Macs Ain’t Perfect

I remember well what kept me away from Apple products for so long: Their fanboys (and that includes girls)! I was bombarded with the constant refrain of how Macs never get viruses and never freeze up and blah, blah, blah, bl-blah. Well, my MacBook Pro has locked up on me a number of times. I hate that stupid little pinwheel! It’s given me fits with recognizing my external monitors while in clamshell mode. So on and so forth.

But today I went to encode a large video using Adobe Media Encoder. I love that program for a number of reasons, one of which is it’s presets, which happen to include some specifically for videos you want to put on YouTube. So anyway, I go to encode this large video file and my MacBook starts running really hot. I use a program called iStat Menus to keep track of such things. So the quad-core Intel i7 CPU was running between 88-95º C. That’s pushing the limits of what that CPU can handle.

In any event, I started to get nervous when out of nowhere, the temp dropped to 45-50º C. I thought it was a godsend until I realized that the file had stopped encoding. And then I was locked out of my Finder and couldn’t access any files on my external hard drive. I’m not positive what happened but I think it was a case of the CPU shutting down due to overheating. I had to unplug my external monitors, open the laptop up, and restart the computer with the keyboard shortcuts.

Adobe Media Encoder launched automatically, showing that the file was incomplete, and I decided to scrap the whole thing and just upload the original file to YouTube without the encoding. As I type this I’m a little more than halfway done. It would be faster if I was working with an ethernet connection but I’m doing everything over wi-fi. That’s another source of frustration. Older MacBooks had ethernet ports. My Retina MacBook Pro does not. I’m going to have to drop $20 on a USB to ethernet adapter in order to get a direct line into the computer, which means I lose a much needed USB port!

Macs ain’t perfect folks. They have their warts and wrinkles like every other piece of technology. Don’t let anyone else tell you differently. Sometimes I wonder if the most vocal supporters are really the most casual users. I have to imagine that other folks doing CPU intensive work on these machines have experienced the problems I have and more. In any event, I’m still happy with the hardware, but I’m not gonna lie and act like it’s all peaches and cream.



6 thoughts on “Macs Ain’t Perfect

  1. Indeed. I must say that I LOVE my Mac here at work and will strongly consider getting one for our home computing. I have had a similar experience with mine using Adobe InDesign. I know now that when I have to work in it, I need to close everything else or things will slow to a crawl. Likewise with Photoshop CS6, I close most other apps/programs that are open to avoid frustrating lag times. If I’m not using one of the CPU hogs, I can have all kinds of stuff open and work unimpeded.

  2. What kind of Mac do you use at work? I have InDesign but haven’t had cause to use it yet. No real issues with Photoshop or Illustrator, in fact, I almost always have my web browser open for watching tutorials on YouTube side by side with the programs as I try to learn new things. I have attempted some 3D rendering in Photoshop that caused the CPU to heat up so I ended up quitting the task amd never trying again.

  3. It’s a 21.5″ iMac, 2011. It’s a splendid machine, though as I said, some programs can really bog down the processor. With Photoshop, I can have other things open and I do as you do sometimes and have a tutorial open in Safari, which doesn’t affect things too much. I’ve also played around with 3D rendering and I haven’t gotten the hang of it yet, not that I need it for anything. I do love playing with Photoshop though!

  4. I got started on macs too and love it but it froze on me too. I had to let the battery drain because I couldn’t even shut it down. I hope you got it solved. I’ve been out of action for a long time. Good to see you again.

  5. Jason: I’d love to get a 27″ iMac but the more I think about it, the more I think a Mac Pro is the direction I want to go in for the things I eventually want to pursue more seriously.

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