Ok Apple, not as smart as I thought you were…

It had to happen, I made a post about just how smart Apple are. Do I never learn?

After I upgraded to OSX Lion my screen calibrator didn’t work. It wasn’t Lion compatible. No matter thinks I, it was pretty old and I’d never been quite happy with it. So, after a bit of research I decided on the i1 Display Pro by X-Rite.

All seemed well, very happy with the profiles it made for my Dell Ultrasharp U2711. Until, I opened Final Cut Pro. WHAT IS GOING ON? All my Gamma’s were WAY off. Video previews were too dark and extreme contrast. This isn’t right, as the same video as a QuickTime played ok.

After many hours of footering, reinstalling FCP etc. and the trusty “Google it…” I came up with the solution. It turns out that Final Cut Pro just doesn’t play nice with ICC Profile Version 4. You have to recalibrate as Version 2.

Now this is just plain wrong. Apple used to use a gamma of 1.8 whereas PC’s used 2.2. It seems that Apple now have started to use 2.2 and I can feel my head starting to hurt already, but aaaargh…

Anyway, screens all now calibrated to ICC Profile Version 2, which isn’t ideal but it’s working. As Apple have stopped development of FCP and are concentrating on FCPX it looks like they will never sort this issue. FCPX seems to work ok with Version 4.

Ok, now that issue is sorted I suppose I better get back to work, at least I can see what I’m editing now.

Who’s a smart Apple then…

Computers are definitely getting smarter. I remember all those years of misery whilst building and upgrading PC’s. And that’s with me being an ex technician and designer/builder of many a computer over the years. I’m not saying it was always misery, but just when you were least expecting it…. aaarghhhh….

A couple of years ago I decided to move to the dark side. Apple? Surely they are only for designers? I’m a PC guy, techie, unix and assembly language, that’s where it’s at. Well, if truth be known I was fed up building PCs and footering. I just wanted a computer that… worked. Is that too much to ask?

Anyway, a couple of years down the line I’m totally Mac’d out. My video editing/Photoshop machine is a Mac Pro, my general email/browsing machine is an iMac and when I’m filing pics to the Press it’s a Macbook Pro that’s my computer of choice.

When my original Mac Pro was getting old and tired, it was relegated to use as an FTP and file/media server. A shiny new 8 core Mac Pro took it’s place and I’ve been very impressed with it. However it shipped with a traditional hard drive, albeit a 1Tb 7200rpm 32Mb cache version.

Now, I’m a big fan of SSD drives , I use them in my RAIDs for video editing. So, today I put a 120Gb OCZ Vertex 3 SSD into my Mac Pro as it’s boot drive. As the four internal bays are full it was fitted into the lower optical bay with an adapter from Other World Computing in the US. The new SSD is SATA 3, which is 6Gb/s and unfortunately the Mac Pro only supports SATA 2 at 3Gb/s but that could be sorted with a SATA 3 PCIe card. I’m ok with that as the performance of 3Gb/s will be much better than the HDD it replaced. I’m more concerned with performance on my RAIDs as that is where all my data is stored. The boot drive is only for applications.

Anyway, here is where it starts getting smart. I’ve been using OSX Lion for a while, happy with it. Only thing was that as it’s download only you don’t get a boot disc. No worries, as I have had the foresight to make a Lion boot disk, which is easy if you know how.

New SSD in the machine and boot it up. At this stage I’m thinking it will not start and ask for a boot disk. But no, before I can put in my ready made boot disk, the machine had started, welcomed me and is offering to setup Lion from the t’internet.

Eh??? That shouldn’t happen. Ah well, let’s see what happens.

The Mac connects to the t’internet and “validates”, then starts downloading Lion. Ok, it took 2 hours to download, but after that it setup a nice new clean install of Lion 10.7.2

I have to say, this is the most efficient, pleasant and dare I say it, easy clean install of an operating system ever.

Apple, I have moaned about you recently, but today all I have is respect. Now, all you need to do is convince me about Final Cut Pro X. ;-)

Spring cleaning, but in the autumn…

I’m a big fan of doing a clean install on computers every so often. It clears out orphaned files, little glitches and software that you don’t really need. It generally gives you a leaner, faster streamlined machine.

I never store data for longer than a few days on my machines, they are moved to my server where I have a proper archiving system. You’re asking for trouble keeping data on your main day to day working machine. I have my apps on the boot drive as they can be reinstalled easily.

With all my machines running Lion and being happy about their stability, I decided to do a clean install on my MacBook Pro. This is my main working machine on the road so it was crucial I had a few days clear of news jobs so I wasn’t stuck not being able to file.

Lion is download only so you need to burn a boot DVD before you start. So, the MBP has had it’s SSD drive erased, reformatted and a clean install of Lion.

I’ve taken the opportunity to only install apps that I really use, so it’s Photo Mechanic, Photoshop, Launch2Net, Photo Rescue, Shotput Pro and Final Cut Pro. Basically thats all I need on the road.

The machine is leaner and faster, so well worth it. You really don’t need all those programs you downloaded just to play with.

Obviously your mileage may vary, and don’t try this if you aren’t sure what you are doing. The one thing I will say is, make sure your data is backed up. Get a proper backup strategy in place, you’ll thank me for it.

Apple you’ve lost the plot… :-(

After my huge disappointment with FCPX it’s another moan at Apple. Lion installs ok on my iMac which is my general browsing/mail machine and after playing with it for a while I was happy. It was time for my Mac Pro…

Ok, data is all backed up as expected, but as my Mac Pro has a RAID boot drive, (using Apple’s own RAID software) Lion won’t install, just sits at a login screen. :-(

Groan, I need to reformat my RAID according to Apple, what a joke… Similar problems exist if you use Boot Camp. These are Apple machines with Apple software and it’s not acceptable.

To cap it all, once you download the Lion installer and install it, it self destructs. So now I’m having to download on another machine and make a sneaky boot disk before I install it. :-(

Apple are making things easier for inexperienced users on basic new machines. If you actually know what you are doing, or have a well specced pro machine you’ll have issues. Thankfully that same user will know how to sort it, but it is just another example of Apple dumbing down to the lowest common denominator.

Apple, you were cool when you were the underdog, now you are just turning into Micro$oft… :-(