Has anybody noticed that the new CS6 version of Adobe Premiere‘s Mercury Engine hasn’t been available in the new Macs, with ATI graphics cards (the stock cards, nowadays – seems Apple and Adobe have been “duking it out” and Apple’s not offering the NVidia cards as an option). Adobe only seems to want to recognize the NVidia cards’ CUDA technology for it’s fast render engine. BUT, THIS helpful man seems to have found a “hack” around that, changing some background info in Premiere so that it will recognize any CUDA capable card (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4664?viewlocale=en_US)

Now, I can’t vouch for the hack’s ability to withstand the CS6 upgrades (it may be replaced), but it seems to work!

Check out his video here: http://scruffythinking.com/notes/2012/5/8/mercury-playback-and-the-27-imac.html

As you all know, I’m a big fan of the Macintosh and Apple. I like the products Apple makes, their business model (for the most part) and their innovations. But a recent trip to the Apple Store really made me cranky.

Most of you know (especially my students) that I’m a big fan of the phrase “I don’t know, but let me try to find out.” For me, the use of this phrase engenders trust, a sense of security, and a sense of respect. I’m often shocked at the amount of people who have either never heard this phrase, or are too embarrassed or prideful to use it (believing perhaps that they should be perceived to know everything).

First, a little technical background on the question I brought to the Apple Store:
I recently upgraded my MacPro to the 2012 model. I love it. It’s fast, it’s still backward compatible with my legacy hardware and software (it can still boot OS 10.6.8 Snow Leopard, and therefore run my legacy software in Rosetta), and it’s well-made (as I’ve come to expect in my MacPros). In my older computer, I had a wonderful little device that allowed me to use 2 SATA ports that were not in use on the logic board, so that I could have the equivalent of ESATA on my MacPro (http://www.newertech.com/products/esata_cable.php). I really appreciate ESATA – it’s very fast and reliable, and excellent for multimedia, but it’s not built into any Macs.

My new MacPro still has this capability, however it only has one available port on the logic board (instead of the old 2), so I’ve been searching for a reasonable PCI-E card to do the trick. However, I’ve seen that some cards don’t play well with the Lion OS (10.7). So, I thought perhaps asking at the Apple Store would help me find out which card to buy. WRONG!

NOW, the problem:
Upon entering the Apple Store, I was quickly greeted and asked if I needed assistance. Nice! When I explained the question, the young lady helping me admitted that my question was beyond her expertise, so she brought me to a young man who, according to him, was very knowledgeable about ESATA. After reiterating my question, this nice young man proceeded to tell me that ESATA was impossible on the MacPro, and always had been. He insisted that the ESATA cable I mention above never existed for the Mac, and that no PCI-E cards were capable of offering that service on a Mac (but it would on a PC). Even after I told him I’d been using this for some time on my own MacPro and knew for certain that there were cards out there (the Apple Store online sells them), he continued to insist that it didn’t exist, and tried to pull up websites that would prove me wrong.

Now… I know I probably should have talked to management or somebody, but at this point I was rather irritated and also didn’t want to get that young man in trouble, so I left. But, I’m hoping some person from Apple may happen along this rant and maybe institute some policy so that employees can be force-taught the phrase¬†“I don’t know, but let me try to find out.” I mean… C’mon Apple Store… what’re you, Fry’s???

For my design and typography students – anyone into Illlustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, even Dreamweaver, After Effects… this article shows some excellent work with type as graphic – even when the posters are about the typeface itself!


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