones between black and white), it’s graspable. If one has internalised that idea (as one must to become good at black and white darkroom printing) it seems intuitive, because it’s familiar (and if you read Ctein’s “Post Exposure” [available for FREE: here: probably until such time as Ctein does a new edition: it’s not as nice as the print edition, but it’s out of print, and this can be read on a tablet], this is the sort of thing he’s talking about).
Gah… that lost the plot. I like it because it plays with images the way I learned to play with them, back when my fingernails were brown from fixer and smelt vaguely of vinegar from slopping in and out of D76.
So, it looks as if I’ll be trying to find a new home (or new use) for my middle aged laptop. Happy days.
P.S: the HP envy series have less than stellar keyboards. The click isn’t positive enough and I find I have to work more to be accurate: as well as pressing harder, so my arms get tired faster. I hope I get used to it.