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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
The Gimp for Linux&Unix
Author:
Phyllis Davis
ISBN:
0 201 70253 3
Publisher:
Peachpit
Pages:
306pp
Price:
£14-99
Reviewer:
Rick Stones
Subject:
graphics
Appeared in:
14-1
This book is marketed as aVisual Quickstart Guideas is the kind of book that you often see for Microsoft Office products - lots of screenshots and step-by-step instructions. I was therefore expecting this book to be fairly superficial and not a great deal of use.

If you have ever played with The GIMP you'll know that it is a huge program and very capable - like a free version of Adobe's Photoshop. There are very many options, filters and effects. In fact, it's a very daunting beast to get started with.

The book's sections start with basic terminology and operation of The GIMP. Later sections cover layers, transformations, composites, plug-ins, web graphics and printing.

It is effectively a recipe book; within each section there are step-by-step instructions for performing tasks.

So, if you need to know how to adjust the colour balance on your digital camera images there are instructions and more to the point, explanations of what is going on.

Peppered as it is with screenshots (about six per page), an uncharitable reviewer may claim that there are too few words, but I found the before and after images very helpful when covering filters.

The book is based on The GIMP version 1.04, which is a little out of date now that 1.3 has been released, so there are some slight inaccuracies, but nothing too serious. There is web site for the book, but it contains nothing of use -I'd like to have downloaded the images used in the book as examples.

It's a shame that The GIMP does not work well on Windows (though there is a port, it is unstable) as it would bring this great program - and this book - to a wider audience.

Overall, surprisingly useful. For newcomers to The GIMP - Recommended.Second Reviews