Skip to Content
Skip to Table of Contents

← Previous Article Next Article →

ATPM 13.06
June 2007




Download ATPM 13.06

Choose a format:


Always Use Digital Rights Protection

You mention that the EU have a complaint about iTunes pricing and you don’t see its relevance to the DRM controversy. You are right. It’s not relevant at all. The EU was set up to make it as easy to trade between EU member states as it is in the US to trade between individual states in the US. Their objection to current iTunes practice is that prices vary between countries in the EU, and (this is the important bit) if you are resident in one EU country you cannot buy from the iTunes store for another EU country. They want us to be able to buy from any iTunes store. And, by the way, the UK is a full member of the EU but is not a user of the Euro, as not all EU members are. The EU doesn’t mind what currency people use provided that they are free to go for what they see as the lowest price. I hope this helps. (I happen to be based in the UK, which is why I know this).

—David Barry

Photoshop for the Curious

Even though I’m probably sounding like a broken record, I’ll remind you to never work on your original photo file. Make a copy and work on that. Keep your original safe—no matter how much color correction it needs.

I seem to recall a comment from a reader’s letter in a UK camera magazine, with which the editor agreed. You should not work with JPEG files in Photoshop, as the file degrades with subsequent saves. I now always work with a PSD copy until satisfied.

—Ian Deare

You’re absolutely correct.

My directive to work on copies of files, however, is not given for the issue of JPEG degradation, but rather so that you don’t perform some edit/adjustment and come back to that photo at a later date wishing you had the version without that edit. Or, even worse, something goes bad with the photo and it can no longer be opened.

But your point is equally valid, especially since most “original” photo files are JPEGs that come out of digital cameras. If you perform some adjustments to a photo and plan to save it as a JPEG, that’s even more of a reason to be working on a copy. Re-saving a JPEG does, indeed, degrade it, although some people mistakenly believe that if an image that remains open on your screen is saved as a JPEG, is not closed and then saved again, it degrades. That’s not true. The degradation occurs if you save as a JPEG, close the image, and then open the JPEG you saved.

Wow, speaking of saving, I’d better hang on to a copy of this comment response. It’s part of what I’m planning to cover in a future installment: File Format Fever.

—Lee Bennett

• • •

I recommend to everyone: use nondestructive image editing. When you open your file, press Command-J and then from the bottom part of the layer palette choose Adjustments. Every adjustment layer can be masked and painted. You can stack your curves/levels/etc. layers in groups, and have real process. In other words, you don’t react with pixels in a destructive manner.


This is a very good point, and one that I planned to include in the upcoming topic “Effective Layer Effects.” —Lee Bennett

ATPM 13.05

What a beautiful cover! It feels very soulful, and I love the contrast/tension between the high-tech computer inserted within this turn-of-the-century setting. A great job!

—Catherine von Dennefeld

Pimp My Robot

You mention your lawn needing a robotic grass cutter—there are lots out there that boast the ability to handle rough terrain and slopes. For example, the Robomow.

I haven’t bothered trying one out as of yet, because I think it would just end up being a chew toy for our dogs.

—Paul Barker

Digital Photography Expert Techniques

I am serious about photography but I am not a professional, and I find this book to be a treasure trove of interesting and useful techniques for manipulating photos.

Evidently the author is an unusually creative fellow, and while the book does contain good information about the basics of using CS2, its real value is dipping into the splendid techniques which he has developed for use on a daily basis.

—Sally Brown

About This Particular Outliner

When is Ted Goranson coming back?

—Laurence Vittes

Sorry. Soon.

I am doing an in-depth survey of Mac writing tools, and in the process have obligated myself to some rather heavy and complex writing assignments. I haven’t forgotten you all. Send me ideas about writing features if you think they will help. —Ted Goranson

What Browsers Can Do

I got a lot out of this article and it has made browsing and navigating much easier. I like the “block the pop-up windows” feature. Now I use the “change the size of the print” quite often, even on mail. Lots of people send me e-mails with tiny writing, and I do the Command-Plus and it works. For large print I just do the Command-Minus and it works. Thank you for writing this article. I also love the status bar when a page is coming in telling me what is happening with the page. These are wonderful features to Safari. I love it.

—Heather Isaacson

I’m glad you found this useful, Heather. Thanks for letting us know. —Miraz Jordan

• • •

Good article!

Let me add two tips from my experience.

I often enlarge the type to 18 or 24 point; at this size, multi-column layouts often are confusing to read, if legible at all.

Another barrier can be the colors chosen by Web designers. They may think yellow on a green background is pretty, but I can’t make it out. The style sheet approach works on many sites, but not all.

I get around these problems with two tiny programs I have installed on the favorites bar in Safari, iCab, and OmniWeb (haven’t tested others). These are JavaScript programs called “bookmarklets,” so you need to have JavaScript enabled for them to work. The site below explains how to install these tools.

The linearize bookmarklet breaks down multi-column designs into a single column.

Once “linearized,” even complex layouts—like—are easy to view in very large fonts.

The zap colors bookmarklet strips all the color out of a file. Text is black, links are blue, background is white. Much easier on the eyes.

I installed both of these at the left end of my favorites bar. I can choose either one with Command-3, so two quick keystrokes change a multi-column, squinty-color site into easy reading.

—Jesse the K

Thanks for the tips, Jesse. Those bookmarklets sound really interesting and useful.

I’m glad you liked the article. —Miraz Jordan

Parallels Desktop

I’ve been using Boot Camp on my Mac mini Core Solo, which worked like a charm, after having tried Parallels that just ate up the memory and choked.

I have to say that even OS X Tiger with 512 MB was not running as I expected it, with widgets turned off, only one or two programs active at once before hitting the virtual memory, so I always advise 1 GB for Macs if you need to run more than the build-in applications.

I’ve got a Windows laptop as Picasa is the only picture editing program that works properly with my 30,000+ photos.


A half-gig of memory is just not enough anymore, at least not for serious work. As you learned, more memory is better. That was my experience with Windows as well as OS X. As a result, I started installing the maximum RAM in my computers (well, with the exception of the dual-G5 desktop—only 4 GB. My MacBook Pro has 3 GB, and that works very well, even when using Adobe Lightroom with lots of images and several other programs open at the same time. —David Thompson

Also in This Series

Reader Comments (1)

John McMahon · June 2, 2007 - 17:06 EST #1
I must say that your publication, driven by will and dedication, is far more than I could do. For this, I thank you for a great site! Please don't quit...For every one of these attaboys, there has to be a thousand more who also appreciate but didn't write...For this, I'm sure!
ciao, from bella Italia,

Add A Comment

 E-mail me new comments on this article