Sunday, November 21, 2010

OS X Finder freezes when browsing folder with TIFF files

Problem been reported that finder stop responding when trying to list folder with big TIFF files. Requires relaunch finder to browse correctly till next folder. Very annoying especialy when you copying at the same time and restarting finder stop all finder operations (copying,moving etc).
Seen on Mac Pro (mid 2010) and some latest iMacs.

Symptoms: When you opening folder with .tiff files in Icon view (in other view modes seems works fine) finder shows few preview icons and only placeholders of other previews and stop responding. If you look on activity monitor you will see CPU at 100%! You can wait endlessly at it will not start responding until relaunch.

Reinstalling system doesn't solve the problem. If connect disk to another computer it browse same folder fine. Disk check also not show any problems in filesystem. Problem is in hardware to be more concrete - CPU. As I discovered its Hyper Threading related bug. Seem that Snow Leopard`s finder use algorithm that treats HT incorrectly to render tiff previews. So we need just to disable Hyper threading.

Solution: I searched for CPU control utility for Mac OS and found only X-code processor panel. You need to install X-code - from your installation DVD that comes with your Mac or you can download its free form Apple.com site. After installation on your system disk will be new folder - "Developer" there go to Extras->Preferences Panes->Processor Pane - start it to install to your preferences. After that you will be able to control your CPU features - look to your system preferences - you will see processor entry. Click on it and on the panel uncheck HT box. Now you may safely browse your folders without being afraid that finder hangs. Even more - some programes e.g. Photoshop will work faster!

Monday, November 01, 2010

How iLife 11 turns to iFailed

Recently Аpple released one of most awaited software suite - iLife 2011. There was no 2010 release last year so people was waiting for serious improvements after for two year development. Rumors was it will be 64 bit. But unfortunately it was just speculations . In this release Apple show losing of potential as a software developer. No 64 support - strange enough for 64 bit OS core. Under unknown reasons iDVD was dropped and finally the worse thing - iPhoto has been released unfinished.
Needless to say that iPhoto is the most important part of suite since photography is one of the last professional sphere of use Macintosh computers. Many serious photographers, freelancers and even professional studios use iPhoto as main tool for their photo database because it very simple gives ability of fast navigation through huge numbers of photos -simply find the chosen one and export or edit it.
I saw iPhoto since version 3 how it pass through numerous updates and in most cases it was smooth easy update. Because Apple change database structure about every time when new generation of iPhoto program, database rebuilding is used to be a normal procedure during upgrade and even when errors in database appears there were always simple way to repair it with internal iPhoto commands or few simple file manipulations and never, I repeat, NEVER it leads to losing original photos. Lets see whats happened.

If you are Macbook or Macbook Pro user - in most cases you will not get into troubles and new iPhoto will work pretty nice. If you are Mac Pro user or iMac - prepare to serious troubles. You MUST backup your iPhoto library(-s) before this update! In best case you got endless waiting of iPhoto loading its library. Errors during database upgrade is another but not worst case. Both situations solved if you briefly search the Internet. Worst is situation when you find out that all originals (or Masters as it now has a new name) disappeared!! Its a real nightmare (not even close to Halloween) if you not backup your library first. And even if you do and your library as huge as mine it will take our to restore everything back. Strange enough having in mind that now databases upgrading procedures use journaling as a simple and reliable way if something goes wrong during update!
But the reason is simple - now since Apple decided to rename folder "Originals" into "Master" (I wonder why?) it requires to move files from one folder to another and with insufficient permissions it stuck! Just not understand why originals becomes deleted BEFORE moving operation finished....Very lame!
After we pass all the obstacles what we get ? Well, this is the most interesting part. Yes, new features- most of them are doubtful - simple e-mail sending, facebook share etc. Some full screen abilities... Its all good but not for that price! iPhoto now seriously slow even on my 12 core 32 Gig ram Mac pro! It took seconds to move 2000 photos to trash in Iphoto 9 - now I have to wait about a minute for the same operation. No smooth scrolling... Waiting for event list to open... huge delay while loading iPhoto itself etc and so on !! You got the point - after spending so many hours upgrading to new version we got slowdown it freezes our work , so I roll back to iPhoto 9 and happy again watching how fast it is compares to the new one. It cost me money, time and nerves!!
Conclusion- I do NOT recommend you upgrading this time! Apple show us its true attitude to customers one more time. Personally I never saw when so many people was so angry and disappointed and cursing Apple after new release! Even release of Vista didn't get such reaction so fast! I see day by day how Apple going down !