Musings on Photography

No Joy

Posted in equipment, hp z3100, z3100 by Paul Butzi on January 29, 2009

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I called HP. The phone numbers they gave me got me connected to the right person almost right away. With him guiding, we went through most of the steps I’d tried (always good to make sure I didn’t miss something simple), and then made an attempt to clean things up manually and install. It was an heroic effort.

However, there is no joy in Tranquility, Mighty Casey has struck out. The phone call ended with the HP guy recommending that I call Apple. I have a theory: when you’re working out a problem with Company A’s problem, and they recommend that you get Company B to fix it, you are well and truly shafted, because when you call Company B, they are quite naturally going to be motivated to get you to go back to company A for help.

The machine is now running Tiger (10.4) off the dupe of the main disk. When I get another block of time, I’ll try doing a clean install of 10.5 on a disk, and then ‘importing’ everything, which a couple people have encouraged me to try. If that doesn’t work, I’ll do a clean install of 10.5 and re-install all the working software. That’ll require a call to Adobe to get the licensing straightened out.

To answer a few questions:

“If it works don’t fix it. Why did you think you needed to upgrade?”

I’m doing the upgrade because I want all the machines I use and have to administer to be running the same software. In a networked environment, there are compelling reasons to run Leopard instead of Tiger.

“Was something not working the way you wanted it to? have you not got a backup program capable of making a system backup (perhaps on a cd in form of an iso file) in case things go awry?”

Sure, I’ve got backups. No data has been lost. I’m still running, almost exactly where I started, and I can get back to exactly where I started with very little effort. That’s not the frustration. The frustration is that the upgrade hasn’t been successful but many hours have been invested and thus wasted. I have a finite lifespan, and I can’t get those hours back.

“And why keep doing business with people who hate you and think you suck — unless you agree with their estimation?”

The odds that I’ll continue to do business with HP diminish rapidly and monotonically. They have a competitor (Epson), and that competitor makes excellent products and (in my experience) offers support that ranges from good to incredibly good. The next printer I buy will probably be an Epson, probably after the next round of product revisions.

As for Adobe – that’s a good question. I’ve looked at other editing programs, and in my personal estimation, looking at photo editing software as a tool strictly for my own use, Photoshop still has compelling advantages. The gap between Photoshop and the closest competitors once seemed insurmountable. I think, though, that the gap is closing, and I think it’s closing pretty swiftly.

I think Adobe are now at a point where the fundamental feature set of the product is mature, and they’ve gone through enough times that they’ve polished out the rough edges. Their model (layers) is powerful and flexible. But their model is not the only possible model, and other competitors will come along and try to eat Photoshop’s business.

And I will be watching those competitors closely.

8 Responses

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  1. Frank Armstrong said, on January 29, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Paul:

    I just purchase and installed via the school network a new Epson 4880. I have found that Epson’s “Pro” printer division (any of their 17″ wide and wider printers)has been excellent. Total wait time on three separate calls in the past years has six minutes, or about two minutes per call. And the good part is I got someone on first try who could answer my questions….in English, without accent. (Well one older guy did have a decidedly southern drawl, being from Texas, I speak southern.) I like Epson products, period. My printer here at the house is a 3800. Wonderful machine. I swear that people who use MAC’s should have an inexpensive PC just to print from — printers are so much easier to set-up and run from a PC. Even in Photoshop. I have been running a quad-core Vista machine for over a year now without a single problem. The printer installed correctly the first time and hasn’t blinked since. Same is true with our Epson 4000 and 4880 at school, except we run them off of dual core Intell PC’s via a network. We’ve had problems with the network (stupid IT people), but not the PC’s nor the printers.

    P’taker

  2. Frank Armstrong said, on January 29, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Oh, I should ad that our IT department tried to force us to buy that HP 3200, but I put a foot down hard on that. Epson only. Part of the reason was reading about your experience with HP support, and from others, also.

    P’taker

  3. Jeremy said, on January 29, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Maybe Epson inkjet nozzles are better now, and maybe you’ll be printing often enough for it not to matter, but that’s what drove me from Epson to HP.

  4. Hugh Alison said, on January 29, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Definate vote for Epson here – my 4800 has run perfectly since I bought it – probably three years ago. It is run off a PC though.

    I’ve run HP Laserjets for more than 20 years, and I will look at other makes next time just because of the un-neccessary, complicated software which keeps trying to update itself.

  5. Brian Small said, on January 29, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    O.K. I’ll bite! Who do you see as rapidly closing the gap on Photoshop?

  6. Dennis Allshouse said, on January 29, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    I’m sorry for your pain. I read your original piece when you did the CS3 upgrade. I just did a major G4 laptop to MacPro upgrade recently and was worried about PhotoShop. Their CSRs don’t appear to be very on the ball I will say but after on and off searching Adobe’s website I did find a document that actually explained the upgrade for CS to CS4, ah there’s the rub. The upgrade requires an upgrade serial number and then at the next step your original serial number. Upgrade then move forward without a hitch. I realize another upgrade is not an option, but it appears Adobe has made it smoother.

    You seem convinced that Epson has better customer service maybe the thing to sell your hp stuff, move to epson, then you afford to upgrade to CS4 lol

  7. Mike said, on January 30, 2009 at 7:59 am

    I’ve used Picture Window for a number of years now at home and at work. The support’s great and there are user forums (fori?) where most queries can and will be answered in a short time. This program was written by the author of Lotus 123, Jonathan Sachs, and is quick to load and fast in operation. It is only for PCs. The web site is http://www.dl-c.com. Full trail downloads work for a month. The program is for photographers (not print shops) and is inexpensive. It requires a different mind set to PS layer think, but once this is overcome it frees up the operator quite nicely. Worth a try.

  8. Hugh Alison said, on January 30, 2009 at 8:39 am

    Picture Window user here too – but I think it’s a PC only program. Very fast, even on moderate hardware.


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