I discovered a program today that fits many of the class needs for HISP 463, and it begins with my favorite four letters: FREE!!! While setting up a scanner in the Simpson Library at UMW (which will be used to digitize the pictorial archives), Tim Newman, from Simpson Library, suggested I look into having the students use Irfanview. Now, I have seen the little icon that looks like roadkill, but I never really associated it with the program irfanview. But I am sure that’s just me because according to Cnet– it is one of the most popular programs out there (over 10 million downloads recorded on their site).
That being the case, this program is a solid that the students can then download on their own (did I mention for free!) and use it on their own computers. And while acknowledging that this program cannot replace many of the more complex functions of Photoshop, it does have all the basic options of standard imaging software such as Photoshop Elements. For me, however, the real selling point is what Tim Newman explained to me at length: this program has the ability to write exif and IPTC file information directly to the image making it ideal for cataloging these files for the centennial. And, finally, guess what? – it is a PC program which means I do have to “eat crow” after today’s Windows bashing during the staff meeting and admit that perhaps the Windows is good for one thing, well two if you count Picasa2.