Mac Attack

September 27th, 2006 | Posted in General

Looks like my new Mac Pro is finally coming around. After two re-installs of OS X the firmware update that kept hanging and crashing the computer finally took. It is important to note I did nothing different on tries number one and two, which resulted in my DVD drive drawer popping open and the computer freezing, than I did on successful try number three. It’s a little scary that the AppleCare people just shrugged their shoulders and said “well, it’s working now, so… no problem”. Seems to me there is a problem when apparently dumb luck is the only discernible reason for the solution of a problem. Well, it’s working now.

The Mac itself works great. I will say there is no real difference between the PC and the Mac with respect to the use of PhotoShop CS2, my Cintiq/Wacom tablet and doing my usual digital color work. The PC did just as well as the Mac did, and vice versa. I understand that PhotoShop CS2 is still not an IntelMac “Universal” program, and that it’s performance is actually degraded on the new Macs. Apparently the switch to an Intel chip is only advantageous on a new Mac with programs that are written for use on the Intel chip. Legacy programs that were written for PowerPC chips (the previous chip used by Apple) run on the new Macs under an emulation program called Rosetta. Similar to the Windows emulation software the old Mac’s used to use to run Windows programs on a PowerPC chip, Rosetta allows the PowerPC programs to work on IntelMacs… but slower than they would on a native PowerPC Mac. A lot of software companies are waiting for the next major version release of their programs to make the switch to a “Universal” version. Adobe’s are due in the spring. They say the Universal programs will run several times faster than their pervious counterparts. I did notice a little lag time on some functions in PhotoShop, but not bad. If the Universal flavor really is that much faster, I cannot wait until the new version comes out.

The latest scary thing is that my 30″ Apple Cinema Display is having issues. My Dell Precision Workstation had one of the few PC video cards with Dual DVI that could run one of those displays, so I got one about 2 years ago. Worked great on the PC except for these weird flickering green pixels that would crop up when the screen was totally black, like at start up or on a website with a black background. The green pixels are gone on the Mac, but the screen now will go crazy with digitized looking color shifts, and at one point it went completely haywire with patterns and lines every which way. This happens intermittently. I have not called tech support on that one as I have had no time. I am hoping the issue is with the fact that I have a 3 foot extension cable between the Mac and the monitor’s cable. That was not a problem with the PC, but who knows.

Otherwise mission accomplished with the “Grey’s Anatomy” final artwork. Done and in the can. Tomorrow I will format and upload a sneak peak at some of the color art. Tonight I’ll need to finish the workplace poster, then the Nader art on Thursday and Friday. Then maybe I can get some of the computer issues worked out. The bad news is that it is likely I will not be able to attend the NCN con even for that one day… Too much going on with the lost time. We’ll see if I can still pull it off.

The good news is I was able to salvage some of my data off the Dell. I had saved all my art files and some other stuff on my second hard drive, which was not damaged because I was not actually using the RAID system for the disks. The bad news is that the C drive is toast and I lost most of my business data from the first of the year on, which was the last time I backed up. Could be worse.

One good thing is that I was able to get all my audio and video off my iPod and into iTunes on the new Mac. Officially Apple, in it’s heavy handed efforts to curb “piracy” will not allow you to restore your music to a computer from your iPod. In other words, if your hard drive crashes and you did not back up your iTunes files, your iPod will not be able to restore your music, and you cannot sync up to your new computer (or old one with a new drive). Enter Senuti, a program that allows you to do just that. It will upload your songs, complete with artwork and settings, from your iPod onto your new computer, and then import it back into iTunes and restore your music library. Worked quite well. If you ever lose your hard drive and you have an iPod, I highly recommend getting Senuti to set things right.

Well, back to painting.!


  1. Trevour says:

    I use a similar program called Yamipod – software like this is defintely a good thing to have, almost a necessity! My old PC’s hard drive was actually smaller than my iPod (20GB HD; 40GB iPod), so I kept ALL of my tunes on the iPod, zero songs stored in iTunes on the PC. When I got my new computer, all I had to do was upload nearly 40 gigs worth of music to a folder, then import into iTunes. Sure beats re-ripping hundreds of CDs!!!

  2. pagmatic says:

    I know when I see the parody, that ALOT of work went into it!

  3. Senuti is a godsend.. hey what’s Senuti backwards?

  4. Matt. says:

    What are you listening to these day Tom?

  5. Tom says:

    I am listening to “The Dark Tower” books by Stephen King… AGAIN. I am planning a series of blog posts discussing these book in the next month or so.

  6. cedricstudio says:

    I’m so glad you got everything up and running again! Computers are great when they work, and so frustrating when they don’t. Your professionalism through it all is very inspiring.

    I hope you can make it to the NCN event. Could be a nice relaxing break for you.


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