Damn Computers!

Ok- I admit, I love my Mac. I was chugging along pretty happy with my old iMac (1st gen all-in-one with the 24″ screen, in the white case) until I decided I wanted to do some color prints for my show at Artomatic. I had the scanner, had the software, everything was all set, except that when I tried to do some hi-res scans off of color negative film, even just 120 roll film, my computer was choking (it maxed out at 3GB of RAM). Barely enough to run the OS plus Photoshop and the scan software, let alone do manipulations on a 300MB file just to prep it for printing. So it was time to upgrade the computer.

I saved money on the screen size, going for the 21″ monitor, so I could afford to max out the RAM at 16 GB. The computer came with OS X Lion, which is wonderful in many ways, but gave me no end of heartburn with my software – the version of SilverFast AI I had would only run under Rosetta, which is no longer supported with Lion. Same with my monitor and scanner profiling software. So, an ADDITIONAL $300 later, I’ve got my software upgraded/replaced, and Photoshop CS4 installed and working. I was about to pull out what little remains of my hair when I tried to run the updated SilverFast and it wouldn’t see my scanner – (I’m still not HAPPY about this but…) until I switched from Firewire to USB. Why SilverFast AI 8 can’t use Firewire is beyond me. I was so hoping to be able to free up a USB port!

Restoring files from backup was not quite as seamless as they make it out to be – you have to do all this monkeying around with permissions to folders in order to access the backed-up files from the old machine. There is a way to do it from the top-level folder so you don’t have to go file by file, but it’s still not perfect. Anyway, I’m happy as a clam in mud now, with my new FAST computer. A 2400 ppi scan of a 6x7cm negative used to take 30 minutes – now it’s done in less than 5. I can’t wait to re-scan my 5×7 negatives from my San Francisco trip last year.

2 thoughts on “Damn Computers!”

  1. Hey Scott,
    I recently was forced to upgrade to Lion as well.
    It does have some “features” (bugs) still. You would think things would be ironed out by now…

    Anyway, could you fill us readers in on your scanning hardware?
    I’m using an old Microtek 120T running under OSX10.5 via firewire and am pretty pleased but with so few options these days it’s helpful to know what others are using successfully.

    Thanks for the blog, I stop by frequently via FB.

    1. Bruce-

      I’m using an Epson V750 Pro. If I’m pressed, I can use the EpsonScan software that came with the scanner to run it via FireWire, but the SilverFast AI8 is SOOOOOOOOOO much better that I’ll use it via USB instead. I’m hoping that they put out an update sometime soon that will allow it to run via Firewire instead. The downside of the iMacs is that they only have 4 USB ports. At least with the new one, I got the wireless keyboard/mouse so I don’t have to sacrifice a port to the keyboard. I’m probably going to swap out the mouse for the Magic Trackpad though- picking up the mouse to re-center on the mousepad often results in inadvertent zooming. Not a big deal to correct, but a pain in the ass when it happens regularly.

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