Technology upgrade time!

by Jonathan on 28 June 2010

The time has come for a few upgrades around the house.  First on the list (and accomplished today!) was an update for Jenny’s iPhone.  A long while ago, her iPhone 3G suffered a smashed screen.  It was still operable, and we weren’t eligible for an upgrade at the time, so she continued to use it.  We finally became eligible back in March, and then had a whole lot of stuff going on and not a whole lot of desire to get to the mall.  We finally got there today.  They had a new iPhone 3GS 16GB in stock.  She wasn’t interested in the new iPhone 4 ,so this worked out well.  They don’t start selling stock iPhone 4’s until tomorrow, so while I am eligible for an upgrade and want to get the 4, I will wait.  There are other pressing matters, for instance…

… Jenny needs a new laptop.  The refurbished one that we got for her a few years ago went through two power adapters before the DC socket finally went to pieces.  I was able to get the laptop running long enough to back up her old phone and restore the data to her new phone, but that’s as far as I got.  She sat down at it a little while later, and the DC plug got a little out of position, causing the laptop to quickly die.  Now I can’t get it to seat well enough to turn on at all.  Blah.  I hate the fact that Apple seems to be the only company who has successfully dealt with the DC power adapter hardware problem in a way that makes some modicum of sense.  We’re going to be getting her onto a Macbook Pro 13.  Say goodbye to the last full-time piece of Windows-running hardware in the house.

Finally, I’ve been getting frustrated with Aperture 3 since it was released.  I read all sorts of good things about it, and decided that was the way I wanted to go.  I had been using Aperture 3 for about a year, and was looking forward to some of the upgrades.  When I heard about its impending release, I started to think about whether it was a good idea to stick with Aperture or move to Lightroom.  I made the decision to stick with Aperture and upgrade to version 3, and I’ve been regretting it ever since.  Aperture 3 is strongdog slow/strong on my not-so-old MBP (2.53GHz Core 2 Duo/4GB) running Snow Leopard.  I don’t mean a little slow, either.  I mean drastically slower, eating tons more RAM, and really beating on the processor when I ask it to do things.  I used to be quite happy with Aperture 2’s performance and my ability to use it in conjunction with several other apps at the same time.  This ability was important to my workflow.  Well, Aperture 3 ended most of that.  All of the new features that I was so excited about work fine for the first use on a photo, and then performance degrades quickly as tools are used more.  I have never been able to get Faces to work.  It’s been a pretty miserable experience, and I’ve decided that I think I want it to end.  I’m going to be playing with and testing Lightroom over the next couple of days to see how it works out.  If it makes my life easier, I will probably begin the painful process of migrating my library to Lightroom.

I have some other technology that is due for an upgrade, too, but I might put-off some of that in order to get Jenny’s laptop here and to avoid the time sink of new hardware while I’m trying to get my new websites online, finish the mock-up for the NKFD website, and try to put some more time behind getting this business into the business of making a little bit of money so that I can do what I love and love what I do.

Until next time….




{ 2 comments }

1 Thomas Boyd July 7, 2010 at 09:35

There are steps you can take to improve the performance of Aperture 3. First update system software and make sure you are running 3.03. Turn off Faces in preferences. Then read the post below.

http://aperture.maccreate.com/2010/06/21/john-thawley-perhaps-a-performance-improvement-in-aperture-3/

2 Jonathan July 7, 2010 at 10:12

I had found the same advice while searching on this issue not too long ago. Unfortunately, removing the cache and preferences as listed did not offer much relief. Oddly, the Faces feature never did work for me, so I disabled it as soon as I found that it was not working. I went so far as to export a bunch of masters and bring them into a brand-new library (I upgraded from Aperture 2, so my library was upgraded when I moved to A3, and I worried about the quality of that upgrade). Still, after applying just a few minor edits across maybe 30 photos, memory usage ballooned and the processor started to show some steady-state load. For having two terminal windows open, a web browser with gmail in one tab and a static web page in another, and Aperture trying to edit a 300-photo shoot, bogging-down so soon on a 4GB machine is just really disappointing. If I want to use Photoshop to do some further edits on photos from Aperture, I need to wait until I’m done with my Aperture edits, quit the program, and then restart it so that I can start to ship things back and forth without getting into a swapping situation.

I think the application is doing something silly with memory management, but I can’t quite figure it out yet. I strongly suspect that a lot of the overall performance issues reported might be due to the system getting to the point where it needs to start swapping. I know that my performance quickly degraded, but I learned to close-out most browser tabs and any other running applications specifically so that the system would avoid going into swap while Aperture was running. I’m an old-school sysadmin, so swap is one of the first places I look when it seems that a machine is getting abnormally slow. My first few outings with A3 had me into the gigabyte swap usage range, which is simply terrible.

I do appreciate the comment and information, for sure. I have been a local Aperture advocate for a long time, and I’m still disappointed that I can’t get A3 to work as well as A2 did.

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