This week's column by Ctein
This is another one of those catch-up columns, wherein I revisit old columns with updates and additional information. (Links in the subheads are to the original columns of those titles.) First up...
As of last Monday, I finished shipping print orders to everybody who did not volunteer for late delivery. If you did not volunteer for late delivery and you did not get a confirmation e-mail from the U.S. Postal Service that had a tracking number along with a note for me asking that you let me know when the package arrived safely, please contact me via e-mail immediately: email@example.com
I've also "officially" finished all the printing. The caveat being that if I've miscounted, or if I discover too many defective prints when spotting and finishing the remainder, or if too much stuff gets lost in the mails, I'll have to go back into the darkroom. Any of these are possible. I've really exhausted myself doing all the printing for this print sale, and I've started making lots of dumb little mistakes. Nothing unrecoverable yet, but....
This is not the last task for the darkroom: I have two jobs for outside clients that I need to complete. But it's definitely the last printing of my own work (subject to the above caveat), and when those two jobs are done so is the darkroom. Then comes the house re-construction. Be afraid, be very afraid.
Speaking of exhaustion, I'm taking a 10-day vacation starting tomorrow. If I don't, I'm afraid I'm going to start damaging prints. There may or may not be a column from me next week. I will see how I feel.
Now that I've had my Super Focus glasses for about four months, I'm still liking them very much. A huge improvement in the quality of my life and entirely worth the money to me. That said, there's one situation where they are distinctly inferior to bifocals: when I'm in an audience listening to a presentation and I want to be taking notes at the same time. I can't have the presenter and my note pad (or iPad) in focus simultaneously. I don't do this enough that it's a real handicap, but if a good part of your life involves being on the receiving end of such presentations, bifocals/progressives remain the superior solution.
In my original columns I wondered how easily the liquid-filled membrane lenses would scratch. The answer seems to be, unfortunately, pretty easily. I've acquired about four times as many fine scratches on the membranes as on the hard prescription lenses. The scratches don't seem to have a visible impact on image clarity, yet. They don't refract light anywhere as badly as scratches on hard lenses do. I'm guessing the membrane plastic has a fairly low refractive index. Still, I assume that I'll be replacing these frames every, oh, say, two years instead of every 5–10.
Unexpectedly, my prescription is changing fairly rapidly. I think it may have stabilized, but within a month of writing the previous column there was a significant change in my vision. I would say my prescription has drifted by a good half a diopter or more. My eyes usually take years to shift that much, not months. What seems to be happening is that after years of straining to bring objects into correct focus (and usually failing) my eyes now can relax into their most comfortable positions and the physical configuration is a bit different.
I'm going to give this a few more months to settle and then I'm going to get new prescription lenses for my glasses. Fortunately that's the cheap component: circa $100.
(Side note: a sudden and unexpected change in your prescription can be an indication of eye disease. Unless you know why it's happening, which I do in this case, you should go see a doctor sooner rather than later if that happens to you.)
Both my Macs have been frozen at Snow Leopard (OSX 10.6) because of the Rosetta problem. Photoshop CC forces my hand; it won't run under Snow Leopard (about which I will have more to say in a moment). If I want to run CC, and I do, I'll have to upgrade the operating system on the iMac.
The most important thing that'll break, by far, is my scanner software. As I wrote, my clever idea for working around that was to set up a virtual copy of Snow Leopard that I could run inside Lion or whatever and run my scanner from there. A few weeks back I finally got time (well, I made the time) to test this out.
Snow Leopard runs fine in virtual space. The scanner software runs fine within virtual Snow Leopard. There's just one small problem:
The scanner software can't see the %$#@! scanner!
Had I done my research, I would have saved much time not chasing this folly. My scanner has a FireWire interface. VMware's virtual environment doesn't emulate FireWire. Neither does Parallels'. In fact, so far as I can tell, none of the virtual machines out there support FireWire.
Don't ask me why, but that's the way it is. And that kills any possibility of running my scanner in a virtual environment. I'm just going to have to have a machine that's kept frozen in time so that I can use the scanner. Dammit.
Now about this business of CC not running under Snow Leopard. That came as a bit of a surprise. The expectation was that Photoshop CS6.5 would still run under that OS. It looks like Adobe decided to jump the gun on this, along with jumping the shark and everything else.
Broadly speaking, the obsolescence problem is getting worse rather than better. Apple is promulgating a vastly accelerated OS schedule. Instead of two years between OS releases, OSX 10.8 came out a year after 10.7, and they've just announced 10.9 coming out barely 16 months after 10.8. I have no idea why, but many of the major software publishers (not just Adobe) don't support more than two generations of OS. In other words, stuff that would normally take four years to start breaking is going to now start breaking in less than two and a half years.
Windows users should not gloat. There are a lot of people who are unhappy with the state of Windows 8, for a lot of different reasons. I fear this is going to prove to be a relatively short-lived release and we will be seeing Windows 9 rather sooner than people expected.
On that cheery note I leave you for the wilds of Minnesota and some well-deserved R&R.
©2013 by Ctein, all rights reserved
Original contents copyright 2013 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
migueltejadaflores: "I can both sympathize with and relate to the predicaments of trying to run Snow Leopard a.k.a. OS 10.6 in a world which is changing rapidly to 10.7, 10.8 and even shortly 10.9 without giving us users room to breathe, let alone to ponder the consequences. The sad but true 'truth' behind the accelerated development/release of new(-er) Mac OS's has to do with one simple thing: most Apple customers buy iPads and iPhones, and the newer Apple Systems (10.7 and 10.8 at least) bent over backwards to try to make the Mac OS more iOS-like—that is, more iPad/iPhone like—on the theory that most iPad/iPhone Mac users wanted stuff simpler and easier.
"The huge downside is that the newer OS's have basically 'dumbed down' a powerful Operating System—and made many simple tasks much harder or arcane. For those of us who depend on our Macs for our daily bread (I'm a writer by trade and belong to this group), the choice is between preserving a good working environment (OS 10.6)—or blindly switching to newer, supposedly more powerful, but in reality more irriating, complicated and 'dumber' (all at the same time) systems.
"I've chosen to stay with 10.6 for as long as possible—but I don't have the scanner issues you do. And since I don't use Adobe Cloud (I'm more than happy with my standalone versions of Lightroom and the Nik suites), I don't need to upgrade yet. But good luck with your, uh, software Odyssey. It's no fun."
Dave in NM: "Have you tried VueScan? It's dirt cheap and it works with a bazillion different scanners, including my old Firewire-adapted SCSI Nikon LS-30."