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Thursday, 06 August 2015

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Migrating from the old iMac to the new one was pain-free

Unless you used Pages for word processing...

having also skipped a few generations, I now have a load of old files which will open (badly formatted) in Preview, but not Pages.
Frustrating.

I went the MacBook Pro retina and external NEC monitor route and am satisfied with the performance upgrading from a 2008 Mac Pro with multiple drives etc. I also got a OWC Thunderdock 2, as the throughput speed of thunderbolt is still way beyond most peripherals and the read/write speed of USB3 is enough to keep up with my external SSDs. All those pixels were tempting on the 5K screen but I was already used to better colour on the hardware-calibrated 30" Spectraview which I just replaced with a new 27" one. I'm pretty sure I would have been satisfied with the 5K iMac though.

Regarding "...a couple of other business-critical programs I use won't run under anything later than OS X 10.6.", you can legally run old versions of OS X in virtual machines on a later Mac. For email I guess that would be fine but maybe not for your other programs.


[Ctein replies: Richard, one can only run a virtual Snow Leopard if one owns the server version. It's a restriction that Apple imposed on the virtual machine folks, and they include flavor-checking in their software. VMware broke that in one version, so I did have single-user Snow Leopard running in a virtual machine, but that version of VMware won't run under Yosemite.

Personally, I couldn't give a damn about the legalities, because it's a stupid, pointless restriction that is serving no purpose. But technically, it's just not doable.

In any case, it wouldn't solve the problem for my Minolta film scanner software, because the virtual environment can't see the scanner. I'm always going to be having some machine here that runs Snow Leopard, just so I can keep using my scanner.]

@Nigel "Unless you used Pages for word processing..." but the old version still works and can be made the default.

I just used Migration Assistant to go from a Mac Mini to the iMac 27" Retina. Used a Thunderbolt cable between the machines, and it moved half a terabyte in about 6 hours. Only software that broke was (of course) from Adobe, but that's because they violate so many rules doing their copy protection.

I am used to migrations being a dreaded two-week project. This was my first Mac-to-Mac migration. This ease is part of the Mac value story.

Oh, yes, the display is amazing.

Not sure how often Photoshop can really load up all 8 threads of the i7, so I stuck with the 4 threads in the i5. For video editing, I'm sure the i7 is worth the extra $250.

[Ctein replies: John, which particular Adobe software broke on your system? I was only using Photoshop, Bridge, Audition, and very occasionally Lightroom on the old iMac in versions CS6 and earlier. The only program that threw up an alert was Photoshop CS6, because I hadn't yet deactivated it on the old iMac and I was also running it on my MacBook Pro. As soon as I deactivated the old iMac, it was entirely happy. ]

I just went the other way. Like you, I have a top-of-the-line late 2009 27" iMac. But I upgraded instead -- I purchased two 8GB SODIMMs for it (Apple don't tell you, but the i5 and i7 late 2009 iMacs take 8GB SODIMMS as well as 2GB and 4GB) and a 2TB hybrid SSD/hard drive. So now I have 20GB of RAM, can upgrade to 32GB if I buy two more 8GB SODIMMs, and 2TB of significantly faster disk -- but obviously not as fast as if it was all SSD.

For anyone on the fence about flash drives: I have a 7 year old Dell laptop for my work. Maxed the memory, with some benefit. Then did the SSD thing. On, my! Boot time, from stone cold to ready for work: <45 seconds.

What external storage do you use? (drives stacked in a bay...etc...)

Thanks!

[Ctein replies: Aaron— oh, it's just a whole motley of external stand-alone drives. Seven or eight at the moment. Unless an old one dies or its capacity is now so small, relatively speaking, that it's more of a nuisance than a benefit, I just add another hard drive to the set when I get a new one.

It's a real rats' nest behind that iMac, no matter how much I attempt to neaten it up. Good thing the big screen hides it all [grin].]

I tend to do the same, I buy once in a while one of the top of the line. My current desktop is a 2009 8 core Mac Pro which has served me well during all these years in many different tasks, from my amateur dedication to photography, through many circuit and electromagnetic simulations, to the design of a one million transistor microchip. Recently I upgraded it with a solid state drive and extra memory. I'm planning to keep it al least for 2 or 3 more years. My laptop is a 2011 17" MacBook Pro that I recently upgraded with a solid state drive. It is basically as fast as the current retina versions and a little bit faster than my Mac Pro. I plan to keep it many more years, at least 4 or 5.

Sorry, I forgot to mention in my previous comment, congratulation on your new acquisition, it is a superb machine with the most beautiful screen I have seen so far.

I will comment this article paraphrasing from this blog last post:

"This is interesting, but it has little to do with photographing."

:)


[Ctein replies: Andrea, indeed! I would say that the act of photographing takes up by far the smallest percentage of my time as a photographer and requires the least attention on my part. I just go and do it. I have written some columns about "photographing" but not many. Just not all that much to say nor information that needs to be conveyed.]

I'm curious, early in the post you say your ideal would be a MacBook Pro hooked up to an Adobe RGB monitor (presumably a 4K/5K one given what you say later on about Photoshop rendering) yet you seem "happy" with the nearly perfect sRGB performance of the 5k iMac. I know the difference in gamut plots between aRGB and sRGB and I know that the difference is seen in areas of very saturated colours, I'm trying to understand how much of a compromise you find working in sRGB v aRGB?


[Ctein replies: Eric, the truth is that I don't know. Those AdobeRGB monitors are very pretty, but I've never done a side-by-side work comparison. I might end up kicking myself for not having gotten one years ago.

Or, it might turn out to be one of those “that's nice, but it doesn't make a big difference in my work” kind of things. There are myriad ways in which a monitor doesn't well-represent what's in a print, and I've gotten awfully good at looking “through” the monitor past the systematic differences in tone and color to sense what's going to be in a print. It's the reason why, harking back to the profiling discussion, soft proofing didn't make a big difference for me. That's one of those “it's nice…” things that doesn't make or break me.

This is in no way meant to be prescriptive; it is solely descriptive of how I work.

When I do finally geta new MacBook Pro, I will get one of the NEC greater-than-AdobeRGB displays to go with it. Then I'll be able to do the side-by-side comparison and find out whether or not I've been an idiot all this time.]

I find myself doing my brush-mode editing at 200% with my 5K iMac, I miss too much at "only" 100% but that's more about my eyes than the glorious monitor.

After using this monitor I no longer see the point of printing ;-p


[Ctein replies: Frank, too true about that fine editing! On the old machine I could do 100% at 100%. I'd go to 200% for really fiddly stuff. Now, for pixel-level manipulations, I'm up at 200% to 400%.

On the other hand, one of the things that bugged me about using Bridge to do full-screen views of my photographs was that on my older displays, it was throwing away way too much fine detail and resolution to cram the picture down. They really were fuzzy, even relative to the pixel count of the screen. I'd have to go into 100% mode to see what kind of detail I really had. The retina is close enough to the pixel count of my cameras that the full-screen full-photograph views in Bridge look very nearly as good as the 100% zoom. It really helps my editing. ]

I gave up on local mail clients a long time ago, and just use gmail. Frustration at migrating mail from one machine to the next was part of it, but there are other advantages. I can get to mail is from all my devices, wherever I am, or from any computer with a web connection. It's stored in multiple replicas in datacenters that are professionally managed and far more reliable than my local storage, and there are no migration issues.

It cannot be emphasized enough that you should get an SSD in these machines. The difference is night and day.

I got mine with the 3TB hybrid drive, which seems to manage to put your most used things in the SSD part of the device.

For the iWork apps I think there is a way you can download the old versions at least in trial form, which will read the old files and upgrade them to the '09 format, which the current apps will then read.

See

http://www.cultofmac.com/306118/download-apples-iwork-apps-older-macs-free/

or

http://www.redmondpie.com/how-to-get-iwork-apps-on-os-x-yosemite-for-free-on-older-macs/

Ctein, I feel your pain re: email. I spend several hours dealing with email every day and I've been using the same email client since 1999. It's been outdated for about ten years and in spite of offering several useful and unique features, it's well past the point of obsolescence these days.

I can't bring myself to migrate to a new client though. The cumulative weeks I spend dealing with email every year make moving to a new client an arduous task if everything goes right and a complete disaster if any of a dozen things go wrong.

So I move from computer to computer, taking my old email client with me--one advantage of its age is that it doesn't spread its tentacles into every single part of the OS, so I can just copy the program folder, copy it to a new machine, and I'm good to go. One of these days I'll switch to something else. Not today, though.

In general, agree with what you wrote. For my and my wife's needs, I have prioritized specs in this way.
1) Maximize RAM.
2) Get the best video with the most VRAM you can afford.
3) Get the fastest processor your budget allows for.
4) Get the biggest drive you can. (But there is a likelihood you will be using external drives for storage.)

My priority list is based on doing video editing as well as photo editing. For video you will be storing your projects externally. And photo catalogue/libraries can quickly overrun an internal drive. When my wife and I bought a new 15" Macbook Pro a few months ago, we went with the base model with a 250 MB flash drive. It has plenty of room for software and my wife's Photos library. My Aperture and Final Cut Pro X libraries and associated files are kept externally.

The latest Macs sure are snappy. And those retina screens sure are nice to look at. It's too bad that Apple charges a substantial premium for upgraded components. But there is no better computer ecosystem for doing photo or video work than Mac at this point.

I'm also a couple of gens of operating system behind. Everything works on the MBP Retina, and I don't want to mess things up.
Then again, the latest Lightroom/PS CC update needs the NEW OS ;-(

[Ctein replies: ShadZee, I was FOUR generations behind (10.6 vs. 10.10). I really doubt “couple” is going to give you grief. In any case, you can find out at the cost of only a few hours at worse. Make sure you have a good Time Machine backup of your system (have two, for safety's sake). Do the OS update. If it breaks something you care about, scrub it and restore your machine from the Time Machine backup. ]

Nigel: that is my (wife's) experience too.

The iMac is rumored to be updated in Q3. Holding out for that. Still running a 2009 Mac Pro. I'll miss the convenience of the tower. Pity Apply crippled the low-end Mac Mini. With a Quad Core i7 and PCIe SSD it would have been an awesome machine.

I was thinking about going that route, but after some soul-searching I bit the bullet and bought a Macbook Pro. I do 95% of my work lounging on the couch in our living room. I'm just not the guy that sits down at a desk, so that was my answer to which computer to get.

I'm running a 2008 Mac Pro with 8 cores and four internal hard drives -- well actually the boot drive is a now 500Mb SSD -- and about 20 Gb of RAM.

Besides the option of the Retina imac I'm also considering the new Mac Pro. I'm wondering if this is an option you also considered, and if so, what were the deciding factors in going for the retina imac?

I'm thinking more and more third party manufacturers are coming out with 4K monitors. And also that the Mac Pro is probably more optimized for the kind of treatment I give my computer -- as in leaving it running most of the day for seven years and counting.

On another topic, it would be interesting -- perhaps in a future post -- to hear about how you handle archiving and storage of large amounts of image files. How do you manage your archives?

Currently I'm backing up to a 6 Tb internal drive (with Time Machine) from my other internal drives, but I also have stuff stored offline on drives that aren't always on.


[Ctein replies: Richard, yes, considered and discarded. I would get a more expandable system, but I don't really need that (although some users do), and I'd be paying a hefty price premium to get the same features and capabilities that I'm getting in the iMac. The iMacs, in their base configurations, are surprisingly cost-effective computers if you don't already own a comparable stand-alone display.

I don't really have all that much in the way of image files. My personal work totals about half a terabyte at this point. Work for clients, both custom printing and restorations, maybe the same. And I keep acquiring hard drives. I bought another 4 TB when I bought the iMac, because I thought I'd be using it for Time Machine backups, and decided instead that a Time Capsule was a better solution.

I make sure that everything I have is resident on at least two different drives. But things aren't very well organized at the moment, because the set up has mutated over time. The majority of my photographic work has shifted from desktop machine to laptop and back to desktop. So stuff moves around. I'm thinking of taking that almost-empty 4 TB drive and consolidating all the backup copies of work product onto that drive, just to have them all in one place.

The laptop maintains its own complete set of everything, because it travels with me. After I get the retina MacBook Pro, I'll likely look into configuring the iMac, the MacBook Pro, and the iPad as, in effect, extensions of the same data environment via remote desktops and things like that.

Or not. We will see.]

I designed my website with photos at 600 pixel height for display on most computers. How do the photos appear on a Retina screen?


[Ctein replies: Herman, this is an ongoing problem for designers who have to deal with both normal-resolution devices and high-resolution devices. It was first noticeable as a real problem when Apple introduced the retina displays for the iPad and the iPhone. I wrote about the way I decided to tackle it
here.

You can see examples and sample code on my website. Look at the code and the thumbnail images at http://ctein.com/newest_work.htm . If you just do a copy on one of the thumbnails and open it up in something like preview, you'll see that it's really twice as big as the dimensions I forced on it in the HTML code. It's a kind of a kludge. It'll break under some circumstances. There is no solution to this that doesn't break under some conditions. This is at least one that's easy for me to implement.

Conversely, you can see older style thumbnails that I haven't updated to accommodate retina devices, here: http://ctein.com/Scot.htm ]

@Nigel: if you really migrated your machine from an old Mac using the method that Ctein described, your old version of Pages 09 should still exist in the iWork folder '09 folder in Applications. That version will read old Pages documents and allow you to re-save the files in the newer format, readable by the very latest version of Pages.

I'm on the verge of making the same purchase, but I'm moving from a 2008 Mac Pro. There was a time when Mac Pro to iMac migration would have been a serious mistake, but from everything I've read, it's not a simple decision between the latest Mac Pro and the 5k iMac (especially when the total price is included in the calculation).

Thanks for the detailed review -- it's important to hear it all from a photographer's point of view.

I had an eerily similar "video card going bad" experience with my 2011 27" iMac (thanks for the recall, AMD). In my case, this is my main work computer, and this spring I started getting grey-screens-of-death and finally rainbow stripes, which was enough to take to the Apple Store to get it repaired. It took "only" a painful week, but when I got it back, half the VRAM was gone. Since I couldn't leave myself another week behind and my 3D work is minimal now, I'm content with 1GB.

The odd part? While the grey screens were interrupting me, I quickly checked Apple's latest and greatest iMac offerings, expecting to see leaps and bounds over the past 4 years. Instead, I saw "meh." My quad-core 3.4GHz i7 is still nominally better than all but your ultimate configuration, and while an SSD would zip things up, that's an DIY upgrade, not a shiny new box.

IMHO, Apple Inc. is not Apple Computer anymore, and it kinda shows.

That is a very useful tip for PS! I tend to edit my 36MP images looking at the whole image on a 2560x1440 display, so I have a very low magnification factor, and was going crazy trying to figure out how to get rid of the banding. All this time, I thought my post-processing was too heavy handed.

Is there a way to turn off this 8-bit optimization? I don't care that it would slow down the display: I just need an accurate display without having to export my pictures.


[Ctein replies: Andre, good question. I don't know. Dave Polaschek, you reading this? What say you?

Dave Polaschek chimes in: There's no way to turn it off other than getting to a zoom factor of 66.7% (or more). I'm pretty sure that adding a preference to shut it off would be a large amount of work, as it's wound through a lot of different parts of the app. ]

Hi Ctein,

Even though it would be a big change in your workflow, D65 is a nice white point. I'm the color standards guy at our company, we have 10 full-time photoshop production artists.

While we still do print work along with all our digital web work; and proof and view at D50, I have been calibrating our iMacs and EIZO monitors to D65 for several years now.

As you found, the iMac panels are native D65 (almost at any useful luminance), needing only a small amount of LUT changes when calibrated to D65 rather than the larger "bend" that shifting to D50 requires.

Photoshop handles the difference between D50 and D65 very nicely. We get a good balance between work for print as well as digital display.

Images will only look a bit blue in comparison at first, but the eye adapts!

Just 2 cents from someone that has made the shift.

Thanks for explaining that banding I see when doing extreme curves adjustments. I knew it had to be some sort of preview error because zoomed to 100% the banding always disappears. The issue seems to show itself in shadow areas with little detail when I make large contrast corrections.

My needs are far fewer than those of Ctein, so my most recent migration (three years ago) was from a Mac Mini to a Mac Mini. But I did max-out the new Mini by getting the i7 model, then gutting it, maxing the RAM (to 16 GB), moving the built-in 1TB HDD to the second bay to act as a backup, and installing a 500GB SSD in the main drive bay.

The post-surgery migration was quick and painless. I have no recollection of anything breaking, which is like some sort of miracle.

If you’ll pardon the Instagram, here’s a surgery shot of the new Mac Mini undergoing its transformation:

Ctein

"It's a restriction that Apple imposed on the virtual machine folks" I'm pretty sure that virtual box doesn't have those restrictions, since I used it to run Mavericks on a Linux laptop a couple months ago.


[Ctein replies: Hugh, Mavericks (OSX 10.9) doesn't have that restriction. Snow Leopard (OSX 10.6) does.]

OK, I am going the same route - in that my 2010 iMac 27 inch needs replacement. I don't entirely follow your comments about drives though. 99.9% of my work is done on lightroom - the additional 1% on Photoshop. The 3TB fusion drive looks like the obvious choice. Yet you seem to suggest that the Flash drive is better - but is that only for heavy lifting on Photoshop?

Like you I also have applications that only run on 10.6 - so logically it seems that a 3TB fusion drive could be partitioned so that 1TB could be used to migrate OS 10.6 plus those apps and the rest of my stuff, emails, documents, photos etc. could be installed on the main 2TB partition. Is your experience that this doesn't work?


[Ctein replies: Philip, it is not at all obvious that Snow Leopard will install and run natively on a current iMac. There are a lot of hardware changes since SL came out, especially I/O. You'd have to try it. This isn't a problem in a virtual environment since the VM entirely simulates a machine, including I/O ports.]

Ctein, thanks for the excellent article.
I'm still an older MacPro dual Cinema Display user, and a MBP Retina with a thunderbolt display (non retina).

I've been holding off buying the exact machine you did because it is pretty much state of the art in every respect except two--Gamut size and color bit depth. (It would still be better than anything I'm currently using, and it is the best display Apple has yet made).

There are standards upgrades pending for Display Port and HDMI which when put into practice will allow a single cable Retina Thunderbolt display. And Apple currently does not support 10 bit displays. So even if you buy one, you will get Gamut benefits but not bit depth.

On my MBP retina , when an external display is connected (in my case a thunderbolt non-retina) the only options Aple gives are "Best for Retina display OR Best for external display. One of them has to be sub optimal.

In your case you do 'mental soft proofing' that works better for you than the soft proofing you have observed in software/hardware.

Anyone who prints does a little bit of that, but I can't help but wonder if your (and everyone else's) experience would be better if we got to see the subtleties of a true 10 bit signal path in addition to the larger Gamut.

Epson Ultrachrome HDR ink set approximates Adobe RGB and exceeds it in some areas. As I understand it Apple's hardware is fine it just needs to be enabled in the OS.
I fully realize most of Apple's customers do not need this capability, but some do so I remain hopeful.

Ctein

After experimenting with an inexpensive 4K display about a year ago and reading about the planned Dell 5K display, I wondered what it would take Mac-wise to drive the Dell display. The announcement of the retina iMac resolved the issue and I immediately placed an order for the new 5K Mac. The Retina iMac display is certainly impressive and a joy to work with. I am surprised you found so few applications broken after the transition. I'm willing to bet, however, that you will find examples where an application runs, but has become much less convenient to use. I quickly found I absolutely needed to run 10.6.8 in a virtual environment (using Parallels Desktop in my case). The server version of 10.6.8 can still be obtained from Apple at a decent price (around $20). Most applications run faster in the virtual environment on the new iMac than they did natively on my pervious computer.

The version of Mail used under Yosemite (System 10.10) has been problematic for many, and so it has been for me also. It seems to be very fussy about trusting mail servers and often refuses to send mail for me, even via Apple's own servers. I continue to run Eudora in parallel on the virtual system. One of my e-mail accounts stopped working under Yosemite/Mail for a period of six weeks, but seemed to revive without any intervention on my part. It of course worked all along via Eudora on the virtual system.

Most troublesome of all has been working with files on external drives. In my experience this has been a potential issue for a long time (several years) but was easily resolved by setting "Ignore permissions on this volume". The problem is that under at least Systems 10.8 through 10.10, this setting seems to be largely ignored. It is also cancelled whenever a volume is dismounted and re-mounted. I frequently find I can open an image file, edit it and save it to an external volume. Then I do some more editing, but when I try to save the results I am told I don't have permissions to do that, and have to save the file to the internal disk, then transfer it later. Very annoying! This behavior is somewhat intermittent, but once it starts happening, only a re-start seems to fix it.

Recent system versions (since 10.6.8) also seem to be preoccupied with background tasks for a minute or so often being awakened from sleep. If I insert an SD memory card into the built-in slot too soon, it will be ignored until I later remove and re-insert it.

Does your Minolta film scanner not have a USB connection as well as FireWire? If it does have USB, it should be possible to drive it from a virtual system. I have not tried that, however. Like you I seem to have multiple older Macs running various older systems for particular purposes.

- Harold


[Ctein replies: Harold - No, the Minolta Dimage Multi Pro has SCSI and FireWire. Some most recent VM's support FireWire hard drives in a kludgy way, but they won't see the scanner.

The cleanest solution is simply to keep a dedicated machine. Even if I could come up with a dual-boot configuration that would see my scanner, booting in and out of OS's to do film scans on a primary machine? Talk about a huge waste of time and inconvenience.

I think you're wrong about Snow Leopard Server being for sale by Apple. I think you misread the entry. If not, please privately e-mail me a link. But I did see it for sale on Amazon for $99.

I'm also currently using Eudora, which certainly has its problems, but then doesn't everything?

I'll look at the idea of running it in a virtual environment on my retina MacBook Pro when I purchase it, although I'm not optimistic. It'll be far less seamless getting my e-mail in and out of Eudora and keeping the VM always running means that I'll be sucking away at least 2 GB of my RAM. I may not mind doing that (out of 16 GB), but it is a huge waste.

Still, it is an option. Thanks for the idea!]

Ctein, congrats— it sounds like a great and useful upgrade in almost every way.

One thought regarding Snow Leopard: I wonder if it would run under a Boot Camp partition? That would solve the hardware recognition problems, and would consolidate your "two machines" solution into a single housing, if not a single boot partition...


[Ctein replies: Ed, no, Boot Camp is for running Windows only, so far as I know.]

That's curious. I could swear I've read of Linux and other OS installs on Boot Camp partitions. How about just a second bootable partition, then, running Snow Leopard?

I guess the core question is whether a current Mac can run an OS that predates it. As far as I know, it can; at which point, the question becomes whether Snow a leopard is one of those.

I've known Mac users who, for years, have kept multiple versions of an alas on different partitions (or, for that matter, different drives: you could create a bootable disk on an external and run off of it). It's possible in concept, and merely a matter of whether it will run on your Mac. It might be worth checking with the folks at Low End Mac (www.lem.com), who ℗ specialize at stuff like this.


[Ctein replies: Ed, Boot Camp creates a PC environment. But, yes, one can create separate ordinary partitions each of which contains a different Mac OS and each of which is bootable. I've got that on my laptop. That is not a solution I'm looking for. Having to boot and reboot the machine to do film scans is an insane waste of time and effort. Unless your situation utterly precludes running more than one machine, it's way below desirable.]

Ctein, I can't remember if you've already mentioned this recently, but what do you like for profiling your monitor?


[Ctein replies: David, I'm using a ColorMunki. Can't say how it compares to other monitor profilers, ain't tried them.]

No, no, no, no, no. I'm an Amateur Photographer, not an Apple nerd. I want to take photos, store them, process them and sometimes print them. That's it. I do not the "ah, you need an additional 50m terrayte on your ssd but for that yo'll have to wait for IOS 150 and that means you won't be able to use your current off side disk and you can't convert it to a modern version so your retina screen won't work anymore " and on and on.
My problem is minor compared to this; naughty Aplle dumped Aperture and I really do not want to go through the process of which way to go next and I am not going to subscribe monthly to Adobe.

Unfortunately, Apple sold out the last snow leopard servers a few months ago. You can still find them on ebay for inflated prices; a quick peek shows $50-$100.

But all is not lost: you can run non-server snow leopard (10.6.8) under VMWare and presumably other virtualization software with a little fiddling. Strictly speaking, it's a license violation, but Apple's track record is to only go after people trying to make a business of things like this. In any case, there's no guarantee that snowie will work with all new hardware, I haven't tried yet on anything newer than about 2 years old.

This is only a sketch of what needs to be done, and is only for vmware fusion on mac hardware. Duckduckgo will ferret out the details. Don't download a prebuilt disk image, although there are lots out there. 95.47% of them come complete with assorted malware.

Make a copy of your working system with something like carbon copy cloner and make sure it's fully up to date; you won't be able to do system updates once you pretend it's server (which is ok, since apple isn't providing updates any more.) VMWare needs 10.6.8, earlier versions won't run on modern hardware.

Create one plain text file, and your system now looks like it's the server version, both to VMWare and to the OS (which is why updates won't work properly):

/System/Library/CoreServices/ServerVersion.plist

The file can be empty, only its presence matters.


Check the VMWare tech notes and forums to see which changes need to be made to the vmware configuration file (this might vary depending on which vmware version you have).

Convince VMWare to virtualize your system and start testing. Some things will break completely, some will need preferences tweaked.

For those still using the beloved Eudora, be aware that it has some serious security issues that will never be fixed (both windows and mac) so using it is a gamble. This is generally true of any orphaned software that connects to the net. If at all possible, run snowie or any other unsupported OS with no network connection.

Yosemite mail certainly is a pita, but there are a couple of things that can help. Look in the account settings for two checkboxes that say something about "Automatically detect and maintain account settings". There's one for incoming and one for outgoing. Be sure that both are turned off for every account. They should really be named, "let me break your mail for you". If mail keeps forgetting the password, open up Keychain Utility, find the saved password and delete it, which will cause it be saved in a fresh record the next time mail asks. Sometimes that helps. For awhile.


[Ctein replies: Thanks for all that useful information! Much appreciated.]

Thank you for explaining why the annoying white lines show up after stitching photos together and viewing at < 66.7%. Now I know I'm not batty. BTW, I've been working with OLY files exclusively for the past couple years. OT, The EM-5 II mounted onto a Cambo Actus "mini-view" camera makes for an excellent mini-repro setup.

Just realized -- if you've got a shiny retina, what color do your eyes glow in the dark?

(Yeah, okay, I think it's actually a layer in front that creates that effect in cats and dogs when there's just a little light.)

The sRGB and AdobeRGB standards specify that the white point should be D65.

It's my understanding that the 5K Retina's factory calibration white point is pretty close to D65, and that its RGB color primaries and associated luminance curves track the sRGB standard very well.

Calibrating a D65 monitor to force its white point to be D50 will of course make its display more yellow-ish. Obviously, once calibrated, and operating in D50, a D65 monitor won't display anymore the bluish D65 white point which it's natively capable of.

One might then wonder how much of the other hues which the monitor is capable of displaying would actually become off-limits, and rendered unavailable by calibrating to a D50 white point.

Bruce Lindbloom has created a nice tool that allows us to perform various conversions between color representation systems.

The "Coordinated Color Temperature" (CCT) of the D50 standard's "horizon" light is 5003K.

Entering that CCT value in the corresponding field in Lindbloom's calculator, and pressing the "CCT" button gives us, among other, the tristimulus XYZ values of the yellow-ish D50 white point.

The calculator also tells us that the relative magnitudes of the R, G and B primaries required to display that yellow-ish D50 white point on a normal D65 sRGB monitor would be:

R = 1.088337
G = 0.982478
B = 0.887631

Normalizing R to 1, the relative magnitude sRGB triplet of the D50 white point becomes:

R = 1.
G = 0.902733
B = 0.815585

On the other hand, the D65 white point on a D65 sRGB monitor would, of course, have as relative magnitude triplet:

R = 1.
G = 1.
B = 1.

We thus see that displaying the D50 white point only requires about 90.27% of the maximum luminosity of the green channel the monitor is capable of, and 81.56% of the max luminosity of the blue channel.

What are the numerical equivalents of these 90.27% and 81.56% of maximum luminosity, in terms of the 8-bit [0..255] sRGB numbers we are more familiar with ?

Applying the gamma-based formula, we see that, scaled to [0.255], the

R = 1.
G = 0.902733
B = 0.815585

triplet becomes

R = 255.
G = 243.77, which we can round to 244
B = 233.09, which we can round to 233

The RGB triplet that a computer will have to send to a D65 sRGB monitor to display the yellowish D50 white point is thus [R=255,G=244,B=233]

Note that the "white point" is, by definition, the point of maximum brightness in a color space. When software-calibrated to D50, a D65 sRGB monitor will thus never display any color combination whose G value exceeds 244, or whose B value exceeds 233, because a video card, driven by proper color management software calibrated to D50, will never send to the display a triplet exceeding these boundaries.

Incidentally, for a color-managed computer who's been told to use a D50 white point, sending to a sRGB monitor a RGB pixel data like (0,0,250) would be a violation of Grassmann's law, as such a color would have a B component that's brighter than the blue component of the point of maximum brightness.

It thus follows that the maximum number of hues that will be displayed by a 8-bit D65 sRGB monitor that is software-calibrated to D50 will be:

R{0..255} * G{0..244} * B{0..233} = 256 * 245 * 234 = 14,676,480.

This number of distinct hues is only about 87.47% of the theoretical 256*256*256 = 16,777,216 hues displayable by a 8-bit sRGB monitor.

Thus, about 12.53% — or about one eigth — of the hues which a D65 sRGB monitor is capable of displaying would become off-limits, and rendered unavailable if a D65 monitor is software-calibrated to D50.

When color matching between the monitor's display and color prints is essential, calibrating the white point to D50 is a good solution.

On the other hand, for black and white pictures, the matching of the monitor's and printer's white points is quite irrelevant, especially when one takes into account the human vision's color accomodation abilities.

For BW pictures, thus, and also for color pictures when one wishes to accurately match the monitor's colors with the colors captured and encoded in a sRGB or AdobeRGB file by a digital camera, choosing a calibration with a D65 white point is probably the better option. Doing so would also ensure smoother tonal transitions as, say, the full 256 distinct luminance values of the B channel could be sent by the computer to the display if the picture data requires it.

A thread after my own heart. I am a "max it out and buy every 5 to 6 years" computer user. I have a RAM-maxed-out mid-2010 non-Retina MBP 15" (non-shiny "higher res") in which I swapped in a Samsung PRO 512 MB SSD boot drive a little over a year ago. It's still running 10.6.8 Snow Leopard just fine, and I am still using LR4 and PS6. For detailed work and printing, I hook it up to a NEC 27" 1440 x 2560 wide gamut monitor with SpectraviewII and the NEC puck for color management. I keep thinking about a Mac OS upgrade that would allow me to use the recent native LR updates that cover new cameras (I am thinking about buying one). I didn't download the interim OSs, and the OS available now, Yosemite, apparently objects to non-Apple brand SSD boot drives, something to do with "no TRIM allowed". I have read that you can run 10.10.x with "TRIM Enabler" program. Has anyone here done the TRIM Enabler bit with their 3rd party SSD boot drive and 10.10.x? Does LR6 just crawl when told not to use the (2010 vintage) GPU?

I have also thought about just buying a new laptop, it's about due, and the current one developed a few vertical lines on the far left, annoying screen defect that doesn't affect image area, just left LR panel. I know the only screens now are the super-shiny Retina screens (annoying). Also, the issue of two-monitor operation when the small monitor is Retina and the large monitor is traditional - can this work?

Any issues displaying high pixel count images - PhaseOne, EOS 5DSR, Sony A7rII on 'retina' displays? There are various accounts on the Web (including DPReview on the A7rII) commenting on this and referring to pixelation and other issues.


[Ctein replies: I just opened a 32 Mpx Phase One file in the current Bridge and Photoshop CC. No problems -- displays beautifully in both at all screen magnifications.

I can't speak to any other programs.

In the rare cases where a piece of legacy software doesn't cope well with a retina display or a virtual machine doesn't understand it, you can check a "low resolution" box in the app's "Get Info" window that pixel-doubles everything, so it behaves like an old-style display. I'm doing that with an old plug-in I like that (only) plays nice under Photoshop CS5 or earlier but it can't adjust for the higher pixel density. ]

Congratulations on the new system.

Why can't your email program run on new versions of OS X?

My OS X system is a 2008 MacPro (3,1). It originally ran Tiger (10.4) and is now running Yosimite (10.10.4).

With 32GB of memory and a fast SSD drive I'm able to do just about anything I've wanted or needed to do without worry.

Through the various OS upgrades I've lost an application here or there, or had to pay for an upgrade. But all of my essential applications ported over without issue and I've never lost any data so far.


[Ctein replies: Tony, my mail program is Eudora, which hasn't been updated in a decade and requires PowerPC code to run. That's why it breaks after Snow Leopard.

I'm willing to consider moving to another mail program when I move to the new laptop but it has to satisfy two criteria—first, I have to be able to migrate my mail and my mailboxes from Eudora to it and second, it has to allow me to easily export groups of e-mails as plain text files with the header information (date, from, and subject) included. I archive all my e-mail in that form to make sure it's accessible and readable independent of the mail client.]

Tidbits.com has an old (2011) but good article on transferring mail from Eudora to other clients (good stuff in the comments, too):

http://tidbits.com/article/12382

I've used Eudora Mailbox Cleaner (free) on several users' massive mail collections to move them to apple mail with few hitches. Some metadata gets lost (not completely consistently, though colored labels have mostly been goners.) It's essential to do cleanup in eudora first though, as specified in the tidbits article. Attachments are a big issue for some people--Eudora removes them from the message, and the link between message and attachment is often lost, especially if you rename or move the attachments. There's pretty much nothing to be done about that. (EMC is a ppc program, so you need to run it on snow leopard.)

http://andreasamann.com/MacOSX/Eudora_Mailbox_Cleaner


Often the best solution is imap. Then you can connect any number of clients to it and transfer mail hither and yon. You can also try out a lot of clients and see which you hate least. If there's too big a backlog for your imap quota, you can do it in batches, copying local mail from the old client, downloading it with the new client then deleting from the server. (Note that gmail and outlook/exchange server 'imap' isn't real imap, and is more likely to have trouble. If you need access to a good imap service, fastmail.com is excellent and cheap, $10/year up.)

About once a year I try every mail client that's still supported, and none come close to Eudora. Apple Mail always wins out by a hair because of third party plugins and potentially faster security updates. There are a few newer clients this year available only on the App Store, but I haven't tried those since I'd have to put money up front, and none seem to offer anything that makes them closer to eudora.

For saving to plain text, Apple Mail can in principle do it, "Archive Mailbox..." saves to mbox format. In practice, it tends not to work well with large amounts of mail at a time. (All versions of apple mail have that problem, not just yosemite.) One not-huge mailbox at a time (not too deeply nested) usually works ok,

As long as snow leopard is still available, there's no reason not to use eudora for searching old mail archives, if you don't let it talk to the network (little snitch helps with this). If you save new mail to mbox, you can put those files in Eudora's Mail folder, and as long as there aren't more than 32k messages per file, it will deal with them just fine, though metadata will likely be missing.

There are useful plugins for apple mail that help with metadata and improved filtering. I've been using MailTags and Mail Act-On. I don't have it yet, but Keyboard Maestro, a general GUI macro utility, looks like it should be good for taming other annoyances, such as not being able to open the next message with a single key press. None of the above are free though.

http://www.indev.ca/index.html
http://www.keyboardmaestro.com/main/

(Disclaimer: I have no connection to any software mentioned other than as a user.)

A my computer will cost 1500 dollars and contains 64 Gb of RAM, 500 Gb of SSD storage, 4 Gb of diskstorage in a Raid array, Windows 7, 2 980GTX video arrays (a healty 4000+ Cuda cores). It wil adres 2 monitors and a beamer (as part of a 3D scanner). How I do that without atracting interrest from the old blue. Buy second hand and refurbish. And did I mention 2 Xeon processors with 6 cores at 2.9 Mhz each? And it's an A brand (HP or Dell, not quite sure yet what the cat will drag in).

Greets, Ed.

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