Practical Technology

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Picasa 3: Great Linux photo software


I have a confession to make. There’s no software on earth I can’t make dance and sing… except for photography programs. Whether it’s Adobe Photoshop CS4 on a Mac or GIMP 2.6.3 on Linux, I’m a klutz. So, when I need to make my holiday photos look halfway decent, I try my best with easy to use photo programs like Photoshop Elements 7 or Google Picasa. While I’d like to see more Adobe programs, on Linux with Google’s new release of Picasa 3 for Linux now here, I’m in no hurry to see Photoshop Elements on Linux.

Don’t get me wrong, Picasa doesn’t has all of Elements’ features. After all, these days Elements is really just the low-end version of Photoshop rather than a program for casual photographers like yours truly. For me, and for the millions of others who find getting rid of red-eye in photos the biggest challenge they’ll ever tackle, Picasa is more than enough program.

I installed the new Picasa, which like all Google programs is a free download and labeled as beta software on two systems. The first is my new main Linux desktop system. This is a Dell Inspiron 530s, powered by a 2.2GHz Intel Pentium E2200 dual-core processor with an 800MHz front side bus, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB SATA drive, and an integrated Intel 3100 GMA (Graphics Media Accelerator) running the Debian-based SimplyMEPIS 8. My other test computer is my openSUSE 11 powered ThinkPad R61 with a 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor T7500, 2GBs of RAM, an 80GB hard drive and an integrated Intel 965 GMA.

Underneath the hood, Picasa isn’t a native Linux application. It’s actually a Windows program running under Wine, an open-source version of the Windows API (application programming interface). No matter, on both computers, the program ran flawlessly. And, better still, it did a flawless job of making my photos presentable.

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