Sunday, October 28, 2012

Slow Lightroom down with USB

On my Lightroom wish-list, I always had an item about the CPU usage: I often run "heavy" processor-intensive tasks, and I use a laptop, which is definitely not optimized for heat dissipation.
So I don't care if the task takes 2 or 8 hours, as I'm going to run it overnight anyway... Instead, I care it does not keep the CPU at 100% all the time, because I don't want the computer to melt, and I don't want the fans to run at full speed during the night.
The typical scenario is an export task, but I seem to have found a reasonable workaround: export to a USB device.
Lightroom probably waits for an image to be successfully written before converting the next; a slow USB device seems to give the processor enough "waiting time" to avoid overheating.
I have to admit that in the long run, it tends to be less effective, but I think that connecting the USB to a network device might help even more.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Wi-Fi enabled SD cards

I have an eye-fi card, the classic X2 model (8GB, class 6). I bought it when very few people knew about it, and it roughly works as advertised.
Which means: fine, if you shoot jpeg; slowly, if you upload large images to the camera.

However the biggest problem for me is what is not advertised, namely that you need both an internet connection and a special software just to access the card settings.
If you want the card to connect to a new wi-fi network, you need to log-in into their utility software, enter network name and password, which are uploaded to a server, from which (I think) it downloads a new "mini firmware update" on the fly.
So you need to do this in advance, unless you carry with you some wi-fi hotspot (a macbook is fine: macs can create a wi-fi network), not to mention, the potential security problem: there may be a database full of network credentials somewhere...

Today, I noticed that there's an alternative technology, a card that has an http server included: clients can connect, browse thumbnails and download pictures.