It Done Broke.

Gamma Correction

There’s a posting on TUAW about how to set your display’s gamma in OSX Leopard to match Snow Leopard’s.  It describes in detail how to go about doing it without actually telling you what you’re messing with.   It’s a concept that isn’t Mac-specific, though.

When I was working at an animation studio back in the late 90s, I was introduced to the avuncular Charles Poynton who has made a career out of sitting on panels, making recommendations to technical boards and writing books on video, color and especially gamma.  I took a course from Charles along with some colleagues because we needed to implement color correction and set a mutual standard across our studios around the world.  So knowing what it was we were trying to achieve was somewhat key.  We had digital ink and paint and compositing people on SGIs, color artists on Macs, a renegade CGI team that switched from Maya to 3D Studio Max and then editors on Macs in Avid but did their viewing through expensive Sony Evergreen reference monitors.  Finally, an art director who looked at the work on all of these systems and wondered why everything looked different.  The majority of people don’t need to ever concern themselves with this stuff and should probably just move on.

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Leopard Upgrade Kills Compressor/Qmaster

One of those instances where you thank your stars you did an Archive & Install.

Final Cut’s Compressor needs Qmaster to be running in the background to arbitrate rendering jobs – even if you’re the only machine on the network.  Lots of babies get thrown out with the bathwater when you do a operating system upgrade (including some X11 essentials like xinit and startx – more on that later), and migrating your big cat from Tiger to Leopard is no different.  Compressor is one of the casualties.  There are 4 files in /usr/sbin/ that get tossed: qmastera, qmasterd, qmasterprefs and qmasterqd.

If you did an Archive & Install, you can fish those babies out from /Previous Systems/<YYYY-MM-DD_XXXX>/usr/sbin, but you’ll probably need some Terminal skills.

Strangely enough, the startup launch scripts in /Library/StartupItems/Qmaster will probably still be there, so you can either reboot or again in the Terminal, “sudo /Library/StartupItems/Qmaster start” should get it running again.

Also, perhaps this works but I haven’t tried it.  Anyone?

USB Timing Out

I was having problems transferring files from one external USB drive to another. They were both attached via a powered USB hub. I tried running TechTool Pro on the drive I suspected with having a problem but it kept hanging.

The system.log showed this whenever it happened:

AppleUSBEHCI[0x6dfc000]::Found a transaction past the completion deadline on bus 0xfa, timing out! 

I finally switched cables and removed it from the hub and plugged it directly into the computer. Seems to work fine now…but I should check it with the old cable again…

OSX Leopard Folder Actions

I have a little Folder Action set up on a “dropbox” type folder that automatically adds a given file (usually MP3s) to my iTunes library.  I created a dumb-as-bricks Automator workflow and saved it as a plug-in of type Folder Action.  Worked flawlessly in 10.4.

With OSX 10.5, for some reason it runs the action but doesn’t actually execute it properly.  I found this little article which provides a workaround but doesn’t actually fix anything.  You have to edit the AppleScript file from something like this:

on adding folder items to this_folder after receiving added_items
    tell application "Macintosh HD:Users:MyUserName:Library:Workflows:Applications:Folder Actions:<em>Name Of My Workflow</em>.app"
      open added_items
    end tell
end adding folder items to

to this:

on adding folder items to this_folder after receiving added_items
    tell application "Finder"
open added_items using alias "Macintosh HD:Users:MyUserName:Library:Workflows:Applications:Folder Actions:<em>Name Of My Workflow</em>.app"
    end tell
end adding folder items to

…essentially getting Finder to do what you’ve already done.