3280 – There Is A Warm Place Behind

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO  Comments Off on 3280 – There Is A Warm Place Behind
Oct 112015

Today we had elections in Vienna. FPÖ, the former party of Jörg Haider, now the party of his imitator Heinz Christian Strache, had used the refugee crisis to transport their xenophobic messages. In the end it went quite well. Red/Green was the government for the last years, the Greens more or less have held their position, Red has lost much less than the forecasts had said. All in all it could have been much worse. I’m quite happy with the result.

Six days ago I told you about my problems with the El Capitan upgrade. Well, it turned out to be much, much worse.

At almost the same time Adobe updated Lightroom CC to version 2015-2. It was a disaster. Nothing worked any more. At least for me the program was completely unusable.

On Lightroom Journal Adobe quickly posted a hint for how to temporarily “fix” the program crashes by unchecking a certain new option in the preferences. This was not my problem though.

I posted the following angry comment as response to Adobe’s article:

Well, at least for me on a Macbook Pro Retina, Mid 1025, i7@2.5GHz, 16GB Memory, 512GB SSD, Lightroom has become completely unusable. It is so unusable that I’ve not even seen the new import dialog yet.

The program behaves completely erratic:

Scrollbars in the side panels stop reacting to the scroll wheel of my Logitech USB mouse but still reacht on scrolling via the touchpad or via grabbing and dragging the scrllbar. Or sometimes not.

I open an image from the grid, click into it to bring it to 1:1, click again out, repeat a few times, and suddenly clicking into the image to zoom to 1:1 does not center the image around the click any more, the navigator does not work any more and I can’t drag the image around. Once in that state, clicking throuch images in the grid updates the image highlight in the grid and the image on the secondary display, but it does not update the panels (Navigator, image data like Title or Filename on the right panel, …)

Close LR CC 2015.2, open it again, repeat. It’s completely impossible to do any work. I guess I’ll have to revert to 2015.1.

On the feature side: I see that you’re looking for new customers and want to please them, but forget about taking features away from your professional or serious amateur users. There is no way to drive people away faster, no way to destory the biggest customer base more securely.

Forget about the changes to import. People rely on the way things used to work. Their workflows rely on it, their productivity relies on it and for many their income depends on productivity. Every feature you’ve removed is relied upon by someone. You can’t take that away. That’s a big, big no-go. Bigger companies than Adobe have failed for their long-shown disregard for their customers.

If you really, really want the new dialog, make it an alternative and support the old one ad infinitum.

All in all this upgrade was my first since Lightroom 3 that caused any problems at all. I’ve always praised Adobe as a company that knows how to create stable work environments. At least on the CS side. Flash is another thing 🙂

Anyway. This time it was devastating. Probably the worst upgrade I’ve ever seen for any kind of software. It reduced a stable workhorse to complete garbage. Please fix it. Soon. I rely on it and I pay for it.

It got censored away.

On Friday night Adobe finally announced LR CC 2015-2.1, and a few hours later they officially apologized to their customers. My CC desktop gadget didn’t show any updates though, and on Saturday afternoon I couldn’t wait any longer. I wiped Lightroom (along with the old standalone Lightroom 5, that I had kept as a backup. I also wiped everything under /Library/Preferences, that was connected to Lightroom, for instance com.adobe.Lightroom6.plist. Those are user preferences files containing information about panel layout and such things. I figured that my user interface problems (panels not updating, etc.) might be connected to damaged or badly migrated preferences files.

Then I just installed Lightroom again via the CC Desktop app. This was presented as an “Upgrade”, because in the meantime CC Desktop had found 2015-2.1 on Adobe’s servers.

What can I say? It worked. I am not sure what the fix really was, but as I had had completely different problems than everyoen else (a garbled and disfunctional user interface vs crashes), I strongly suppose uninstalling first and then installing from scratch may have been needed.

Whatever it was, it points to a fragile architecture as the root cause. Let me guess: code or at least configuration parameters in preferences files blindly evaluated, likely migration scripts running during a program upgrade, that may damage the preferences files and leave them in random unsupported states.

Of course I don’t know, but I think, I am pretty sure indeed, that I have upgraded OS X and Lightroom exactly as I was instructed to do. After all, there were not many choices anyway.

That’s scary. As a user you do nothing wrong. You go the default path, the one path that should always work. And then it fails.

Anyway. This problem is solved, now I just have to get my modem working again. This is not that badly needed, because the train form Vienna to Villach has WiFi, and for the other direction, a train coming from Italy that has not, I can always use my phone as WiFi hotspot.

3279 – Stone Art

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO  Comments Off on 3279 – Stone Art
Oct 102015

Here’s an image from a detail of a sculpture in Gänsehäufel, the biggest bath in Vienna. The sculpture may be from the 1970s, but I could be wrong.

In any case I like the flat look. The image was taken at f8 on a Micro Four Thirds camera, thus it has plenty depth of field, and the abstract subject makes it almost impossible to tell the actual three-dimensional shape.

Sep 062015

A long time ago, after technical high school, I’ve worked a year for a big international company, where at their Carinthian plant they maintained some engineering staff. The crew was intended to support operations, and to fill the gaps they made side-projects. Names are irrelevant, but at that job I learned how technical soundness is routinely overridden by “from the guts” judgement of managers. I was appalled and I drew what seemed like the only possible conclusion: At the university I chose German Literature instead of Computer Science.

It took me a year to get back to computers. One reason were the two main lectures of the first semester, “The Influence of Ancient Mythology on German Baroque Lyrics” (or something close) and “Franz Kafka”.

I have always disliked lyrics of the Baroque age, and while I had the complete works of Kafka on my book shelves with the full intention to read them some time, I strongly felt that that time was absolutely the wrong time. I hated being force-fed literature and this was the end of my flirt with a non-technical career.

A few years ago I have finally read Kafka’s complete works – on the Kindle. It was the right time 😀

2845 – A Little Rain II

 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-32mm 3.5-5.6 ASPH  Comments Off on 2845 – A Little Rain II
Aug 022014

A few days ago I wanted to go swimming in Vienna, but when I arrived in my favorite bath, Gänsehäufel, an island in a backwater of river Danube, rain was imminent.

And so it fell. The island Gänsehäufel is basically a big park full of cottonwood trees and I can remember at least one incident during the last years, when smeone came to death during a thunderstorm, slain by a falling branch.

On the other hand, it decidedly looked like a storm passing to the north, and therefore I waited in a restaurant, along with some parents who had failed to leave with their children in time.

In the end I got what I had come for. Rain subsided, I swam for a few minutes and the day was a full success 🙂

The Song of the day, “A Little Rain” from Tom Waits’ album “Bone Machine” has already been used in “1098 – A Little Rain“, but that’s been almost five years ago. I guess it is OK to re-use it today 🙂

Hear it on YouTube.

2809 – Casual Conversations

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO  Comments Off on 2809 – Casual Conversations
Jun 262014

Light! Isn’t it the heart of photography? Here’s a reflection off a metal table in Gänsehäufel, Vienna’s biggest bath, occupying a whole island in an arm of river Danube.

The Song of the Day is “Casual Conversations” from the classic Supertramp album “Breakfast in America”. Hear it, along with a Japanese introduction, on YouTube.