I haven’t quite found the time to write up my experience at the Adobe MAX designer/developer conference, but here’s a digest of my Twitter posts. As usual, photos are on Flickr.


Adobe Max Entryway (Los Angeles Convention Center)

  • Watched a nearly-full moon set into the cloud layer behind the LA skyline on my way to Adobe MAX.
  • Obligatory pic of Adobe MAX entryway.


  • Made it to the keynote just as, I kid you not, Martha Stewart took the stage.
  • Nice demo of dynamically wrapping text around image content (not box), to be contributed to Webkit.
  • Content aware fill demo on a tablet – “performing witchcraft” on the progress bar label.
  • Multi device link: iPad as classic color palette mixer for desktop Photoshop.
  • Blackberry Playbook approach: don’t dumb down the Internet for mobile devices, bring up the performance of the devices.
  • Green Hornet game demo: same app running on desktop & touch screen phone, auto-detecting input methods.
  • The Green Hornet car. I wasn’t expecting overlap between a tech conference and Comic-Con
  • Something else Adobe MAX has in common with Comic-Con: Flash fans.


  • When I got here, the line for Starbucks was about 5 people. Now I can’t see the end.
  • Managed to scarf down a sandwich from Starbucks before the evening session. Interesting mix of tech crowd & Lakers fans.
  • Ok, I am officially a geek. I ranked 7th in a phone-powered Star Trek trivia contest with several hundred people at a tech conference.
  • And then tweeted about it.
  • Adobe MAX sneak peeks’ method of keeping people from going too long: A Klingon with a phaser creeping across the stage.
  • Very cool demo of auto-converting long video to a tapestry for better scene selection.
  • Nifty Photoshop demo: post process photo based on a model. “what if this photo had been taken by Ansel Adams?”
  • Nice! Automatically compensating for camera motion blur!


  • Gotta love LA traffic. I left for Adobe MAX 40 minutes earlier than yesterday and arrived at the same time – too late for my 8:30 lab.
  • Funny how you can get nostalgic for your first version of Photoshop. (Sadly, 2.5 is missing.About Photoshop 3.0
  • MAX is definitely less crowded today. No problems finding a table for lunch, and the cell & wifi networks are a lot less congested.

It’s always something.

Last month it was my computer that needed rebuilding. This month it was Katie’s. It’s an old G4 PowerMac, but it’s still plenty for iTunes, web, email, word processing, etc., and we’ve got a newer Windows box for things like games. It failed to boot after a system upgrade, and subsequent troubleshooting determined that the drive was going bad. (This time I ran some more diagnostics, confirming that the rest of the hardware was fine, and Tech Tool Pro found dozens of bad blocks before I stopped the surface scan.)

So: New drive, reinstall system, transfer the data and apps that we can. Which led to this question:

The Leopard or the Tiger?

(Sorry, I couldn’t resist phrasing it that way!)

Last fall I bought the multi-license pack of Leopard so that we could put it on both Macs. We ended up not upgrading the desktop. She was under the impression that the hardware was too old, and I only remembered that Leopard had dropped support for Classic apps. The first problem was easy: I’d checked the specs before ordering, and would only have bought the single-license box if it hadn’t been supported. The second was also easy: in the past year, she’d converted all her documents from old classic-only apps, and wasn’t playing the classic-only games anymore.

So: Installed Leopard, transferred data from old drive & backups.

Side annoyance: transferring a user with the Migration Assistant did not work. First it wouldn’t copy over her account, so I had to create another account, log in, delete her (new) account, then do the transfer. Then, every time it ran into one of the 5 or so corrupted but inconsequential files, it would freak out and remove everything it had copied. Drag and drop copy didn’t work because the alternate account didn’t have permission to read everything. (Remember: admin != root.) I finally resorted to the UNIX commandline, which worked. For reference: sudo cp -rp oldpath newpath Prob. should’ve used tar instead of cp, but I’m not sure how much Mac OS X uses symbolic links in user accounts. In any case, it’s been working, so I’m not going to worry about that.

The real problem: A week later, while doing link maintenance on this site, I stumbled across my blog post about upgrading the laptop, which mentioned the fact that Photoshop 7 won’t run on Leopard.


Cue Spamusement:

Screaming figure running from a ghost crying, $150...just to UPGRADE

So, what are the options?

  1. Shell out $200 to upgrade to Photoshop CS3. I don’t think so. Not after doing major surgery on two computers, not in this economy. (Incidentally, it took forever to find the system requirements on Adobe’s website and verify that CS3 would actually run on that machine, since everything is focused on CS4…even though it isn’t available yet.)
  2. Downgrade to Tiger. Might just be Archive & Install, might require wiping the new drive and reinstalling. (Reports are mixed.) I don’t think any of the built-in apps she uses have changed data formats, so that’s probably OK.
  3. Find something cheaper or free. Katie pointed out that it has to be able to read PSD files accurately.

We’re going with (c) for now, starting with the OSX version of GIMP.