This week I'm doing follow-ups to some recent columns of mine, a potpourri of factoids for your delectation. The links are to my previous columns on each subject. First, and most definitely not least...
Mac Color Management Hell Continues: When I last wrote about the Snow Leopard color management problems, there was hope that the next release of the MacOS, 10.6.4, would fix the ICC v4 bug. Indeed, it was widely reported that it had. Well, I have to tell you that reports of the demise of that bug are greatly exaggerated. I got in some new Harman paper and built a custom profile for it. The results? Take a look at figure 1. That cyan border outside of the image area that extends to the printable edges of the paper? Not my doing. That's the result of printing with an ICC v4 profile; the version 2 profile that I built in exactly the same way prints perfectly. Still broken, dammit.
Fig. 1. Color management is still not fixed in MacOS 10.6.4. Observe the cyan tint that appears outside the image area of this photograph, where no ink should be being laid on the paper whatsoever. That's a bug in how the OS handles ICC version for profiles. Version 2 profiles do not present this problem.
Note also the black ink stains at the edges of the print. The new Harman Baryta 320 paper prints beautifully but has just as bad a curl as the FB Al paper it replaced. Oh well, can't win 'em all.
Also, the standalone app from Adobe for printing out unprofiled targets for building profiles still doesn't have a release date. Those of you using Photoshop to print your targets will need to continue to use the hacks and workarounds described elsewhere. My profiling software drives the printer directly, so don't ask me questions about printing targets via Photoshop; I won't know anything.
Out with the Old Harman, in with the New: Harman Gloss FB Al paper is no more. It's been discontinued. When I wrote about it, I praised it for its appearance and damned it for its execrable quality control. Honestly, I'm glad I don't have it to kick around anymore; it's been replaced with a new paper, "Harman by Hahnemuhle" Gloss Baryta 320.
Baryta 320 looks almost identical to the old paper. The surface finish is just a bit toothier (though not as textured as Epson Exhibition Fiber Paper). It's almost identical to traditional air-dried F surface. I like it better. Color gamut is very similar to the old paper—a tad bigger, it looks like. You could hang Baryta 320 and Gloss FB Al prints next to each other and few would notice.
The big win is that quality control seems much improved, based on a highly non-statistical sample of 10 sheets of paper from one box. I'm hoping for a reject rate down around 10%, maybe even lower. Lousy compared to traditional darkroom papers, but a big win compared to the 35–40% reject rate I was suffering through with the old paper. Good riddance to it.
One unfortunate way that the new paper's just like the old paper is that it has a pronounced curl. It's bad enough that if I don't reverse roll it, I get head strikes at the edge of the paper. That's the source of the the black ink stains in the print borders in figure 1.
A Fly in the iPad Ointment: About 10 days ago, Apple released an update for the OS that crashed my iPad, forcing a "reset and restore." Imagine my not-at-at-all-delighted surprise at discovering that the restore did not restore all the content I had on the iPad. Most of the music and documents that I had laboriously transferred from multiple data sources around my house were wiped. iTunes on the Mac, which handles "backup" for the iPad basically only backs up files and content you sync via iTunes or purchase from an Apple online store.
If you're treating your iPad as nothing more than an overfed iPod, no problem. If you're using it as a more general-purpose computer, big problem.
I couldn't seem to find a backup program in the App Store, so I posted an innocent query asking if anyone knew of a real backup program for the iPad to the Apple Discussions group. Two surprises. First, there is no backup program for the iPad. Oh, my.
Second, a substantial number of users couldn't imagine why I would even need a backup program! Okay, I understand being a podhead (in contrast to gearhead), but apparently that understanding is not reciprocated. Several folks even took me to task for not using the iPad in the "proper" way. Sheesh.
On the other hand, every gearhead (in contrast to podhead) I've talked to has been shocked by this revelation as I was. No single and complete backup strategy? Good Lord, what is this, like, 1985?!
Looks like I'm going to have to roll my own out of chewing gum and sealing wax. This message should tell me how to take the music content I've assembled on my iPad and migrate it back to a single iTunes library on a Mac that I can back up. As for other files and documents, I'm currently playing around with Air Sharing from Avatron, the same folks who produce my beloved Air Display. Don't know if this will solve the entire problem, and if Apple breaks my iPad again I'm definitely not looking forward to a multi-stage recovery process. But it's better than none at all.
You've been warned.
Last and also definitely not least...The Digital Restoration from Start to Finish book sale has been going really well. You folks have bought over 40 copies, and the sales still has 10 days to run. Just wanted to say thanks!
Over and out until next time.
CteinCtein's regular weekly column appears on TOP every Thursday morning, for some value of "morning."
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Original contents copyright 2010 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.