Open Source Musings The thoughts, ideas, and opinions of an open source guy

Giving 3 slightly different applications a try

A laptop

At least, different for me.

Variety. It is, as the saying goes, the spice of life. And where can you get more variety than with a Linux distribution?

When I test drive (or do more) with a new Linux distro, I’m usually exposed to some software that might not normally look at. And that’s what happened when I recently installed GalliumOS on my Chromebook in early 2017.

As you may or may not know, GalliumOS is based on Xubuntu. It’s been a while since I’ve used Xubuntu, but I’ve always been a fan of it. Since installing GalliumOS, I’ve started using three small applications that I probably wouldn’t have normally taken a look at otherwise.

Here’s a quick peek at them.

Tagging MP3 files with gmp3info

Side view of a turntable

I have two very distinct sides. On one hand, I like things neat and orderly. And I like them well catalogued and tagged. On the other hand, I’m lazy. There are times when I just don’t want to put in the time and effort to make things neat and orderly, or to properly catalogue and tag them. That includes my music files.

Back in the day, I ripped a number of my CDs on a computer without an internet connection. Which meant that the ripping software I used couldn’t get metadata about the songs I was converting to MP3. Which meant that I couldn’t get album art or properly catalogue my music. I figured I’d do that sometime in the future. That time only came about recently — 14 years or so later. Yes, it’s not pretty …

But I have to reap what I’ve sown. Luckily, there aren’t that many files that I need to tag (add information to). For the ones that I need to tag, the question is how? I looked around and found a decent utility called gmp3info. It makes life quite easy. Let’s take a look at how to use it.

Quickly resizing images with Simple Image Reducer

A bunch of cars being compacted

Sometimes, you need to quickly resize one or more images. Why? You need one or more thumbnails, you need to resize an image for a blog post, you want to create some wallpaper for a mobile device, or you want a smaller version of a logo for a document or web page.

In those cases, firing up The GIMP is a bit of a waste. You just need to do the job quickly and, in some cases, with two or more images.

Enter Simple Image Reducer. It’s a fast, effective tool for resizing one or more images.

Let’s take a quick look at how to use it.

A few links of interest - 21 March, 2017

3 command line tools for working with graphics

A blurry photo of a command lne session

Photo credit: *n3wjack's world in pixels via Visualhunt / CC BY-SA

(Note: This post was originally published, in a slightly different form, at It appears here via a CC-BY-SA 4.0 license.)

Images and the command line. They seem an unlikely pair, don’t they? There are people who’ll tell you that the only way you can manipulate and view graphics is with software like The GIMP or any number of other GUI application.

For the most part, they’re wrong. Command line image tools can much of what their GUI counterparts can and they can do it just as well. Sometimes, especially when dealing with multiple image files or when you’re working on an older computer, command line tools can do a better job.

Let’s take a look at three command line tools that can ably handle many of your basic (and not-so-basic) image manipulation tasks.