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UnCommonGrafx
08-14-2011, 04:30 PM
So,
They've installed ten 27"imacs in my school space. I really don't know macs. I can do with them what I want: Linux, OSX.xx, Win7. They will end up TriBoots.

I teach LW in this space. Anything I GOTTA know? I've paid attention in that I recognize there are a few more gotchyas here but things can be quite smooth.

I appreciate any and all assistance. I have two logins here; this one and [email protected] I'll be around asking questions. Thanks in advance.

brunopeixoto
08-14-2011, 07:36 PM
Good luck!

dblincoe
08-14-2011, 09:01 PM
Hey Robert,
I don't know what kind of info to give you as I really can't think of much problems. I switched over to mac about six years ago and haven't gone back. I do use parallels with windowsNT every once in awhile...just to use the occasional plugin that might only be available on PC. Plan on switching it to Win7.

I would suggest making sure you have a way to boot up to use PC version and/or a non-lion mac os. I am running Lion right now and not able to load any ppc version of plug-ins. Lion will not run ppc versions of any program. So a dual-boot with one version being ppc compatible would be optimal (Leopard or Snow Leopard). For the most part I have been able to find a pc version of plugins that I can run in LW on windows thru parallels.

The other suggestion I would give is regarding screamernet. Screamernet was a lot harder for me to set up on the macs. Actually I never did it until I found Dreamlights Node launcher
http://dreamlight.com/webshop/utilities/snublauncher.html Makes the node setup automated.

Also for easier screamernet distribution I would suggest the ScreamerNet Controller for OS X http://www.jdavidbaker.com/screamernet/
It offers more control/functionality than lightwaves controller. You can add or remove render nodes on the fly (without starting the whole network over). You can also remove and add scenes without restarting the whole batch.

That's the issues I can think that caused me the most grief. Really it has been pretty smooth.
Good luck!

wesleycorgi
08-14-2011, 11:08 PM
I've been primarily a Mac user for about 20 years and a LW user, mostly on Mac, for about 10 years. But this year I decided that I'm tired of fighting the non-support of Mac by a lot of software I'm interested in. Or in the case of LW, the lack of Mac-specific plug-ins.

My main PC is still a MacBook Pro i7 (for PShop, AE, Illustrator, etc.), but I've bootcamped my older MBP specifically to run LW, Messiah, and Fusion under Windows 7.

In a pinch, I'm finding that Fusion actually works fairly well under Parallels. If I could get Messiah's dongle to work in Parallels, I might skip bootcamp.

dblincoe
08-15-2011, 07:18 AM
I've been primarily a Mac user for about 20 years and a LW user, mostly on Mac, for about 10 years. But this year I decided that I'm tired of fighting the non-support of Mac by a lot of software I'm interested in. Or in the case of LW, the lack of Mac-specific plug-ins.

My main PC is still a MacBook Pro i7 (for PShop, AE, Illustrator, etc.), but I've bootcamped my older MBP specifically to run LW, Messiah, and Fusion under Windows 7.

In a pinch, I'm finding that Fusion actually works fairly well under Parallels. If I could get Messiah's dongle to work in Parallels, I might skip bootcamp.

Certainly don't want to hijack this thread, but I find the whole plugin situation a little frustrating. Lscripts are universal but in most cases slower than plugins. What I find frustrating is:
You have to hunt, everywhere for them. There is no centralized place for them...usually someones site or a poorly kept database/forum and sift through broken links.
There are too many formats. There are pc versions/two mac versions and now there are 32bit vs 64bit versions to hunt for.

I think Newtek needs to make a centralized place for third party developers to post plugins (for instance like Zbrush).
There also needs to be a way to help developers get there plugins on all platforms. I realize that can be tricky especially when determining support for those ports. But, Zbrush has a mac and pc version for every plugin in on their site...I realize they only have a handful of plugins on there, but just as an example.

Phil
08-15-2011, 07:49 AM
So,
They've installed ten 27"imacs in my school space. I really don't know macs. I can do with them what I want: Linux, OSX.xx, Win7. They will end up TriBoots.

I teach LW in this space. Anything I GOTTA know? I've paid attention in that I recognize there are a few more gotchyas here but things can be quite smooth.

I appreciate any and all assistance. I have two logins here; this one and [email protected] I'll be around asking questions. Thanks in advance.

What version of OSX are you running on them? If they are running Snow Leopard, you might want to hold fire on Lion - it's a little flaky in all apps (mostly scrolling in file dialogs seems to give a crash on my mid-2010 MBP). If you have Lion installed, though, you'll have to weather the bumps and bangs until Apple fix the bugs.

From the LW side, you need to consider some inherent....um....limitations due to the way that NewTek decided to deliver LW. LW 9.6 is delivered as a Universal Binary supporting PowerPC and 32-bit Intel (x86), but LW 9.6.1 adds also 64-bit support. You need to choose which version is going to be launched from the 'Get Info' dialog (also Apple-I with the program file selected in Finder). You'll see toggle boxes to set 64-bit or not and, on Snow Leopard, the ability to launch the PowerPC part under Rosetta(*). Rosetta can be ignored (I've never needed it for LW)

Note that this makes separation of config files more...awkward than under Windows. OS X provides no graphical method for sending arguments to executables (unlike Windows' properties dialog for shortcuts). So...what to do if you want to have the ability to run 32-bit as well as 64-bit LW. The best option would be to duplicate the installed LW folder and make one 32-bit-only and the other 64-bit-only. Whilst LW appends 64 to its 64-bit configs, I have had issues with 3rd party license files being broken in transitioning between 32-bit and 64-bit due to changing dongle IDs (purple dongle).

You can dedicate configs by creating folders for the two sets of configs (one for 64-bit LW, one for 32-bit LW) and then making aliases to those folders (named Preferences) in the respective LW folder.

ScreamerNet/LWSN also needs to be considered in this light. It is, like the main apps, delivered in an all-in-one form. You need to pick the 32-bit or 64-bit version according to your needs. Something like Deadline makes easy work of this, and there are 3rd party LWSN launchers. If you want to do it manually, you should become familiar with the 'arch' command in the terminal. 'arch -i386' triggers the x86 version; without the arch command, lwsn will start in 64-bit mode by default.

A cute feature of OS X is also the ability to effectively pause a rendering process using the 'kill' terminal command to send a STOP command to the main process. It's great if the machine is needed, but a rendering job is crushing its responsiveness.

If you have network drives to store student projects, etc. then be aware that it can be very tiresome to get network drives automounted at log-in, something that is easy under Windows. See AutoMountMaker, but be aware that this only shows the drives for the account under which they were mounted.

Finally, a note about Finder. Under all versions of OS X prior to Lion, copying a folder into a destination where a folder of the same name exists will result in the existing folder being totally replaced. Lion adds the ability to merge the contents of the source folder into the destination folder.(**)

For the time being, it also seems that any Wine-based software is broken under Lion due to changes made by Apple. This includes messiah.

Java is not included out-of-the-box, nor is Flash, under Lion. Java will be downloaded on-demand from Apple, but lacks the Aqua look and feel from previous versions. Flash will need to be manually installed.

Animeeple is unable to render animations out under Lion, due to Quicktime changes.

Adobe has a list of issues available for their products.

nVidia seems to not be actively pushing CUDA updates for Macs. I had to hunt a pre-release version down and it still complains that it is out of date.

Depending on how you might want to monitor the use of these machines :

- OS X supports VNC natively (known as desktop sharing). The default behaviour in Lion has changed slightly, so that it works rather more like a terminal server than viewing the current user's desktop. To view the current user's desktop, you need to have their login credentials and supply them. This change has broken some 3rd party VNC clients, such that you end up with your own desktop on the remote machine. Further, there seems to be an incompatibility with hextile under VNC.

- LogMeIn works with a client update under Lion.

- Lion changes the way that AFP shares are handled, leading to issues with NAS units. I had to pull a couple of unofficial updates for my Netgear NAS, in order to make them accessible. I have no issues with SMB, it seems.

(*)Lion does away with the Rosetta PowerPC support layer
(**)Given that some plugins store data in LW's (shared)support folder, this can be a problem.

Danner
08-15-2011, 09:32 AM
First off, I want to say that the Mac OS is nice. I do like it, but it has a few things that for a long time windows user like me can be quite annoying and you should be aware of.

Resizing windows. You have to always grab them by the bottom left corner... windows spoiled me by letting me grab any edge. There is no maximize button either. They are color coded little buttons that never seem to do what I expect them to do.

Menus disconeted from applications. This can be really confusing specially on a multy monitor workstation, you often end up with one application with the menu from another on top..

"Alt tab" is now "command tab" and it won't maximize a minimized app.

Delete key doesn't delete.. or wait it does but you must use one of the 5 modifier keys not sure which.

F2 doesn't rename a file, and enter doesn't open it. (it renames it!)

No dedicated Page Up, Page Down, Home, or End keys.

When you install something you have to go hunt for it, it doesn't go into the dock or any other program repository thinngie.

Nothing mayor really, it's like driving a different brand of car and wondering why the blinkers are on the wrong side of the steering wheel.

Phil
08-15-2011, 12:50 PM
First off, I want to say that the Mac OS is nice. I do like it, but it has a few things that for a long time windows user like me can be quite annoying and you should be aware of.

Resizing windows. You have to always grab them by the bottom left corner... windows spoiled me by letting me grab any edge. There is no maximize button either. They are color coded little buttons that never seem to do what I expect them to do.

Lion fixes the window resizing behaviour.

Alt+ green button used to fully maximise a window, but it seems that this behaviour was changed in Lion as well. Hmpf.


Menus disconeted from applications. This can be really confusing specially on a multy monitor workstation, you often end up with one application with the menu from another on top..

Yes, I've seen that. Usually it's when one application has deadlocked in some fashion (either hung up or is simply chewing enormous amounts of CPU).


"Alt tab" is now "command tab" and it won't maximize a minimized app.

By design. Most OS X apps are multi-document and multi-window, so the reasoning becomes 'how does the system know exactly which window you want back?' There are 3rd party tools (e.g. Witch) that try and address this.


Delete key doesn't delete.. or wait it does but you must use one of the 5 modifier keys not sure which.

Fn, on laptops, or the apple key + backspace.


F2 doesn't rename a file, and enter doesn't open it. (it renames it!)

This also used to be differently handled in earlier hardware versions - the 2006 MacBook Pro had a little caret on a key and that worked to trigger a rename.


No dedicated Page Up, Page Down, Home, or End keys.

I've actually become used to this because my work laptop, a plastic HP thing, has the same behaviour. At least the Mac uses the cursor keys rather than more obscure locations.


When you install something you have to go hunt for it, it doesn't go into the dock or any other program repository thinngie.

Generally, since installation is usually just a matter of dragging the program on to an Applications alias, the location of a program is straightforward. Besides even Windows seems to be hiding access points for programs and expecting the user to search for it.

Frankly, I dislike both OS X and Windows' ways of 'organising' programs. I'd prefer to see a task-based system. To that end, I've been using Overflow.app on OS X for years. Back when I used Windows on my own machines, I designed LDE(X) with task-based workflow in mind as well.


Nothing mayor really, it's like driving a different brand of car and wondering why the blinkers are on the wrong side of the steering wheel.

Choice is good, though. I'm surprised and relieved to see that this thread hasn't turned into another platform flame war.

dblincoe
08-15-2011, 12:58 PM
+1 for the overflow.app I arrange all my adobe apps in one category,
another for 3d apps, another for office/business related apps, etc. Lions launcher is clunky...I haven't been able to arrange things like I would like and the icons are toooooooooo large!

UnCommonGrafx
08-15-2011, 02:25 PM
I am extremely appreciative of all of your comments.
This will assist me a whole heap!!

Phil,
I gotta learn how to know which version I am using! haha, I was playing around today and am seeing my way around. I'm not going to approach this as NOT a pc, but as its own thing. I don't think we have Lion.

They gave me a CS5 Creative Suite today, got 2161 on most of them and managed to learn to use the mouse surface a bit better.

Some really artistic things in this realm. The mouse surface pad is quite cool.
Tomorrow, the net will be turned on. Whoo hoo!

archijam
08-15-2011, 02:30 PM
Haven't tested this with massive scenes, but I have also had luck running 32bit modeler with 64bit layout .. though I haven't tried this with 10.1 ...

This way you can access all those nice little old plugins/scripts that don't exist for 64bit ..

Remember that until lion, copying a directory onto a directory DELETES THE PREVIOUS CONTENTS .. though I'm sure Mike knows a work around.

But i think they finally 'fixed this' (ie changed the default to merge) in Lion.

Still can't get used to not being able to rename files in the open ans save 'finder' windows ..

Otherwise .. all good in mac land.

DrStrik9
08-15-2011, 08:47 PM
I'm still running Snow Leopard (10.6.8), and I run ONLY in 64-bit (Intel quad-core), unless I absolutely need something old that only runs in 32-bit. Since 10, LW is available on Mac as a 64-bit app. But most of the Mac plugs are still 32-bit.

You can use this little app to tell your Mac which way to boot up (32 or 64):
http://www.ahatfullofsky.comuv.com/English/Programs/SMS/SMS.html

All my 32-bit apps still run fine under 64-bit, (CS5 other-than-Photoshop, etc.).

Good luck!

LW_Will
08-15-2011, 11:37 PM
Go out and get standard mouses (mice?), like a Logitech. That way, you can easily use the right mouse button. The RMB does almost exactly what the PC RMB does, it is easier and generally, using 3D/Graphics programs, better for mechanical memory.

Good Luck!

djlithium
08-16-2011, 01:29 AM
Go out and get standard mouses (mice?), like a Logitech. That way, you can easily use the right mouse button. The RMB does almost exactly what the PC RMB does, it is easier and generally, using 3D/Graphics programs, better for mechanical memory.

Good Luck!

If you are not planning on actually "teaching on them" I would suggest turning them into LWSN nodes and leave them plugged in in the corner. Seems like a bit of a waste though with those sized screens.

Otherwise I would have them running Win7 64bit and LightWave10.1 if you can, at least then you can run 32bit LW or 64bit LW side by side for when you need an old, not updated and probably replaced/obsolete plug-in from 2002 that's only 32bit.
You will find that's a better and more viable as well as flexible option than chasing down a mac version of something. Mac...ffs... I know a lot of people "use" mac, but really... come on.
How much ram is in each one? That's also a determining factor on what best use they can be.

Phil
08-16-2011, 02:00 AM
You will find that's a better and more viable as well as flexible option than chasing down a mac version of something. Mac...ffs... I know a lot of people "use" mac, but really... come on.

Somehow a bunch of us manage to use these things productively, and I haven't needed to drop to a Windows machine in quite some time now, for my personal needs. My day job has nothing to do with CG, but whilst that forces a Windows machine due to corporate requirements, there's nothing there that I could not do, with no fuss or trauma or workarounds, on my Macs. Why do you feel the need to try and start a flamewar in an otherwise productive discussion? I respect your opinion, but certainly not the way you often choose to express it (i.e. you take the hard line view that everyone else is wrong and simply must do it Kat's way, right now, no questions asked).


How much ram is in each one? That's also a determining factor on what best use they can be.

A valid question.


I gotta learn how to know which version I am using! haha, I was playing around today and am seeing my way around. I'm not going to approach this as NOT a pc, but as its own thing. I don't think we have Lion.

The easiest way to find out is to use 'About this Mac' from the Apple menu in the top left corner : http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1633

This will also tell you about the memory configuration, etc. You can get more detailed information from the system profiler, accessible from the 'more info' button on that dialog.

As an aside, and relatively useful, if something is misbehaving, you can often find relevant information in the console.app (not to be confused with terminal.app) program. Launch it using Spotlight in the top right corner, or from within /Applications/Utilities - it's rather similar to Windows' Event Viewer, but more convenient IMO.

djlithium
08-16-2011, 02:45 AM
Somehow a bunch of us manage to use these things productively, and I haven't needed to drop to a Windows machine in quite some time now, for my personal needs.

Oh come on now Phil... I was being a realist. If he wants to get the most out of the program (the most important thing firs and foremost on my mind, not selling subscriptions to the church of macintology) then the machines should be in win764bit and installed with 32bit and 64bit LightWave. That was the point I was trying to make. everyone jumps up and down about mac this and mac that - but still won't face facts. Not everything is available on a mac - specifically various plug-ins of yesteryear. I was being practical in the statement not belligerent.

If you took it the wrong way, well sorry, but starting a flame war? That's taking it a bit far don't you think in saying that? And by saying that laid out the ground to start just that.

I think macs are neat. But I don't own one and I don't want one. I leave those to be used by people like really creative types.... like 'directors'. :)

Anyway, more important of a question should be is as was brought up earlier - if mac, what render controller? How much ram, best use of the machines. At the end of the day I see those systems as just processing power.

Phil
08-16-2011, 03:00 AM
Oh come on now Phil... I was being a realist. If he wants to get the most out of the program (the most important thing firs and foremost on my mind, not selling subscriptions to the church of macintology) then the machines should be in win764bit and installed with 32bit and 64bit LightWave. That was the point I was trying to make. everyone jumps up and down about mac this and mac that - but still won't face facts. Not everything is available on a mac - specifically various plug-ins of yesteryear. I was being practical in the statement not belligerent.

The 'ffs' works against that, though, and so does the "use". It was a dismissive, inflammatory statement in the round. There's no way you can hide that. If you're retracting that, or would prefer it to be interpreted in a different way, there's a whole gamut of alternative words and punctuation available :beerchug:


If you took it the wrong way, well sorry, but starting a flame war? That's taking it a bit far don't you think in saying that? And by saying that laid out the ground to start just that.

Not calling you on an nonconstructive contribution would have been worse.


I think macs are neat. But I don't own one and I don't want one. I leave those to be used by people like really creative types.... like 'directors'. :)

Now come on, be honest. You've a track record of bashing non-Windows systems in strong terms. Remember back to the proposed dynamics system that Kiko was to work on, and the various comments you made about Macs for things like Übercam, etc?

Again, your jibe works against your previous comments. There's no reason that creativity has to drive the choice of machine, is there? Who else here has been presenting that line of reasoning? The OP has Macs available, through some stroke of fortune, that he wants to use. That's the entire basis for the thread, so why introduce irrelevant notions? There's an entire forum to start that separate kind of discussion.


Anyway, more important of a question should be is as was brought up earlier - if mac, what render controller? How much ram, best use of the machines. At the end of the day I see those systems as just processing power.

He mentioned he wanted to teach on them, so I guess that is what was intended. A secondary use would be rendering out-of-hours, but you're right - the specs would be good to know.

djlithium
08-16-2011, 03:39 AM
That's the entire basis for the thread, so why introduce irrelevant notions? There's an entire forum to start that separate kind of discussion.


See that's the thing I don't know why you and I are getting into it over macs when someone else started down that yellow brick road before us. In the words of a great admiral - "It's a TRAP!"

:hijack::lightwave:cat:

UnCommonGrafx
08-16-2011, 04:22 AM
Hey, DJ,
Thanks for the insight. Read a post or two of mine and you will note that I already have that in mind. I am in need of knowledge on the Mac side, at the moment.

I'm in an educational institution, first, a lightwave lab, second. So, for that reason, all is to be learned, all is to be played with and a decision for what's best comes later.


Any worthy books out there? Lots to be learned.
Thanks!

Phil
08-16-2011, 04:43 AM
See that's the thing I don't know why you and I are getting into it over macs when someone else started down that yellow brick road before us. In the words of a great admiral - "It's a TRAP!"

:hijack::lightwave:cat:

Get back to the nazi hordes :thumbsup::neener::beerchug:

LW_Will
08-16-2011, 01:48 PM
I'm not saying that the Macs would be better as PC's.. (Well, they are all Personal Computers. Can't use Intel as a differential factor. Windows? Yeah, Windows...) but they are the best of BOTH. This is why those computers, 24" iMacs, are the best computers in the world.

Its not that they are cute. Its not that they are well designed, it is that they will run ANY SOFTWARE THAT IS AVAILABLE, PERIOD. Windows or Lion... it is a perfect machine. Whether you should use Windows or Lion(Snow Leopard) should be decided by what software you have access to.

There. A bucket of water for your flame war. ;)

UnCommonGrafx
08-19-2011, 02:27 PM
Update:
Brand new macs = Lion. Oh joy.


I am having a time with the network and it staying connected to the windows domain. I know it has nothing to do with the network as four out of ten will work sometimes.
They even pick up other used IP numbers on the network! Very annoying.

First update came through but the above causes issues with updating.

Good news: I got Creative suite installed on two. A bunch of hours later, I will finish the rest. Why so long to install? Wow.

I am having crashes with modeler. Unsure as to what's causing it at the moment but will follow those who have more than ordinary crashes. (One per class)

Phil
08-22-2011, 10:37 AM
Update:
Brand new macs = Lion. Oh joy.

Hmm. Lion is a little flawed right now. I've had random crashes, largely from the file requester, but nothing in any specific app that I've come across


I am having a time with the network and it staying connected to the windows domain. I know it has nothing to do with the network as four out of ten will work sometimes.
They even pick up other used IP numbers on the network! Very annoying.

That's nothing I have experience with.


First update came through but the above causes issues with updating.

Pull the updater from Apple. Drop that on a flash disk and take it from machine to machine. http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1437


Good news: I got Creative suite installed on two. A bunch of hours later, I will finish the rest. Why so long to install? Wow.

Adobe has always made a complete mess of their installs on modern OS X. It's appalling, and, worse, they completely stall the installation if you, at any point, open a web browser. It's like they put a skin on an installer from the mid 1990s...

UnCommonGrafx
08-22-2011, 06:39 PM
Is CS5 Really All it touts itself to be? There are some awesome looking tools in there.

Lion is. um. Dung. For my purposes at this time, at least.



Ok. Hassle moment. Should I go back to Snow Leopard for sanity? (My answer is no, just reinstall Lion. Or so my initial response says.)

An amazing assortment of tools. Seriously, amazing. (Old Amiga guy.)

Phil
08-23-2011, 04:13 AM
Is CS5 Really All it touts itself to be? There are some awesome looking tools in there.

No idea. I've not been a fan of Adobe's pricing and lacklustre upgrades.


Lion is. um. Dung. For my purposes at this time, at least.

It's a little buggy, but it has some useful security changes in there (particularly the disk encryption as well as the other changes - DEP and ASLR). Performance-wise, Cinebench tells me it is as fast as Windows 7 on the same hardware, so that makes be fairly happy. OpenGL support is still fairly ancient, though.

Whilst I like OS X, its stability can be questionable. It still seems to be possible for the entire GUI to deadlock and the machine needs to be restarted with the power button. That's rather inexcusable in late 2011.


Ok. Hassle moment. Should I go back to Snow Leopard for sanity? (My answer is no, just reinstall Lion. Or so my initial response says.)

Unsure. You may not be able to get SL to boot those new iMacs, for example. I cannot get the retail SL DVD (10.6.0) here to boot my 2010 MBP - I have to use the disk that came with the machine...

Even if you can boot them off a more recent SL DVD (assuming you can locate one), you might find that drivers are absent for the hardware. Depends really on whether the iMacs shipping with Lion are fundamentally different to the previous SL iMacs. I don't have any direct experience with iMacs.


An amazing assortment of tools. Seriously, amazing. (Old Amiga guy.)

On the Adobe side? Yeah, probably, but the pricing outside the US is completely nuts.

UnCommonGrafx
08-23-2011, 04:53 AM
As to pricing, it's not mine to be concerned for.
That is to say, I am a lucky sod who gets to work with it without money coming out of my pocket. :)

The Mac OS is kinda cool, too. Really enjoying the touchpad.

I've decided not to go back. Too much time would have to go into the act, time I don't have to spend on that task.
So, forging on...

08-26-2011, 12:02 PM
What does one do to execute an F9?
How about an ctrl-F6?

Only the system stuff works?

Phil
08-26-2011, 12:16 PM
System Preferences / Keyboard and enable 'Use F1, F2, etc. as standard function keys'. Without this, you'll need to hold down the Fn key when pressing F1, F2, etc. to make them work as function keys.

08-26-2011, 01:13 PM
ahhh...

Phil, you are truly helpful and it is appreciated!

Have a great weekend. I'll be back here this weekend with more questions. I am enjoying the macs.