Notes from my research on the Big Switch

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Well documented experience and void of emotional baggage. Kudos, Randy!

I'd just like to add that Shockwave is really a cousin of Flash, and that software used to be developed by Macromedia, which is now part of Adobe. So, yes, Adobe is the one responsible for not putting out a "universal binary" version of Showckwave sooner, like they are doing with the CS2 suite. I wonder what is the real hold up for this...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macromedia_Shockwave

A conversation with a sales rep who spoke with Adobe folks about Photoshop indicated that CS2 will not have a binary universal version, it will be in CS3. Supposedly the raw processor will not be the one CS2 currently uses.

Rich
 
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Supposedly the raw processor will not be the one CS2 currently uses.
Hopefully it will include the new features from the Lightroom raw processor (which seems to be the only part of Lightroom I'm really happy with).
 
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Hopefully it will include the new features from the Lightroom raw processor (which seems to be the only part of Lightroom I'm really happy with).

At the suggestion of a salesman friend at a local photo store I downloaded lightroom. I like it's interface very much. After using both this and Aperture it is clear that the original Photoshop, while certainly a comfort to old hands, is not suited to large scale production. As a matter of fact I came across this forum at the Luminous Landscape web site:

http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?showforum=31

The threads answered a lot of questions I had.

Still, I think something is missing. With NX, Aperture and Lightroom I see a philosophy oriented towards "photo editing" where, in lightroom at least all the color controls are along the right side of the screen, visible and made easy to manipulate. One of the PR features of NX, for example, permits changing an entire portion of an image a completely different color apart from other colors or areas.

Son what's wrong with that? Nothing really, but I'm looking for a more "post processing" capability. I am more interested in portraying the image exactly as I saw it (or see it in my mind's eye). I tried a particularly difficult image of an early morning scene of some gray herons standing on gray rocks with some brightly, slightly blown out stones way in the background. Each color control I manipulated took me farther and farther away from the original until I had to reset everything because there were too many variables.

No, I don't want this capability taken away, but I would like at least the capability to process in a simple, controlled manner. I'm used to the simplicity of Nikon Capture. I first adjust the rough sharpness and then adjust the EV based on a large histogram which shows the combined RGB colors. Photoshop, NX, Aperture and Lightroom all show these three moving color blobs, so small they are of little or no use.

Then I adjust the white balance using very precise adjustments (varying a few degrees with each mouse click) which show up on the relatively large combined RGB curve. There is no guess work, when the histogram in shadows is at its peak you have achieved the actual white balance when the picture was taken.

Finally I neutralize the shadows and set the gamma for overall luminosity. I haven't spent enough time on the other packages to determine if you can even do that. If the image was not taken correctly, I have the ability to adjust certain features to rescue the image with the various controls. However I don't like to start sliding them all over the place right off the bat.

Rich
 
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I have to disagree on the comment below about the mac mini not being a machine for running programs like CS2 although I'm a little out-of-touch as I sold my last 15" Al PB with 2GB RAM about a few months ago. So, please correct me but I am writing about my own experiences.

What is the difference between the mini and the MBPro? From my understanding, essentially, it's the RAM, hard drive, and graphics chip. From my knowledge, the only thing that CS2 needs is a lot of RAM. I don't believe CS2 needs a discrete graphics chip although I could be wrong.

There is no reason why a properly equipped mini (fast hard drive and a lot of RAM) couldn't run CS2 well. It should. Not sure about aperture though as I'm not familiar with it.

From my past experience, the powerbooks ALWAYS ran photoshop a little slower than a comparable pc. For me, the difference was always about STABILITY; I would keep crashing photoshop on my old pc. When XP came out and adobe cleaned up photoshop in PS7 and CS1, my powerbook became extraneous.

My two cents.

CJ:wink:



Very interesting analysis, Randy!

A few thoughts here: First, you are writing from a really brief user experience with a Mac Mini. While the Mini is a cute little machine and gives a lot of bang for the buck, it is not intended to be a computer for running powerful and sophisticated programs like Aperture and CS2. Last year when I was making the decision about which machine to purchase for myself, I ruled out the Mac Mini, even though I was tempted by the low price, small footprint and of course its cuteness factor, because I knew that I would need something more powerful for running CS2 (Aperture came out a few weeks after I had made my purchase). Therefore, IMHO it's really not an accurate assessment of the potential of intel Macs with regard to running programs such as Aperture, CS2 or Office for the Mac through Rosetta when you are talking about a Mac Mini, even a fully maxed-out one. If you had bought and were using an iMac or a MacBook Pro or a Mac Pro for running CS2 or Aperture, I suspect your overall impressions and subsequently your analysis would be very different. CS2 on my MacBook Pro (Core Duo) with 2 GB RAM runs nearly as fast as it does on the native PPC G5 iMac (also 2 GB RAM). It moves VERY quickly on my Mac Pro. The Mac Mini was never meant for running CS2 or Aperture; the target audience is very different and those who know they're going to be running those programs purchase one of the higher-end Macs.
 
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I apologize. I should have added in my prior post that, generally speaking, the processors from both the mini and the MBPro are similar although apple always puts their pro computers slightly ahead in the processor game.

My original point was that you can run photoshop on a 'consumer-class' computer like the mini or even the macbook. Just soup up the ram and maybe add a faster hard drive.

CJ
:smile:



CJ,
I believe your logic is flawed. Processor speed comes into play as well.
 
Apologies here as well: I also should have clarified that I recognize that now Apple has beefed up the Mac Minis -- the original ones were brought out as a very economical move for potential new users, with limited upgradeability and such; now with the advent of Intel-based machines they are more powerful and have more RAM capability than in the past. In addition to that, Apple also has made changes to Aperture so that a greater number of machines can handle it, whereas in the beginning, there were limitations upon which Macs it could be installed and used.
 
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The Mac Mini gets more surprising all the time! (in a good way!) Check out the following website and their forums... http://www.123macmini.com/forums/ Specifically the Mac Mini Upgrading forum.

The Mac Mini with either the original Core Solo CPU or the newer Core Duo is being quite successfully upgraded to the new faster Intel Core 2 Duo CPU for even more horsepower. Probably not a best value upgrade for recent Core Duo Mini owners right now (unless you're a horsepower junkie :biggrin:) but it's nice to see there is somewhat of an upgrade path on these little guys. Bigger and faster hard drives and more memory too. The only limitation is the Video sub-system (Intel 950) which cannot be upgraded but is better performing than most people give it credit for. The 950 video chip is not for hardcore Gamers but perfectly acceptable performance for most applications currently.

The do-it-yourself CPU and drive upgrades are apparently not for the faint of heart but anyone that is used to taking stuff apart (and putting it back together! :wink:) might be surprised what they can stuff into these budget units. Of course your warranty is toast once you decide to do this minor surgery but for you hackers out there, well, have fun! Cheers!

P.S. Standard disclaimer here, I take no responsibility for anyone messing up their Mini eh! I'm just the messenger..... :tongue: Of course you can always wait until next year to buy your Mini when it will in all likelyhood get a Core 2 Duo refresh right from Apple. Pretty safe bet that's on the Mini's roadmap!
 
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The biggest problem I have is that limited size of the hard drives, lack of available pci slots and even USB ports are very limited, also they only have one video out. I have almost 200 gigs of music, not to mention movies, photos and what not. I really am pulled by the size as I am looking into moving onto a sail boat and a Mini with 2 20 inch lcds (1 wall mounted as a TV) would really fit the bill, if I could add an internal TV card, and could get it with a 500 gig or better hard drive. I want my next computer to be a Mac, but not sure if a mini will do. I don't like how you have to add an external hard drive, usb devices that could be internal and what not to mess up my very limited space. If the up coming ITV or what ever they call it comes with a good processor and can run CS2, light room and what not, might be cool.

As far as cost I think the Mac Mini is a good deal, but I think you can build a cheaper Windows/Linux machine. The main thing that makes a PC go up in price is the video card, as they can cost upwards and even more than $1000, but they give you nothing more for photo editing than the $50 cards do, as you do not need a powerful 3d processor for 2d work. I have less than $700 in my system (not including software), but I must admit I do not have a "completely legal" copy of Windows XP, but that would still not bring me up to $800. Getting a Mini with the largest hard drive, extra memory, an external hard drive and a USB TV card is going to be more than a grand. But boy do they look cool and very compact!

The networking issues are not really related to Mac, but due to the fact that Windows does not follow normal conventions. So that one you can't blame on the Mac. I have been a Linux/Unix/AIX/BSD/Mac/Windows user and system admin for almost 10 years so I really like the Mac file system. As far as "hackability" don't worry it is inherently not as vulnerable as Windows. On the server market Unix is way more stable, powerful and secure than Windows, that is why most of the servers on the internet are running Linux. Currently of my 6 pc's I have running (don't ask why one person needs 6 systems) only one is running Windows, one is running an old version of Mac Os9.something and 4 are running Linux. The thing I like about OSX is it takes the best of Unix and makes it usable in a color corrected world. Color correction and a decent photo editing software are what keeps me from a Linux only world. (Linux you are limited to running PS 7 under Wine, or using the GIMP)

Now if I can run Mac OSX on a home made Shuttle type PC, I would be in heaven! Small case, with enough PCI/Video slots to expand and customize the system, to my liking and triple boot Linux-Windows-OSX! And that could be done for a great price.
 
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A conversation with a sales rep who spoke with Adobe folks about Photoshop indicated that CS2 will not have a binary universal version, it will be in CS3. Supposedly the raw processor will not be the one CS2 currently uses.

Rich

Can we assume that Lightroom and the upcoming CS3 will have the same RAW processing engine and that it is derived from the RAW Shooter purchase? Or did Adobe buy RAW Shooter just to kill it which doesn't make sense in light of the significant number of other RAW conversion applications out there?
 
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Great summary. You described a lot of the reason I will never switch.

There just isn't any incentive to.
 

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