Jun 19 2008

InDesign CS3 crashes on Open/Place/Save/Export (Intel Mac, OS X 10.5.3)

It was a dark and stormy night with the deadline for a project looming. All I needed to do was make a few changes to the piece in InDesign. I had not used InDesign since installing a CS3 update several days before so had to re-launch (normally it stays running in the background). Everything launched normally until I tried to open the document. InDesign immediately crashed. I tried again and the same thing happened. Even opening from Bridge caused InDesign to crash. I was able to create a New document but InDesign would crash when I tried to Save or Export.

I fired off a crash report to Adobe and then searched Google for a solution. Most people attribute this to the updates to CS3 or OS X 10.5.3 and the consensus seems to be that Apple needs to come up with a fix. However, because Apple and Adobe no longer play nice together they are (select one) a) slow, b) unwilling, c) unable because it’s really Adobe’s problem to fix. So, short of a lightening-induced power outage or system crash, this is the worst place to be. There was, however, a common thread among the blogs for helpful workarounds.

I first tried 3 recommendations from the Adobe Tech Notes that were also recommended by several bloggers, none of which solved the problem. I tried trashing the InDesign Preferences. No help there either. I re-read the Tech Notes carefully and since recommendation 1. is to uninstall Version Cue I was a little mystified when the uninstall package was not available, but since I don’t use Version Cue I was not concerned and went on to the other recommendations. But the careful re-read suggested an entirely different fix was available if these symptoms started after installing the Version Cue update. I didn’t pay attention to which components of CS3 were in the last update but since the problem seemed to start after I installed them I decided to try this out.

The first Tech Note contains an inconspicuous link to an entirely new Tech Note which held the magic key. A patch is available to download which finally fixed the problem. Well, not entirely. In the middle of my now frantic edit session, the power did go out…

Jun 15 2008

Christopher Dresser redux

Though later than William Morris, Christopher Dresser pre-dated the Arts and Crafts movement (see comment, below) in England and was influential in the development of the industrial arts, his designs having been featured in the Crystal Palace Exhibition. His studies in the decorative arts were immensely popular in the period but are only recently coming back into favor with the resurgence of interest in the Arts and Crafts period.

His background in botany is evident in many of his design motifs and that especially appeals to me (as a recovering botanist). Today we would categorize the body of his work variously as Arts and Crafts (though possibly not, as per comment), Art Deco, Japonaise or Aesthetic. He was a product of the Victorian design era but much too “renaissance” to be confined to the period, or to the culture of western Europe/North America. He studied the design traditions of Asia and the Middle East, influencing some of his own design.

Christopher Dresser: Studies in DesignI have started a vector reproduction of Studies in Design with the intention of getting inside of Christopher Dresser’s head a bit. View completed plates here. These are “hand traced” in Adobe Illustrator and are faithful to the original design though repeating pattern designs have been more accurately registered to permit seamless repeat. There are 134 individual motifs. Dresser rendered most in color, and those colors have been used in the vector drawings, however there are several that Dresser only drew as outlines. I am anxious to try different color combinations.

Jun 6 2008

what’s new

ideas, scraps and sketches of new projects