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Tears, Fears, Time To Shift Gears

November 16, 2015

It’s been six weeks since my last blog post. Anybody got a beet-red crayon? Color me embarrassed… 😳

I must admit, it’s been an interesting six weeks.

My trusty old iMac died. I bought it back in 2006, which means it was obsolete. Which is funny because I drive a car that’s older than that.

Anyway, that’s where the tears come in.blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

Man crying puddle of tears at dead iMac monitor gravestone with dead mouse next to dirt-covered keyboard

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highHere’s a close up of me channeling Julie London.

Cry Me A River, baby.blank vertical space, 32 pixels high
Detail image of man crying puddle of tears at dead iMac monitor gravestone with dead mouse next to dirt-covered keyboard

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highLosing the old computer wasn’t so bad. I’d bought a new iMac in January. Did I have a premonition? Not really. The old iMac’s browsers were maxed out, and I could no longer access certain websites.

I was extremely lucky because I only lost the machine. A resourceful tech at my local Mac store was able to rescue the hard drive. I bought a hard drive enclosure, also known as a disk enclosure, for $30. It plugs into a USB port on my new iMac. I can access all my old files– whew!

So my old iMac biting the dust was no big deal, right?

Wrong.

That’s because it took my beloved Photoshop (version CS2) with it. I’d been using Adobe Photoshop to color and finish my work since 1997. I knew it by heart (well, almost). Version CS2 was released in 2005, and had also become obsolete. My old iMac could run it. My new iMac cannot. Cue more tears, and some icky raindrops…blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

Twitter bird pooping on head of man crying puddle of tears at dead Photoshop monitor gravestone with dead mouse next to dirt-covered keyboard

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highI learned Photoshop thru trial and error. I had a lot invested. To suddenly lose your go-to image-editing program after almost 18 years was traumatic. How traumatic? Well, it’s the sort of thing that makes the color drain from your face…blank vertical space, 32 pixels high
Color draining from faces of apple worm yellow smiley face and Mr. Spock of Star Trek

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highI know what you’re thinking: why all the hand-wringing? Just buy the latest version of Photoshop and run it on your new machine– simple, right?

Yes and no. Here’s the thing: you can no longer buy Photoshop and download the program onto your computer. Adobe has switched to a subscription model. You can buy a one-year subscription to Photoshop (or any other single Adobe application) for US$239.88/year (US$19.99/month).

Having subscribed, you would now access Photoshop via “the cloud” (a shared server located somewhere in cyberspace). Photoshop would not physically reside on your computer.

I paid about $550 for Photoshop CS2 back in 2006. I had it for somewhere between 9-10 years. Let’s call it 10 to make the math easy. That works out to $55/year, or $4.60/mo.

I didn’t like the idea of paying $240/year, and having to renew the subscription every year. (Assuming no price increase, the cost of the subscription for 3 years would be: $240 x 3 = $720.)

I also didn’t like the idea of not having the program on my computer. It would make access to Photoshop dependent on my internet connection. If my internet service provider was having problems, I’d lose access to “the cloud.” No cloud, no Photoshop.

But I needed Photoshop! …or did I? Being a brave and daring fellow, here’s what I decided to do:blank vertical space, 32 pixels high
Happy man hugging big glass jar filled with coins quarters dimes nickels pennies with pun message Embrace Change

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highHow’s that for coining a phrase??

I scraped together all my pennies and nickels and dimes and quarters and bought Pixelmator for $30.

Pixelmator is a graphics editing program developed specifically for the Mac OS X operating system. It’s not as elegant as Photoshop, and it lacks certain Photoshop features. But it gets the job done. I used Pixelmator to create all the illustrations in this post.

I learn best under pressure. My old computer died on Saturday, Oct. 10th. I bought Pixelmator on Monday the 12th, and accepted a big assignment the same day. The assignment was due the following Wednesday, Oct. 21st.BlankVertSpace.2pixelsBlankVertSpace.4pixels

But that’s a story for my next blog post… 😊blank vertical space, 32 pixels high
Detail image of happy man hugging big glass jar filled with coins quarters dimes nickels pennies with pun message Embrace Change

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    *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Ever had a computer die unexpectedly? Any lessons you’d care to share?

We all get accustomed to familiar routines. Ever faced a sudden crisis and made a radical break?

Have you ever cried a river? Did it cause any environmental damage??

Hope you’ll leave a comment.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

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Other Posts You Might Enjoy:BlankVertSpace.8pixels

From Hokey To Hip: Animated GIF Goes To Hollywood!!

Thanksgiving Story: How The Jive Turkey Hustled The Street Musician

If There’s A Buzzard Watching You, You’re Not Drinking Enough Water
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39 Comments leave one →
  1. November 16, 2015 11:01 AM

    I don’t like it either when things depend on *shifty* internet connection.

    Like

    • November 18, 2015 12:07 PM

      Ha! “Shifty” is right– you never know when your internet connection is going to shift into another dimension and take its time coming back! Many thanks for your comment– glad to have some solidarity on this shifty issue! : )

      Like

  2. November 16, 2015 1:45 PM

    I’m so glad to hear you adapted so quickly!
    I’ve got the same concern you have about subscriptions. When I bought my new PC this spring, I was going to have to upgrade Adobe Photoshop Elements. I was increasingly disturbed by Adobe in general, so switched to GIMP (freeware available for PC and MAC). I’m happy I did that.
    If Microsoft moves to subscription only for its Office Programs, then I will switch to open source alternatives for them too!

    Like

    • November 18, 2015 12:17 PM

      Hi, Margie! Many thanks, as always, for your kind support. This post seems to have hit a nerve. I’m suddenly hearing a lot of negative opinion re the software subscription model. It appears I’m not alone, as I used to say when I opened my bedroom closet door and saw all the monsters… : )

      I’ve never used GIMP, but I’ve heard good things about it. I love bells and whistles, but there are many in “name” software programs that one seldom, if ever, needs to use. Always great to hear from you, thanks for sharing your experience, O Mighty Photographer Of The North! : )

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Robin King permalink
    November 16, 2015 3:56 PM

    MARK!!! Clicking that “Like” button was tough — I DON’T LIKE what happened to you!!! But I do like how you’ve turned things around and made it all better again. Hooray!
    That Cloud — ugh. Not a fan. Concept, yes. Reality? Nope. Not as far as I can see. It’s just a rainmaker for the folks who charge the Cloud-rent.
    Love these illustrations! You’ve mastered Pixelmator! You’re a Master Pixelmator! (Don’t’ say that too many times in a row, too fast…)
    The title is perfection, too.
    And all of this happened when you were up against a deadline?!! Yeeeeow!!!!

    How wonderful to see you back again! YAY!!!!
    🙂

    Like

    • November 18, 2015 1:01 PM

      Thank you, dear Robin! Yes, I’ve turned things around, as the tissue clerk said after rearranging the toilet paper display. He was on a roll– several dozen, in fact… 😄

      I agree with you about The Cloud. It is a fantastic concept, being able to run programs that are stored remotely, Lord knows where. And the idea of Cloud storage makes a lot of sense– being able to store your files remotely, instead of having to back them up daily, weekly, whatever, using your own storage disks and programs. I didn’t see The Cloud as presaging the new software subscription model, however. Nope, that went right over my naive pointy little head! 😕

      Nay, nay, I still have a lot to learn about Pixelmator. But it’s like Samuel Johnson once said: “Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” Same with me, only it’s when I’ve got an assignment breathing down my neck… 😊

      Many thanks, dear Robin, for all your kind words and cheery support!! 🏇🏿🏇🏽🏇🏿⚡️🚑

      Like

  4. November 16, 2015 4:01 PM

    Hi Mark, nice to read you again. It’s been quite a while!
    I know the feeling. Had a similar problem two years ago. …..and still miss the old program, because it was much better!!!!
    Like you I dislike the latest fashion of renting. My new word is from Ebay 😉
    I wish you a good time with you new equipment!

    Like

    • November 18, 2015 1:21 PM

      Dear Tutti! Nice to see you, talentierten und einfalls Meister aller Handwerk! Yes, I’ve been sitting in the closet, eating bratwurst and reading “How To Learn German Without Really Trying.” I must get out more. I also need to get a light installed in the closet… 😄

      It appears my experience was not unique. Everyone seems to have lost a beloved program due to a computer’s demise, and/or a new operating system. It’s vexing, as the bürgermeister said when he went out to get a suntan during an eclipse… 😆

      I don’t mind renting a canoe for my bathtub, but that’s a one-time thing. Renting software year after year is an entirely different matter– nein, nein, say I!!

      You’re studying vocabulary on eBay?? You are most resourceful, my dear Tutti!! Thank you for your good wishes and kind support!! 😇

      Liked by 1 person

  5. November 16, 2015 4:01 PM

    Greetings from Malta Tutti

    Like

    • November 18, 2015 1:31 PM

      Malta?? Either you’re on vacation, or you took a wrong turn going home last night. Have fun, and don’t try to surf the ocean and the internet at the same time. Laptops don’t work very well when they get waterlogged. Which also makes them hard to sell on eBay… 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. November 16, 2015 10:10 PM

    Oooh, Mark, I’ll be in the same predicament as you soon — my 2010 MacBook is running slow with the new OS & having more & more problems. If anything happens to my baby, I also lose my Photoshop & agree with you that paying hundreds of dollars to Adobe to get at a Cloud version for a single year is simply not worth it. Thanks for pointing me to Pixelmator — I will definitely check it out. Have fun with your new iMac.

    Like

    • November 18, 2015 1:46 PM

      Hi, Vanessa! I seem to have tapped into a universal anxiety and/or angst! We all seem to be in the same boat, as Wynken said to Blynken and Nod… 😊

      There oughta be a law against creating new operating systems incapable of running old software. OK, I’m being unreasonable, but it seems like a reasonable request. Uh… huh?? 😊

      Yes, I can highly recommend Pixelmator. It does have many of the same design features as Photoshop (layers, blending modes, etc), and most of them work the same way– it’s just that somebody changed some of the control panels, and hid a buncha things in odd places! Definitely workable, however.

      Good luck, and many thanks for your kind comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. November 17, 2015 6:08 AM

    Ah, my funny friend-
    My condolences for your loss. It is a tragic thing indeed to lose one’s dear digital companion. And if that wasn’t enough, those rich relatives (cause you weren’t left anything in the will) screwed ya ’cause they want more 😉
    But your comic brilliance has worked itself out of the clip art lines, and into a brave new free form world…
    You are a true inspiration, Mark. Always lemonade, never lemons (unless they are needed for advertising purposes;)).
    It’s been years since I braved the Photoshop world but I may just attempt Pixelmator at some $30 point (if my family would just stop eating I’d have money all the time;))
    Wonderful graphics and homage to your inspirational tale.
    Have a wondrous week of exploration…
    am:)

    Like

    • November 19, 2015 1:04 PM

      My dear AnnMarie! Thank you for your sympathy card. Er, comment. “One’s dear digital companion” made me guffaw mit der gusto! Yes, the will was read, but no crusta bread. Fortunately I always keep $30 in my sock for just such emergencies. Makes me walk funny, but it comes in handy… 😊

      I inspire you, you inspire me. We inspire us, us inspire… no, check that, I’m straying into ungrammatical waters, and I hate to get my verbs wet, as the noun said to the preposition… 😊

      Many thanks, AM, for your ongoing kindness, support, and witty aplomb (not to be confused with witty a-prune). 😇

      Like

      • November 19, 2015 6:23 PM

        Is that 30 bucks in bills or change 😉
        Thank goodness inspiration is still free (at least the last time I checked;)).
        Onward and upward, my funny friend.
        am:)

        Like

        • November 19, 2015 9:12 PM

          $29 in crumpled $1’s, and 100 pennies just in case I ever stumble into a time portal and wind up in a mom and pop store that sells penny candy. Be prepared, as the centipede said when he bought the shoelace factory… 😄

          Yes, a lucky thing inspiration is free. Otherwise, your blog posts would cost a fortune!! 😊

          Like

        • November 20, 2015 6:07 AM

          My posts cost exactly $30 a piece, but I accept no pennies. Better get stumbling for paper dollars 😉
          Thank you for your most joyous thoughts here, Mark. And might I say, the inspiration is mutual:)
          am:)

          Like

  8. soul . to . earth permalink
    November 18, 2015 9:26 AM

    Aha, no wonder you were MIA (also stands for Mark Interesting Armstrong)! Love the sketch details and puns. Do tell us if the bird later ‘dropped’ a blessing in keeping with “It never rains but pours”? 😀

    Wow, the PhotoShop ‘plan’ sounds like another money-grabbing idea under the guise of preventing software piracy. I’m so glad you found another option that works just as well. If it makes you feel any better, AutoCAD’s ‘license’ (= same BS as PS!!) runs at $140+ per month forcing me to save a laptop from circa 2000 (15 years is truly ancient) for the very few times I need to use the program. Bah, humbug!

    Hope this puts a smile on yer face…..

    Knock! Knock!
    Who’s there?
    Change.
    Change who?
    Get a door bell already!

    Like

    • November 19, 2015 8:28 PM

      Yes, my middle name is “Interesting.” That’s because when geneticists put my DNA (Daft Nutcase Artist) on a slide and peer at it thru a microscope, they invariably say “Interesting!” Actually, they use more colorful terms, but I’ve substituted “interesting” because my readers are gentle and refined and worship the gutter I lie in… 😉

      My dear Radhika! Thank you for floating in on a cold air mass from the north, albeit one redolent with the sweet spicy fragrances of the Yazdani Bakery, aka, The Mumbai Donut Shoppe… 😋

      Birds like to drop “blessings” on me. I think it’s my dynamic, energetic personality. They think I’m a statue, or a mime who was so inept, he got turned into a pillar of salt…😢

      Interesting point about the subscription-cloud model being an anti-piracy move (at least in part). According to this post, pirates didn’t have much trouble raiding the new cookie jar. (FWIW: Some interesting theories propounded in the post comments, especially if you’re a conspiracy aficionado…)

      You’re stuck with a $140/month subscription masquerading as a license?? Ouch. I don’t know who this Auto guy is, but he’s a CAD all right. And a bounder. And you have a venerable 15-year-old laptop?? Zounds! I’m going to the consignment store tomorrow to buy one of their $10 suits, hopefully on sale. If there’s a funeral in the near future, I wanna be ready. Especially if you ask me to be a pallbearer… 😭

      Your knock-knock joke rang my chimes. Here’s one for you:

      Knock! Knock!
      Who’s there??
      Mumbai.
      Mumbai who?
      Mum buy paalu mithai, Dad buy nariyal burfi, a six-pack, and a lottery ticket! 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Lily permalink
    November 18, 2015 2:29 PM

    Hi Mark! This was one action-packed post!

    I, too, have never liked the idea of “subscribing” to a computer program. It isn’t a magazine where I’m paying per issue – I just want the one magazine! And I want a physical copy, not an internet-only one, because maybe I like to switch off the internet while I read 🙂 🙂

    I’m also jealous – jealous that you learn so quickly! I would never have known you switched programs if you hadn’t said so! Though I totally understand the ‘learning under pressure’ thing… nothing like pressure to get us motivated!

    Like

    • November 19, 2015 9:05 PM

      Action-packed. That’s me all right. Sometimes I like to squeeze in a nap between a snooze and coma… 😊

      My dear Lily! So nice of you to check in, lovely to see you. Software subscription fans seem to be few and far between. I liked your magazine analogy: some of us just want the one magazine, period. We don’t want to keep paying, because the one magazine has everything we need! And FWIW, I, too, am a “hard copy” reader. I like to curl up with a book, not an eBook. A book with real pages you can stick a bookmark in when it’s time to take a break or put a dent in a pillow! 😴

      Just between you and me and anyone who’s eavesdropping, I seldom learn anything the first time through. I need to make a lot of mistakes before something finally “clicks.” I can’t recommend this method, but I seem to be stuck with it. Under pressure, I’m just able to make mistakes faster, so I finally “get it” sooner. I should donate my brain to science before it goes completely… 😩

      Always a pleasure, Lily, thanks for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. November 18, 2015 6:48 PM

    I would say “it’s unbelievable” but it was a long time coming.
    First thing’s first – alas, you are back and our smiles are back! 🙂
    I am so sorry about your poor mac. It’s ridiculous what’s happening to us.
    Imagine being a construction worker and having to replace your hammer every now and then because it is being …updated! If you don’t get version xxvi the nail will cease to respond to it after a certain period of time! Well, the tool given to us, to “help us do work faster” [greatest joke ever told], the computer, is a virtual tool intended to make us: neurotic, dependent, poor, junkies, detached from everything [from human contact to nature], delusional and ultimately sick. Writing these things is making me want to take anything with a circuit in it and throw it away – but guess what: almost everything has a circuit in it. Even the oven!
    Too late…
    so I am glad to know a resourceful man like you, who gives me courage to go on! 🙂
    Can’t wait to see what your resourcefulness has come up with!
    I never thought I’d say this for a cloud, but… good riddance!
    Happy Wednesday, my friend.
    Good to see you again. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 20, 2015 9:53 AM

      My Dear Enchantress Who Lights Up Mt. Olympus With A Wave Of Her Magic Paint Brush–!

      I thought of you many times during the past six weeks. WWMD: “What would Marina do??” I’d ask myself. That’s when I’d open the windows and start throwing out electronics! The computer was pretty easy. The stove and refrigerator were more difficult. Fortunately, a flock of wild turkeys was passing by. They caught all the stuff and brought it back inside. Like you, they knew a bitter truth: there’s no escape from the “labor-saving” devices that keep us anxious, enslaved, connected, alienated, and daft. I’ve even heard rumors that Mt. O. now has ambrosia cafés that offer free WiFi. Sigh… 😢

      Your hammer update analogy and the “nail that won’t respond to it after a certain period of time” made me roar with laughter, as did your vehement “Good riddance!” to “the cloud.” Yes, even the simple beauty of clouds in the sky has been tainted by “cyber-speak.” I’m sometimes exhilarated by the thought that computers are bringing the people of the world closer together. (How else would you and I have met?) At the same time, as you say, they’re making us all neurotic, dependent, delusional, and, yes, even sick. Nothing’s ever simple, and it probably never was.

      Wonderful to see you, Marina, thanks for your lovely comment. Where’s my cup of ambrosia? Here’s lookin’ at you, kid. Onward! ⛅️🍇🍓🍹😘

      Liked by 1 person

      • November 22, 2015 5:45 PM

        🍇🍎🍉🍍🍒🍓🍐🍏🍹🍸🍷🍭🍰 all and much much more, heading your way from M.O.! 😉

        Like

  11. November 21, 2015 5:06 PM

    You have been incredibly lucky to have had a computer for nearly a decade.

    I have to refrain from ranting about my desktop computer…after it was serviced twice in the past 5 months.

    Not functioning totally after a month…anyway. I’m just glad I have several blog posts done and lined up for publication. It’s handy when the computer is temporarily kuptzed.

    Like

    • November 25, 2015 7:41 PM

      Hi, Jean! Sorry to be late responding here. Until I read your comment, I hadn’t really thought about the average lifespan of a personal computer. I just did some googling on the subject. Couldn’t find any formal studies or hard numbers, but the general consensus seems to be 3-5 years, maybe 7 at the outside. So you’re right– I was lucky to get almost 10 years out of my old iMac. It still amazes me, however, how they can be working fine one minute, then gone the next!

      Sorry to hear you’ve been having your own computer troubles. It’s like having a bicycle chain that keeps popping off. After awhile you’re ready to throw the darn thing off a cliff! Perhaps I exaggerate. Hmm. How’d I come up with that analogy anyway… : )

      I’m overdue at your blog, but it’s good to know there are new posts waiting for me. Cheers, and thanks for checking in! : )

      Liked by 1 person

      • November 25, 2015 8:39 PM

        Yup like a bicycle chain popping off. You do have a way of making cycling metaphors that I don’t think even. Therefore you are fellow cyclist too! Look forward to seeing you drop by my blog world over time, Mark.

        Like

  12. November 22, 2015 11:34 PM

    I guess it should have been hard adapting from the luxury of Photoshop to a whole new and less functional editor. But it certainly doesn’t show in your illustrations, they are amazing!

    Embracing change can be pretty hard, but that’s how you grow in life, right?

    P.S. I hate these subscription models. These people make their products far less accessible and affordable when they change them to services.

    Like

    • November 25, 2015 7:59 PM

      Many thanks for your kind words. I was a bit frazzled those first few days using Pixelmator. It parallels Photoshop in many respects, but it’s not as intuitive, and some of the controls and drop-down menus are hard to find. I did a lot of googling looking for hints. Fortunately, other Pixelmator users had encountered many of the same problems, and were able to point me in the right direction. As with any new experience, gradually things begin to fall into place.

      You’re certainly right about change and growth. They’re joined at the hip. You’ve got to embrace the one to get the other. Software subscriptions… grr! Let’s hope they inspire other developers (like the guys who created Pixelmator) to create cheaper alternative apps that we can buy outright and download to our computers. Many thanks for your visit and comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Robin King permalink
    November 27, 2015 11:32 AM

    ::runs in, out of breath:: Mark! You probably already thought of this but JUST IN CASE you didn’t: Did you look at the boxed software for Photoshop Elements? It’s in a lot of stores (Yes!! Amazing! I was shocked!!!!) and very, very reasonable compared to its beefy and cloud-bound cousin. I’ve never had the BIG Photoshop but I’ve done trials of several versions and Elements is a wonderful alternative if still you want the Photoshop Vibe. Yes, there’s stuff that isn’t there and if it’s the stuff you use, then it won’t be good for you. But I’ve always found a workaround. If you search you’ll find boxed and online versions. The one I”m using is the one I got free in a bundle (PSE11) — I don’t know if there’s a newer Mac-freidnly one of not. The numbers go up to 14 (might be Windows?) now, but they’ve also got a “Premier” one, too, which I know nothing about.
    OK, I’m outta here.
    ::waves and climbs back into the ReesesMobile::

    Like

    • December 3, 2015 10:59 AM

      Cough, cough! Gosh– I never choked on chocolate exhaust fumes before! Viva La Reesesmobile!! : )

      Thanks a heap, Robin, I did not know that about Photoshop Elements. I just assumed that all Adobe software products were now subscription-based. Never considered for a moment that there might be exceptions. I’ve never used Elements. As you say, will have to do some research. If Elements has all of Full Photoshop’s Pen tool capabilities, for example, I’d be very tempted to buy it. In any event, I really appreciate the tip. Thank you, you most benevolent chocolate polluter– er, I mean, cacao bean recycler, you!! : )

      ::hops in Tofumobile which goes rrr-rrr-rrr, shudders, backfires, and dies; climbs out window, walks home in disgust::

      Like

  14. Robin King permalink
    November 27, 2015 11:46 AM

    Me again — Here’s a nice link:
    http://www.techradar.com/us/reviews/pc-mac/software/graphics-and-media-software/image-editing-software/adobe-photoshop-elements-13-1266848/review
    Big range of prices! Also, I can easily run my old PSE8 with El Capitan except for using my scanner. It doesn’t like that. PSE11 does everything. Apparently, PSE13 has more cool stuff and I guess it’s the most compatible with the new OSX, but not certain.
    🙂

    Like

    • December 5, 2015 10:45 AM

      Ahoy, Singing Tuna who once gave voice lessons to King Neptune! 🐟👑

      Many thanks for the link. After reading about PSElements (PSE), I googled “pen tool Photoshop Elements” and learned that unlike its big pricey brother (“Full” Photoshop), Elements does not have a Pen tool. The Pen tool is what I miss most, now that I don’t have PS. (Pixelmator– my new image-editing program– has a Pen tool, but it’s essentially useless, IMO.)

      But wait!– all is not lost. In the course of my googling, I came across this comment in a PSE forum: “If you want a fully functional pen/paths tool, you could get GIMP – it’s free: http://www.gimp.org – almost identical to the pen tool in Photoshop CS5.”

      One of the best sources of tutorials in my experience is YouTube. I did some exploring there and easily found tutes showing how to use GIMP’s Path tool (GIMP calls it a Path tool instead of a Pen tool, but it’s the same thing) to 1) make a precise selection, and 2) draw a path you can then stroke with a brush or other painting tool. FWIW: There are many other GIMP tutorials on YouTube.

      I haven’t downloaded GIMP yet (a little too busy at the moment), but I plan to, and it is indeed free. Sounds like a great resource– and it’s got a real Pen tool! Hurrah!!

      One last note to put things in perspective: I do my line drawings by hand, then scan them into my computer. The reason the Pen tool was so handy for me: it’s perfect for adding lines and making corrections. By stroking the Pen path with certain brushes, set at certain angles, I could simulate a hand-drawn look that blends in well with the rest of the original (scanned) line drawing.

      Thanks again, kindest Robin, for putting me on the right path!! ⚡️🎆🎉✨🎨🎯🏆😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • Robin King permalink
        December 6, 2015 7:19 AM

        Hi, Mark. Time is limited, just wanted to mention Inkscape, too, if you’re looking for path/bitmap/vector pen power. I’ve used GIMP over the years (before PSE, in fact) but never felt at home with it. It has some wonderful features, though. I hope it’s what you need. Here’s info about Inkscape: https://inkscape.org/en/

        Like

        • December 11, 2015 11:38 AM

          Inkscape! It looks like an extremely valuable resource, as Daniel Boone said when he saw his first bar of soap at the trading post… : )

          I just watched this very helpful video on using Inkscape’s Bezier tool (which is what Inkscape calls its Pen tool) to draw paths. Looks very simple and straightforward. I also found a tutorial on how to stroke a path with a brush in Inkscape. That’s just what I’ve been looking for, since I could do same in Photoshop, but can’t do it in Pixelmator. And since the latter tute dates to 2008, I hoping said technique has only improved.

          In short, my dear Robin, you’ve done it again: namely, caused a revolution in my brain, and pointed me towards a brighter digital future!! I really can’t thank you enough. As a reward, I’ll be sending over some Reeses as soon as I can get the double-wide, semi-tractor trucks loaded. ::grabs shovel and pitchfork, runs, trips, suffers grievous injuries, eats handful of Reeses, is restored to perfect health:: 😊

          Like

  15. November 29, 2015 4:51 PM

    Congratulations, Mark, on your quick ascent up the learning curve. You’ve proven the old agage is true: When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

    I also had not envisioned the ka-ching possibilities of The Cloud and software subscriptions. Kudos to your resourcefulness and ability to shift gears. 😉

    Like

    • December 9, 2015 2:01 PM

      Yes, Life is always tossing me a learning curve. Usually I whiff, but once in awhile I connect. Desperation is a great motivator, as the starving man said as he bit into his tofu-and-liver sandwich… : )

      “Ka-ching possibilities”– ha! I like it!! Sounds much cooler than “money-making schemes.” I find myself wondering how many customers Adobe may have lost in switching to subscriptions. One of these days word’s gonna leak out that they lost me. Then their stock’s gonna drop like a rock. Yup, that’s what’s gonna happen… : )

      Many thanks for your kind comment, Judy!!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. March 22, 2016 12:24 PM

    I also lost my CS because when I tried to reinstall it 2 years ago, it was no longer available for authentication of the license.. So Adobe did this weird thing where you could download CS2 for awhile. Tried it, but the creative cloud was appearing on the scene. Signed up right away for $10.90 a month and have been in love ever since. You don’t need an Internet connection. That’s only really for updates. I was also self-taught beginning with 7.0 and the new Adobe is amazing. It had a rocky road in the beginning with updates seemingly everyday. But now that has changed. I feel it’s worth my $10.90 a month because I get the latest version when it hits. I’ve been through 2014 and 2015 so far. It just gets better and better. I can also use it on my Wacom Cintiq Companion sketching machine. Adobe definitely brought people like me back into the fold because they had priced me out of the market.
    You will learn to love the new Adobe, and it makes incredible gifs, now. That would be cool with your sketches.
    Later then… And quit your crying. All computers end up in the graveyard.
    Bill Gates and Tim Cook and others wouldn’t have it any other way.
    I’ve already been through the iPhone 3,4,5,6 plus and the iPad 1,2,3 and now Pro(they are my fav digital platforms for sketching)
    So we’re all a bunch of sheep following the herd of capitalism.
    Cheers to more sketches…
    Lynne Marie
    Arthauntsme.com

    Like

    • March 23, 2016 8:32 PM

      You’re a Cloud person, and you dun need no steenking pilot’s license. Sounds good to me. There are a lot of good image-editing tools out there, and everyone has their preferences. Thanks for sharing your digital experiences. Always great to get that kind of feedback. Fire up the design arsenal, onward to sketching glory!! : )

      Like

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