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!#$#$*(#$ Photoshop CS4 crashes

Review prep @ 24mm

It’s only 10am, but Photoshop CS4 has already crashed on me four times. I estimate I’ll see 20-30 crashes by the end of the day. This is delaying my progress a bit, but by saving and restarting CS4 every 5 minutes, I can make progress. I expect a lot more from a $600 software program. Well, I expect a lot more from a $50 program. It’s ridiculous.

CS4/Mac rarely crashes with ordinary stuff (I can run for hours without an incident), but when I work with a lot of larger layers, it crashes very frequently (24GB memory, 500MB/sec scratch).

The thing is, some people might do stuff where it behaves well for hours or days, but when you hit the right scenarios, it’s about as unreliable a software program in such scenarios as I’ve ever come across.

I hope Adobe gets their act together with CS5. Funny thing is, I recently talked to an expert on digital workflow who expressed profound surprise when I told him that Photoshop crashes on me frequently, with his first reaction wanting to blame me. Sorry, I’ve been a software developer for 25 years, and I know how sausage is made. If I can’t make this shit work, who can? (That’s not self-indulgent self praise, I’m just sayin’ that I’m a lot more technically knowledgeable than the average user). The program should not crash like this— that’s a bug, not an “anomaly”.

It’s also effectively impossible to work in 16-bits with this many layers (D3x files at 120MB each), since TIF is limited to 4GB, and PSB large file format takes ~10 minutes to save or open these files, due to debilitating Photoshop save efficiency— CS4 is not only all but single-threaded on Save/Open, but simply put: badly coded. It could write the stinkin' bits out to my 500MB/sec volume in under 10 seconds were it done right (note to Adobe: add a “do not compress or screw around” option).

My work-around? Work in 8 bit mode instead of 16-bit mode, which gets me under the 4GB file size limit for uncompressed TIF. See my handy tip for a 7X or so speedup.

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