Saturday, April 16, 2011

Technological Paralysis

So ... my old Adobe Photoshop won't initialize on the new computer, because it thinks the "scratch disk" is full. As far as I can tell, this means it's not satisfied with the 1.3 or so TERABYTES of memory available on the c drive, so something is wrong. And I can't screw around with the preferences in the program, which is how you're supposed to fix problems with this, because it won't initialize in the first place.

Which means that I'm going to be out several hundred dollars to get a more recent version, and that really sucks, because selling gaming books and modules is not exactly the fastest way to make several hundred dollars.

Anyway, without any useful graphics program working at the moment, I am kind of screwed. It's possible that the "Paint" program that came with the computer is actually capable of doing a lot of what I need - that will be the next thing I check out.


  1. Get The GIMP. I know some Photoshop diehards don't like the GIMP, but unless you need to do CMYK stuff, it will do everything you need. For free.

    As for Photoshop: did it crash by any chance before you got the scratch disk error?

    "If Photoshop is shut down improperly or crashes in the middle of an editing session, this can leave fairly large temporary files behind on your scratch disk. Photoshop's temp files are typically named ~PST####.tmp on Windows and Temp#### on Macintosh, where #### is a series of numbers. These are safe to delete."

    It's worth a shot.

  2. What version of Photoshop you have?

  3. Just came here to say what Talysman said. Once you learn the GIMP you'll never have to pay for Adobe upgrades again. Or if you prefer, "free upgrades for life!" OGL, GNU, and you seem a perfect fit Matt. And proprietary software is so last century. :)

  4. Oh, here's another thing from a forum discussion on PS 7 with a new computer:

    "With really old programs the largest disk-free-space is 2GB and if the actual freespace is a multiple of 2GB plus a small amount then the old program sees the freespace as just the small amount. For example, if the freespace is 150GB+10MB, then the old program thinks the freespace is only 10MB. The solution to this is to use up enough disk space so the free-space is just slightly less than a multiple of 2GB, and then the program thinks there is plenty of disk-space. (It is possible I am misremembering and the free-space limit was 4GB instead of 2GB, but the same principle applies).

    You can try setting the scratch-drive to another HD if you have one by pressing and holding Ctrl-Alt on the way into Photoshop."

    The Ctrl-Alt thing might get you into Photoshop, at the very least, so that you can verify the preferences. Another weird thing that might be happening is that the scratch disk is set to your DVD drive or a USB drive or something.

  5. My guess is that the version of Photoshop you have doesn't recognise your huge new hard drive poperly. It tries to work out the size, gets an answer that is too big to handle and so reports the answer as zero, hence it being full. If it's doing it from a clean install then there isn't much you can do without getting horribly technical and doing clever stuff with resizing of partitions. Definitely not for the faint hearted.

    As others have mentioned, check out The Gimp. Just remember to search for The Gimp graphics application to save any embarrassment! You may find it does everything you need.

    Another option if you need image conversion options that The Gimp does not provide is Photoshop Elements. Mainly designed for photo work it might just provide the missing bit at a fraction of the price of it's big brother.

    - Neil.

  6. I'm guessing it's what Neil said, because the version of PS is really old, back from the days when a terabyte of disk space was science fiction. The hard drive is the default, so it's looking at the hard drive, and this is the first time it's been used on this computer, so it's not the (very common) problem of temp files. It's some sort of very fundamental structural problem, since the problem is happening when the program's being used for the first time.

    I don't need CYMK colors, so I'll take a look at this GIMP thing.

  7. I remember trying out gimp in '98 or '99 and didn't like the cobbled-togetherness of the interface.. however, since it's like 12 years later, I should probably take another look.. heh.

  8. I also recommend Gimp - I use it all the time, but I was never a PhotoShop user, so I'm not sure how you will like it.

    Also, here are two more good, free photo editors that you could try:

    1. IrfanView:

    2. Paint.Net:

    Hopefully you will find something that doesn't cost so much.


  9. I like the GIMP's interface better than Photoshop, but I'm comparing the most recent versions of the GIMP to Photoshop 3.0, the only version I used.

  10. You could create a disk partition that is small enough for your crusty old version of photoshop to recognize as a scratch disk. Gimps not so bad however.

  11. Could be an OS issue as well. I think some of the older versions of PS don't play well with Windows 7 and I am guessing your new computer is 7. It could also be a 32 vs 64 bit issue. Windows 7 should have an XP compatibility mode. You might try using that to see if that gets by the issue as well.

  12. Another vote for the GIMP here. I use it all the time and the only thing I really dislike about it is how it handles adding text to images.

  13. Because of the comments here, I dl'd and tried Gimp again. Wow, what a difference 12 years makes.. in software.. I guess that's kind of a no-brainer, isn't it? heh

    Anyway, yeah, I was able to start using it right away. :)