Windows 8 Preview

I have installed the public beta version of Windows 8 onto my main machine as a boot option in order to assess its suitability for my imaging clients.

First impressions are not good, the touch interface may work well on a tablet but as the default for a standard PC + monitor its hopeless.

The rest looks to be Windows 7 with some changes to the interface. It took me 5 minutes trying to find out how to restart the machine since all the usual desktop controls are not there any more and Microsoft are not giving the user any clues.

Clearly Microsoft wants Windows 8 to be hip but it ends up looking like an old fool, I just hope they can drag this one back from the edge as it currently looks like a slow motion car crash.

If your planning a system upgrade in the next 12 months then specify Windows 7 (preferably 64bit – give me a call if you have any queries.)

I will persevere with Windows 8 to check out Photoshop/Lightroom/Wacom/Xrite  interoperability but I’m not looking forward to it.

Stephen

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Dell alert

Well, Dell have been in my bad and then good books for so long now that I’m used to their flakiness but this recent story takes the biscuit.

Dell recently persuaded a new client that its a good idea for them to buy a Dell tower running  Windows Server 2008, not bad in itself, what was not right was to tell the client that they could set it up themselves (with no previous experience) and that it would not need any significant maintenance and it could be run without a third party IT contract.

I’m not in the market to offer IT support for Windows server as I know the complexity of the product, what we have here is a salesman who thinks its OK to sell enterprise level computing to someone who has no concept of the complexity involved in setting up and managing a domain.

In actual fact the clients needs were incredibly modest and I have configured their 3 pc network to take advantage of a superb Google Apps account at a fraction of the cost of Windows 2008 server.

If your planning a major IT purchase then please get in touch for a quick chat about your requirements I may be able to save you thousands of pounds.

And…don’t expect suppliers like Dell to act in your interest.

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Connecting to UNIX shares from Vista

I have covered this before but because of recent changes to Vista (sp1) I have had to redo my LAN security to connect to shares on a local Buffalo Teratation. It looks like its these older devices only that are affected as my new Linux server and a new Terastation Pro 2 dont have this problem.

SO: If you have difficulty logging onto an older terastation with Vista try the following:

Click “Start -> Run.” Then, type in the Run field: “secpol.msc.” That will bring you to Vista’s security policy system. Once there, use “Go to: Local Policies > Security Options” and then find “Network Security: LAN Manager” authentication level. Once there, change the Setting from “Send NTLMv2 response only” to “Send LM & NTLM — use NTLMv2 session security if negotiated.”

Stephen

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Microsoft Vista Service Pack 1

I have installed sp1 on my main retouching machine and have encountered no problems so far.
Improvements in network responsivness and file copying are certainly welcome.
The service pack is not in general distribution yet but may be available in the next few days. If I notice any problems I will report them here. Having said that your system will be in a different configuration than mine so dont assume that sp1 would do the same for you. Best to let the update mature for a few weeks so Microsoft can tune it.

As ever I need to be on the bleeding edge!

Stephen

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Major revamp of PC drivers for current Epson printers

In a move that has taken me by surprise and given me quite a shock, Epson have released some new printer drivers that are really quite nicely done: More logical layout! You can now save all relevant settings under a preset! It makes sense!
Whats happened? has the lead programmer at Epson retired and been replaced? Were the old drivers written by Canon? Did Epson think the joke had gone on long enough?
In any case the new drivers are a BIG improvement. They are available for the pc to drive all current printers here (sorry 2100 users):

http://esupport.epson-europe.com/

Its the 6.5a drivers that you will need.

Boot note: these drivers work on one Vista PC that the engineer said was incapable of network printing because of some vague compatibility problem with my switch, it sounded a load of tosh when he said it and these drivers prove it – the fault lay with Epsons programming.

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Wacom tablets and Vista

Its Vista month here at Copyrightimage!

Here are some tips for Wacom usage under Vista:
Although retouching is fine with the Wacom driver for Vista there are occasions where the naitive pen support in Vista can fight the Wacom driver for attention and occasionally cause a litte stuttering when cloning or healing, here is what to do:

In the control panel select “Pen and input devices” and untick all the boxes.

If you still have any problems then some people have found the solution to be:

Uninstall the wacom driver
Download this driver to your desktop:
ftp://ftp.wacom-europe.com/pub/WINDOWS/pro496-8_int.exe
right click on the downloaded file, choose the compatibility tab and select Windows XP SP2
(don’t run it yet!)
Reboot
Run the downloaded file

This should return you to XP speeds of retouching. Any other questions?
I’m in the middle of a big retouching job at the moment, will update the site next time I come up for air!

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Vista, the good and the bad

Whilst I’m enjoying running the Photoshop CS3 Beta on Windows Vista there are a couple of things to watch out for with this new operating system:

1. Although my main screen is calibrated and colour managed my secondary screen is not due to the fact that Vista is not loading ( or allowing other programs to load) the secondary profile for that screen. I have only discovered this since rebooting my machine (the profile worked fine on the second screen after the calibration). This is not a show stopper in itself, just a bit annoying really. Will keep you informed when the fix appears.

2. Microsoft are reporting that using Vista to add metadata to images may make them unreadable in the cameras own software, more here:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927527/en-us
I wouldn’t recommend using any operating system utility for such an important task as adding metadata, you should be using at least Bridge to do this so its not really a problem. (It will annoy the general photographic audience though so hopefully Microsoft will sort it out.)

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Monitor profiling under Vista

Gretag Mackbeth i1 Match 3.6.1 – Screen calibration works fine under Vista. Drag the program to the screen you wish to profile (if you have more than 1 screen). Vista manages the separate profiles for you.

Eizo Colornavigator, I use this for my main screen (an Eizo CG211). The software will fail to run under Vista straight off. You need to locate the Colornavigator program (usually in: c:program fileseizocolornavigator) right click on it and select properties. Then click on compatability and select Windows XP service pack 2 or Windows 2000 to emulate. The program will then work fine (phew!)

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