Sunday, November 24, 2013

Freeware to fuel your fetish

I thought I'd devote a post to some of my favorite freeware, all of which can be used for both fetish and vanilla purposes. But before we go any further, please note that while I've had a lot of fun with these programs, and while they're safe to use as far as I know, I'm no expert. Anything you download, from anywhere on the net, is at your own risk. You're doubly at risk using freeware.

Now, with that disclaimer out of the way, let's move onto the good stuff.

1. TrueCrypt - If you've got anything on your computer that you want to hide from snoops, you need this program. TrueCrypt segments off a password-protected area of your hard drive (or of another drive, if you prefer) in which you can store files you want to keep to yourself. Anyone who doesn't have that password can't get in; they can't even see what sort of file(s) you're hiding, or how large the partition is. Now, some other freeware programs can do something similar, but in my experience, they always limit the size of the drive they encrypt. TrueCrypt doesn't limit the size. That comes in handy when you want to save, for instance, a great big EMC video. ;-) Another major advantage of TrueCrypt is that, compared to some of the other freeware in this post, it isn't too hard to learn. You will need to read the tutorial, though.

2. Virtual Hypnotist - I've blogged about this program so often that I've given it its own tag. Not only do I use it for recreational hypnosis, but I also use it to help me get to sleep every night because I have pretty bad insomnia. VH comes with a bunch of preloaded scripts, some recreational, some therapeutic; and you can customize them and/or write your own scripts once you get comfortable with the program. VH does have a steep learning curve, but thanks to my fetish, I took the time to really master it - and then I wrote a multi-part tutorial which you can find in the sidebar of this blog. It should help a lot if you decide to use this program.

3. Audacity - I'm guessing a lot of you are already familiar with Audacity because it's the freeware of choice for a lot people who like to edit music. It's great for making bootleg albums; I can tell you that. ;-P From a fetish standpoint, it's also great for making backing tracks to go with your customized Virtual Hypnotist programs. Using the stereo option with different mantras on each side is especially effective.

4. Photoscape - This is the first of two Photoshop-like programs I'm discussing today. Why two? Because GIMP is a fucking monster to learn. If you don't want to pull too much hair out, try Photoscape instead. The website is packed with handy video tutorials from the program's creators, and unlike the people behind most freeware programs, they actually know how to explain things. You won't have to Google "Photoscape tutorials" or poke around YouTube to learn how to use this program. Unfortunately, it isn't nearly as flexible as GIMP, which I'll get to in a minute. Photoscape only lets you draw square/rectangular masks, and you can't make areas transparent. Those are major drawbacks when you're trying to manipulate images for an EMC scene. Still, you can do a lot of other great things with Photoscape, and it's perfect for retouching ordinary pictures.

5. GIMP - This is, as far as I can tell, the closest you can get to Photoshop without shelling out a bunch of money. If you're doing complicated photo manipulation, or even if you're just making exploitables for use in memes, this is the program for you. To see an example of what an intermediate-level user can do with GIMP, take a look at my covers for "Love in a Silver Socket" and "Octopus Vulgaris," in the sidebar on this blog. Unfortunately, as I said above, the learning curve is practically vertical. It took me two or three weeks to reach the point where I could make those covers, and even then, I spent several hours on each of them. But again, I'm just at the intermediate level! I'm still learning! If you're interested in trying GIMP for yourself, the best place to find useful tutorials (as opposed to frustrating and impenetrable ones) is YouTube. You'll find a lot of great one-off videos on the use of various functions, but I've found that this user and this user are good at explaining a lot of different topics. As for whether you want to go to the trouble of learning GIMP or just stick with Photoscape, that depends on how much photo manipping you want to do...and probably also on how hard your head is.

Well, I hope this post will give you some good ideas. If anyone else has experience with these programs, or if you have others to recommend, feel free to leave a comment. Remember, I've set up my blog to allow 100% anonymous commenting, and I won't delete anything that isn't spam or trolling.

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