Tag Archives: os x

The Aperture Is Closing

TrashingApertureMacRumors updated their sub-site for OS X Yosemite to include info about the new Photos app, which appears destined to launch with the next drop of Yosemite.  I’d guess that’ll be in March or April.

Frankly, it’s the time I dreaded.

The news about Photos isn’t good, at least not for me.  Aperture has essentially been deprecated (although it still runs, and likely will for a while), but the ecosystem that keeps it functional will no longer be developed.  No more versions of Aperture are to come, which is very sad.

Several years ago, I was a Lightroom junkie, and loved the product.  However, it didn’t handle geodata very well.  While that’s not the most important thing in the world, it’s pretty dang nice.  And for files that couldn’t take metadata natively (like RAW files), it was necessary to generate sidecar files to carry that info so you could see it from the OS.  That’s all well and good inside the application, but from the OS, it was awful.  When I’d do a Spotlight search for some piece of metadata in my images, I’d get a ton of sidecar files as search results, rather than the actual images.  This meant that I couldn’t see thumbnails for these images in Finder’s display of the results, so I had no idea if the images pointed to by the sidecar files were of Elvis, space aliens or Santa Claus.

And that’s when I made the switch to Aperture.

It wasn’t easy, but I was careful about my exports from Lightroom,  preserving my directory structure that I’d been carrying since 2002, and I got everything into Aperture.  I’ve been way happy with it, and its integration into the Mac OS.  However, with Yosemite, the announcement was made that Apple would have a new application called Photos, and with that, the speculation about what that meant for Aperture (and iPhoto) began.

When that writing hit the wall,  it was obvious that Aperture was going to be shuttered, and with that, there was a huge clatter of noise from pro photographers about moving to Lightroom.  Even Apple said that was the right destination for professional photographers.  And based on what I read on MacRumors today, I’d have to agree.

Photos will not allow plugins, which is a cornerstone for photo editing in most photography applications.  I use Nik, OnOne and other filters in editing my images, and giving up that kind of control and capability within the application is a pretty tough pill to swallow.

And based on what I gather, Photos wants to own the location of my images, meaning that my carefully manicured old-fashioned file folder-based system of filing my images would no longer be supported.  Aperture was happy to deal with that via referenced images, and that was perfect for me.  Call me a control freak, but knowing where things are lets me sleep better at night.

I suspect this is just the tip of the iceberg, however.  I’m betting that if you like iPhoto, this’ll feel like a big ol’ improvement.  For those of us that loved Aperture, this is a big step backward.

So, Lightroom, here I come.  Have the things that drove me to Aperture been fixed?  Can I get all the nuggets of metadata out of Aperture, and into Lightroom?  Well, that remains to be seen.  Adobe has some basic instructions for how to make that migration, and is promising a tool that will make that much more automated.  While I’ve got Lightroom 5 installed, I’m waiting for the tools to catch up to the reality of actually cutting over to Lightroom from Aperture.

For now, I’ll just hide and watch, eagerly awaiting the time to actually make the cutover to Adobe’s Lightroom, and turn out the lights on Aperture for a final time.



Apple MacPro, OS X Yosemite and Wi-Fi … The Honeymoon’s Over

OK, so I’ll admit it.  I’m an Apple fanboy, and have been since making the switch to Macs in 2005.  For geek profile purposes, I would tell ya that I’m an early adopter, and a realist about problems that may show up.  It’s hardware, and software, and even though there’s tight synergy granted from both sides of that coming from the same complex in Cupertino, I recognize that things will go bump every now and then.

That said, let me introduce you to my latest saga with the Apple ecosystem.

AirDrop is a pretty cool technology that allows Macs, and now iPhones with iOS 8, to create short-lived, ad hoc networks to transfer files.  This is pretty cool, especially if you use your iPhone as a primary form of photography (And for Rick and Tom, I’m not naming names here!), and for probably other uses as well.  Once I got both Yosemite and iOS 8.1 down, I wanted to give AirDrop a try.  The first prompt I got was to turn on the wi-fi card in my late-2013 Mac Pro cylinder.

As a note, I don’t usually keep wi-fi enabled on my Mac Pro.  This machine never travels, and does some big data moves across my network, so hardwiring it at gig-e speeds just makes sense for me.

When I tried to turn on the wi-fi on my shiny cylinder o’ fun, I clicked the button on the network preferences panel… and nothing happened.  I clicked it again.  Nothing.  And like any good techie, I continued clicking it periodically over the next few minutes.  Nada.

I decided to restart my Mac, and as though by magic, I was able to turn on wi-fi in my system.  I played with AirDrop, and then turned off wi-fi.

Fast forward to yesterday.  I took a walk at lunch.  Normally, I use a Garmin Forerunner 310XT to capture my travels, but for some reason, it was having trouble finding the satellites, so I did my walk, and then wanted to check the distance.  My go-to answer for years has been Google Maps, but I figured that since Apple had included this cool Maps application on the desktop, I’d use it.

Well… it barked about not being able to find my position without wi-fi being turned on, which means the app barks incessantly about how it can’t determine my location.  I even tried to feed it my location to shut it up, and it still was pretty dang insistent.  I know my Mac doesn’t have a GPS device embedded in it, so it’s obviously using my wi-fi network name to figure where I am, based on the network I’m connected to.  If I’m out in public, that’s pretty cool.  Sitting in my house, that’s a little creepy.  TMI, say I!  However, that misgiving aside, I turned on my wi-fi.

Or tried to.

Once again, I was left with a wi-fi system that didn’t seem to be active, regardless of what I’d do.  Once again, I restarted my machine.  I paid close attention this time, and noticed that the wi-fi was on when the machine came back up.  Whether I had hit the button an odd number of times, resulting in the post-reboot status being active, or if it just remembered that I was trying to turn it on, my cylindrical Mac came back up with wi-fi happy.  Oh, and Maps was much happier as well.

So, what’s this mean?  I’m not entirely sure.  Except that I need to be planful around when I want to use AirDrop or Maps, or anything else requiring the lil’ Mac Pro to have its wi-fi enabled.

I’ve done a ton of searches on this issue.  Unfortunately, there are loads of as-yet-unresolved issues with Yosemite around wi-fi performance and dropping networks, and those are clouding my searches with a lot of wild goose chases.  If I had to guess, I’d bet that something is being flagged to turn on wi-fi, but can’t complete until after a restart for some reason.  Or, wi-fi is really active, but all the indicators in the network preferences aren’t there. I should probably watch my Apple network gear (using my iPad or iPhone) to see if there’s every anything showing up on the router’s side, which could help narrow things down.

Just a little spot on my otherwise shiny Apple!

The Lion’s Meow … and Its Teeth!

The shiny new OS for my Macs — “Lion” — was dropped this week. Through a weird quirk of timing, I was able to get it gratis from the Kids at Cupertino. You see, I bought my new MacMini just a few into an as-of-that-time-unannounced window where you could get Lion for free because your machine shoulda shipped with it… or something like that. Anyway, one redemption code in the AppStore later, and Lion was on the MacMini, and was installable on my other two Macs as well. Woohoo!

The first wart I discovered with was Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Client. I had to “Force Quit” the app a few times, and even bounced the machine before it would finally work. I have no idea what it was doing, but it eventually was functional. Yippee!

The next wart was one I knew about — Quicken. Quicken 2007 for the Mac was a PPC-only app, and with the dropping of Rosetta, PPC apps aren’t supported. Makes sense — it’s been almost six years since the Apple switch to Intel. So one quick online purchase later, and Quicken Essentials — the only version available for the Mac — was on the iMac and purring along. Hooray!

Today, I went on a quest to see what other PPC-only pieces of code I had out there. Surprisingly, there were some. There was The Sims, which I really hadn’t played since I installed it. I evicted ’em.

And then I noticed a bad one: EyeOne.

I bought my EyeOne at DLWS in the fall of 2005 for use in profiling my monitors. It’s a cool tool, and code has been carried along for quite a while, with no big changes. That means the functionality didn’t change, which is good, but with the advent of Lion, the old PPC codebase simply won’t fly. From what I’ve been able to see here and there on the ever-truthful internet, it appears that the new owners of the codebase don’t seem to be real interested in updating the code for us loyal EyeOne users. Bummer. That probably means that a new profiling package is in my future. I had to have to do that, but I don’t know any way around it.

With all that in mind, the upgrade to Lion has cost me $50 for Quicken, and who-knows-how-much for a new profiler … maybe a few hundred bucks?

As for functionality, Lion has a few new things, a redesigned Mail application, and some pretty visual changes that are pleasant to watch. Are there gobs of new things I see as I use my machine for scanning, Aperture, or other things? Not really. I do hate the fact the scrolling is now backwards — now, you “push” or “pull” the content in the direction you want, kinda like a physical piece of paper. Definitely backwards, and makes my transition from work (Windows-centric) to home (Mac-centric). I know you can change that behavior, but if that’s the way Apple’s headed, I kinda wanna go that way too, lest I get caught later needing to learn this new behavior, but under some pressure to get something done!

So for me, Lion’s less of a big cat, and more of kitten. Like with any kitten though, it’s inflicted a little pain that I’m just gonna have to figure out how to heal.

CORRECTION/ADDITION : It appears that X-Rite (who now owns the codebase for the EyeOne) are planning to include support for my device in a new piece of code to be released in September. Of course, it won’t be a free upgrade, and I will have to live without my profiler for a few months. Color me hopeful that this gets resolved both quickly and correctly!

Mac OS X Lion

OK, so change comes, and there’s loads o’ buzz about the new version of OS X — Lion — coming soon to a Mac near you.


It appears that Rosetta will be dropped. That’s the handy little widget that allows you to emulate a PowerPC Mac, and run all that crusty old software that you rely on daily. Ya know the stuff I’m talking about.

For me, that would be Quicken 2007. It’s not a Universal Binary, which means with Lion, it’s a no-go. Quicken does have a new product called Quicken Essentials for Mac that will do what I do with Quicken, but won’t do everything that Quicken 2007 does. Quicken’s solution for those folks? Use Quicken 2007 for Mac. But… wait… that won’t run under Lion.

Take a look at Quicken Essentials for Mac on Amazon. Go ahead, I’ll wait… Back? Notice that about 75% of the reviews are “one star”? Folks are howling, to say the least.

So, I guess my upgrade to Lion may come with some additional expense, at least for Quicken or another tool that will allow me to work some financial management. Who knows if there’ll be more things hiding out there!

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty

Through some lucky monitoring of Twitter today (before it apparently crashed in fire, flame and swarms of locusts), I saw a co-worker pre-order Snow Leopard, the new version of OS X for the Mac. I guess I wasn’t paying close enough attention to MacLand, and didn’t realize we were on the cusp of the new OS dropping.

So tonight, I’ve ordered my little kitty, and am expecting delivery on Friday (based on Apple’s website). I’ve gotta admit, I’m hoping for some performance improvement, especially with Lightroom. My catalog is almost 95,000 images nowadays, and I really do see some odd slowdowns on Doc Oc occasionally. The odd thing about these little slowdowns is that they don’t really manifest themselves as metrics I can see — the cores aren’t busy, the system is responsive, but LR is living in spinning beachball city. I realize I have a crazy large catalog — I’m a bit of a pack rat, and I like searching through all my keyworded files at once — but it’s my DAM solution, and I’m sticking with it. The least it could do is run well on eight cores with access to 16GB of RAM!

Anyway, come Friday, we’ll see just what the new cat’s guts are like…

The Patient Survived!

Doc Oc has his new OS and apps loded. Yahoo! In this entry, I’m gonna try to capture the things I’ve modified/augmented, so next time I have to do this, I can deal with it from a documented position.

My basic plan was to keep things clean, only installing things I use, and trying hard to avoid importing settings and drivers from the old boot drive, which takes the Migration Assistant out of the mix… generally.

  • >Documents and Stuff : I have loads of this kind of thing… ya know, Apple commercials, some images (not my photo library; that’s on another spindle), genealogy stuff, etc. Migration Assistant seemed like it would move all this, but I really wanted to do it myself, as I’m not comfortable with Migration Assistant’s scope, and knowing just much it would copy.
  • Mail : Mail is a biggie for me. I archive waaaaay too much mail in my mailboxes, and it’s always been one of those things I’ll fix “one of these days”. Today is not that day. So how to get my mail setup manually? I copied /Users/me/Library/Mail and /Users/me/Library/Mail Downloads to the newly installed OS image. I also copied /Users/me/Library/Preferences/com.apple.mail.plist, and after getting everything over, I opened Mail, and there was everything. The only thing that wasn’t in place was my passwords, which isn’t a big surprise.
  • Adobe Applications : I fully expected CS3 to bark about being reinstalled on the same machine, but apparently it was smart enough to figure it out. I saw several other apps that somehow knew their license serial numbers, and worked well. In fact, the only app that I had to “deactivate” and “reactivate” was Genuine Fractals 6.
  • iTunes : I have had challenges in the past with moving my iTunes library around. This go ’round though, I had no problems. I use an alias to point to the library location, and once I repointed that, iTunes was all smiles.

At this point, Doc is happy again, although I’m sure I’ll run into things here and there that aren’t quite as they were. However, all things considered, I’m happy with where things are right now… Especially given all the “learning experiences” that were part of this!!