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Wednesday, 19 June 2013


Just a note, the current version of Mac OSX is Mountain Lion, not Lion.

Man, OS upgrades for Mac are such a pain. My wife was still on 10.5 but we found out we couldn't upgrade to Mountain Lion until she first upgraded to Snow Leopard. Snow leopard can only be bought via a disk so what should have been a quick upgrade ended up taking multiple days and multiple upgrades.

Ctein, can you use a firewire to usb adaptor? Do these things even work?

Ah Ctein,

that's a problem I would not have. When I sit in a presentation I nod of in few minutes anyway (no matter how interresting it is, since it the dimmed light that drives the proces). Did it even in the front row of Winton Marsalis concert (sitting next to a highly embaressed girlfreind). Therefor instaed of nod off I now sod off and read the presentation afterwards. Since my read speed is approximatly 6 times talk speed, it saved me lots of time.

Greets, Ed.

Yet again a problem I do not have. Windows may date up every few years or so, but moi does not do that. Moi is not in the business of enriching mr. Gates (rather decent) or mr. Balmer (which is also a nice shap by the way) any more then is absolutely neccessary. So I use either outdated (but still updated) Windows versions like XP and 7 (which I both like and are rather stable). And when a comp starts cracking up I releave it of its Window cleaning duties and reward it with the Linux version du jour (and happy computing ever after).

By the way, my latest addition to my digital camera crap is an Arduino (so that figures right).

Greets, Ed.

Windows 8.1 is on the way, and MS has already promised to bring back some of the features of Windows 7.

These days, Apple is making 80% of its money from media devices, and I keep wondering how long their laptops and desktops will be useful to me in my work.

Can't you just make a clone of your Leopard System using SuperDuper (or your cloner of choice) and boot from an external hard drive when you want to use the scanner?

(I am guessing that you don't want to boot, that you want the scanner available whenever you want it.)

I know it's painful but if VMs aren't the answer, then dual/multi boot might be?


For you scanner problem, you could boot into Bootcamp and use the Windows version of the scanner software and pilot.

Surely you've thought of this already, but perhaps a Firewire>USB converter would let you run the FW scanner in your virtual environment. Not optimal, for sure, but a Frankenscanner is better than no scanner at all.

On your super focus glasses, any info on how they fare at 20-40 below zero temperatures?

Re Evil Lion breaking Ctein's scanner software:

I'm sure 534 other TOP readers will have made the same suggestion within 60 seconds of this being posted. I'm also sure Ctein will metaphorically and ever so gently slap my wrists for this inept and ignorant idea. But.
But: has he tried operating his scanner with Ed Hamrick's VueScan, The Saviour of Orphaned Scanners?

If Ctein still uses the Minolta Dimage Multi Pro I remember him mentioning years ago, that scanner is directly supported by VueScan on OS X without the need for additional drivers. So are hundreds of other scanners.
Now, I remember reading about Ctein's elaborate workflow, and I'm sure a switch to VueScan will at first be experienced as a major disruption. Also, the software may appear crude and requiring a huge amount of trial-and error to achieve satisfactory results. But it's worth a try, as there are almost no alternatives.

And now for the obvious...have you tried Vue Scan. It has been my companion for a Nikon Coolscan 4000 through several iterations of OS upgrades and the demise of Nikon scanner software. It is running on Firewire and a Mac Mini 2012.

Good luck Ctein and thanks for all the information you continue to share.

PS I do own Digital Restoration by Ctein, another excellent resource.


Maybe I am missing something about your scanner, but have you not heard of VueScan by Hamrick <http://www.hamrick.com>. Great software that runs hundreds of scanners of all types. Runs under Mountain Lion (and many other versions of Mac OS and Windows) is frequently updated for free (once you buy the pro version $79.00) and has lots of features. I can still use my more than 10 year old flatbed and film scanners and they work better than they ever did with the OEM software.

"I have no idea why, but many of the major software publishers (not just Adobe) don't support more than two generations of OS."

As you can probably guess, it comes down to money. While supporting the widest variety of OS versions (and hardware generations) gives you the biggest potential customer base, it also incurs a lot of extra costs. Figuring out the "sweet spot" that gives you the best tradeoff of revenue vs. engineering and support expenses is tricky.

Whenever you make a change to a software application, you have to make sure the change is compatible with every OS version you support it on. Up front, this means the developers have to keep track of which APIs (application programming interfaces) have changed between different OS versions and make sure their code works with all of them. Feature changes have to be tested on all of the supported OS versions, but this is only the tip of the testing iceberg. It's regression testing the software (against all of those OS versions) to make sure that the new features and bug fixes haven't broken anything else that can eat you alive. Shops that have invested in good test automation infrastructure can handle support of multiple versions more easily; those that rely primarily on manual testing have a big financial incentive to severely restrict the number of versions they support.

Resource wise, more OS versions means more machines you have to keep on hand for development and testing work. Virtualization can help out to some degree, but when you need to be concerned about supporting various chip sets, graphics cards, etc. you can't just assume that if it works on VMware's (or Parallel's, or whatever's) virtualized hardware that it will work on the real thing. So you need to keep a good representative variety of hardware on hand to verify against. Also, depending on just how much the OS versions differ, you may need to keep specialist engineers on hand who 'port' the changes (which are typically made against the latest/greatest OS's APIs) to be compatible with the older OS versions.

And now for something completely different: Being one of those who agreed to late delivery, please do take your time off so you're well rested and can make these last prints the best ones :-)

Re your scanner problem... Just keep your old MAC running for the scanner. You'll need something new anyway. There's no need to get fancy enough to have a virtual machine running when you've got a real one available.

Why not just have multiple partitions - one with Snow Leopard, one with Mountain Lion or Mavericks, depending on which way you want need to go. Sure, a quick reboot to scan or go into CC, but you gotta get coffee/water/beer at some point.



Does not support your scanner?


I'd been all-Mac for several years, but a few months ago, I went out and bought a Windows 8 touch-screen laptop, just as an experiment. I'm not sure Windows problems can be overcome in the way that Mac users would like them to be. The fact is, they're business machines, and Macs are not, and I doubt that Macs ever could be, at least, not in large organizations. The problem large organizations have is that they generate massive amounts of paperwork that may remain relevant for years; and they may have computers that function perfectly well in their tasks, and so are not replaced for years...which means that the key characteristic they need is backward compatibility. In fact, they need all the compatibility they can get. So as I work with this new Windows machine, I find I can set it up to be about as convenient as a Mac...but it's like using a new camera. You've actually got to spend some time with the manual. A Mac, not so much, if you've used one before. There's a limited amount of software, that's directly accessible, and when you turn on the computer, there it is, and there ain't much more. With a Windows machine, that all has to be set up, and the set up itself has to be fairly flexible, because of all the different software going through it. But, now that the Windows 8 laptop is set up, I turn it on, flick the opening window out of the way to reveal the password window, enter the password, and every program block that I want to appear on the start screen then pops up almost instantly, in sizes that choose (based on my priorities.) I touch "Lightroom" or "Google" or "Top" and the program or website pops up. Basically, the problem with Windows 8, and it may be inescapable, is that you have to spend an hour or two figuring it out. With a new Mac OS, after you install it, you need to study it for a minute or so, and you're running...

Basically, if I think I were going to run heavy-lifting programs a lot, I'd be in Windows. You don't see a lot of Mac gaming machines...

To touch again on the Adobe situation, I think more and more big computer companies are discovering that (a) consumers don't need faster computers (b) the operating systems and programs that we already have are about all we need, and (c) there are going to be problems with cash flow. So incompatible OS updates, and incompatibility of newer programs with older OS systems (meaning three years old) may be the only way they can generate income.

Can you say, "Planned obsolescence?"

Nikon' scanner sw died ages ago on OS X, but VueScan runs perfectly and drives both my Nikon and Epson scanners on OS X Mountain Lion with FireWire. I don't know if that's an option for you, but it certainly works for me.

Have you looked into getting Vuescan (http://www.hamrick.com/) for your scanner? It supports many older scanners on new operating systems. I can use it to run my Minolta film scanner under Windows 7, even though the Minolta drivers and software don't support anything later than Windows XP. There is Mac support for Vuescan, and it supports many scanners.

Dear folks,

Since so many folks suggested the same solutions to the scanner problem, I'm going to bundle them all into one reply.

The scanner does not have a USB port. FW->USB converters exist, but they are expensive and don't work under all circumstances (note–– what we're talking about here is something that actually converts one data stream into the other, not just a physical adapter that lets you plug one kind of cable into the other). I have no assurance that the scanner software would recognize the scanner mounted this way or that if it did it would handle the data transfer properly. So, I discarded that option.

Indeed, I have NOT yet tried Vuescan. There is nothing at all wrong with that idea (at least, not yet), it's just that I've been trying to avoid throwing unnecessary money and learning curve time at this. The current situation may eventually give me no choice… or at least make it the lesser of all the possible evils.

Running in multiple boot mode is an extremely inefficient solution. Think about the workflow-- it's disruptive, time-consuming, and impossibly annoying. It's a lot less inconvenient to be running another machine that's handling the scanner and schlepping the files between the two.


Dear Ed,

Sticking with an “outdated" OS only works so long as the application you want to run doesn't get updated to exclude it. Some people can stick entirely with legacy software. Other people only run the latest and greatest versions of everything. Both those groups don't have a problem. It's folks like me who can't avoid having a mix of the two who get screwed over.


Dear Andre,

Please blame my maladroit writing: the phrase “I have no idea why” was meant to refer to Apple's accelerated OS release schedule. Oh yeah, I do understand exactly why some software publishers won't support older versions. Sigh.

pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com
 -- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 

Just hop onto eBay and pick up an old 10.6 compatible Mac to run the scanner. It might cost $300... maybe a lot less. I keep two ancient PowerBooks laying around for just this purpose. Plustek refuses to update their OS X drivers. I refuse to run old versions of OS X (to make full use of syncing, sharing and other aspects of the iOS/OS X ecosystem). So I scan using my ancient PowerBooks. I connect to my 10.8 computer using an old Ethernet cable I found in the bottom of a drawer. I think it came with a long-discarded DSL modem.

It is hard to kill an old PowerBook. A slow CPU and limited memory has no impact on running a scanner. You don't even need a decent battery... just run off of the power supply and don't use the computer unless you are scanning. Desktop computers take too much space. An ancient Mac Mini would suffice if you have a spare monitor in a closet someplace. Or you could use your existing monitor to just to scan.

You can use all the money you'll save with CC to pay for the old Mac.

The only downside is OS 10.8 is just different enough to be annoying (to some ). Fortunately Google searches make the adaptation period bearable. You will adjust.

@migueltejadaflores: "... the newer OS's have basically 'dumbed down' a powerful Operating System."

Not true. I'm a developer, using Macs for many years. There isn't a single feature that's been dumbed down. There are alternative ways to do things (e.g., gestures), and they reversed the scrolling, but this is either something that can be ignored or there's a switch to go back. MacOS is as powerful as it ever was. (The same thing is said of Windows 8, with its tile-world UI, but that's entirely optional. I never even see it.)

Dear Ctein,

That is true, therefore I'm in group B...you are in group C and need to make a choice. Either the expensive way of Group A so upgrade till your fingers bleed or the cheapskate ways of group B. And spend money on things like Arduino's, motorshields and stepper motors.

Greets, Ed.

P.S. Personally I think being in group B is the more intelligent choice.

P.P.S. Personally I think that people in group A have all the right to think they are smarter as well.

P.P.P.S. Personally I think people in group C have the right not to know how I think about them :-).

Dear William,

My thoughts run similar to yours. Except I'll use a more recent MacBook than that. I actually still do have a PowerBook; that's what I was running the scanner on when I first bought it. You don't need much CPU or RAM running a bare-bones scanner, but the situation's very different if you're using Digital ICE and Digital GEM, which are indispensable for getting really good scans. For me, anyway. Then the resource demands skyrocket. Doing a full rez scan of a medium format negative on the PowerBook is several times slower than doing it on the MacBook Pro.

Space is truly at a premium in this office, so, yeah, it will either be a laptop or I'll get an old Mac mini (with the teeniest monitor and keyboard that I can find) to dedicate to the job.

I used to have an ethernet hub around somewhere. Wonder if I can find it…

The only problem with applying the savings from Photoshop CC is that as one of Adobe's favored reviewers, Photoshop CC will cost me exactly the same as Photoshop CS did [cheap grin].

pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 

I scoff at your snow leopard. I have an old iMac from late '90's running OSX 10.2 for some equally old peripherals, and one of those white ibooks as a print/scanner server running OS 10.4 at work for old AFP connections, and some FTP connections. For the scanner, I've set up a dropbox folder which shares with my work machines. No prob so far. Knock on wood.


You don't need P-shop to scan either. Just set up a PC (go to the local PC thrift store and get a small footprint Windows 7 machine for a few bucks and dance (MP4 the dance and share will you :-)).

Then install scanner software (Vuescan works, Nikon Scan works for my CoolScan V, my personal favourite Silver Fast (being German and I like the little plane so much) also works for my Epson V750 pro), scan use all the ICE and GEM and what not (a i5 3.0 Mhz 8 Gbyte machine will not slough).

Then connect PC and Mac via ethernet cables (the guy that invented Wifi a.k.a NiFi in the Linux world should be .....) and suck the scans to your Mac with OS-god knows what and PS-CS however. While you transfer, practice dance routines.

Then go ahead and get your restauration skills flowing since a guy called Ctein wrote a damned nice book about it,

If you wanna combine legacy and brand spanking new, a good old TCP/IP over UTP bridge betwixed computers, can sure bridge the ages like a TARDIS.

Greets, Ed.

P.S. The nice thing is that Windows can 64 bit Windows, 32 bit Windows and even DOS applications if you really need to (which would be running Apple II code on a MacPro I guess).


Now that is what I call backward compatibility....

Apple has no regard for continuity. Every single update to their OS introduces breaking changes. They do not cater for people with mature workflows. They cater for fashionistas, trendy, hippy, chic, etc... Their targets are people who will "upgrade" every year for cheap gadgets like iPhones and every second year for computers. Unless of course we are talking useful computers like a Mac Pro used to be.

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