Newsletter 038 – May 12, 2023
This newsletter was originally going to be about some of my new publishing and image-editing software, but my experience over the past week or so caused me to switch topics. I had an issue crop up when I installed one of them, so that’s what this newsletter is about. I’ll cover the software itself in the next newsletter (and hopefully I’ll have the issue resolved by then).
Back in Newsletter #31, I said I had replaced my nine-year-old desktop computer with a similar model, emphasizing that the new one has a solid-state drive, so it’s about ten times faster than the previous computer. It took me a while to reload most of the software onto the new machine, MS Office and Scrivener (for basic writing/editing and for story organization), and an old version of Photoshop (to do quick basic image editing), plus a suite of programs from Affinity Software (for advanced image editing and publishing). Sometimes one program won’t do everything I need, but I’m usually able to finish the job using one of the other programs.
For some reason I waited until the other day (near the end of April) to also add the newest versions of two of the image editors I often use, Skylum’s Luminar Neo, and On1’s Photo Raw. The Luminar Neo software installed with no problem. Photo Raw also installed, but gave me an error message that said it couldn’t run the program because the “Vulkan 1.1 drivers” weren’t installed. Don’t worry, I’m not going to thoroughly geek out on you here. I just need to say that Vulkan is an Application Programming Interface (an API), which is just software that helps other software work in a certain way. Almost every piece of software currently in existence uses APIs in order to function. Vulkan is software that helps video cards do certain things (like display high-end graphics on your computer’s monitor).
I started looking for a solution. I won’t bore you with all the tiny details, but I discovered that my new computer came with a graphics chip integrated onto its motherboard that Photo Raw apparently couldn’t work with, so I’ve spent the last two days trying to figure out what to do.
I *do* have an empty expansion slot in my computer that will take a graphics card, so I have two likely options. I’ve contacted the company that makes Photo Raw and asked them if my old computer’s graphic card (an NVIDIA Quadro K620) will be powerful enough to run their software. Unfortunately, my new computer is in a small form factor case (which just means it’s narrower than the old one), so the old mounting bracket for the video card is too tall. The case won’t close if I install the old card with the original bracket on it. So, here are the options:
(1) If the Photo Raw folks say yes (that the Quadro video card will work with their software), I will just have to buy a shorter mounting bracket (about $8), swap the long bracket for the shorter one, and install the newest drivers for the video card.
Or, (2) if they say no, I will have to buy and install a new, more expensive, short-form factor video card (for at least a few hundred dollars).
$8 versus a few hundred. I’m hoping for Option #1, of course. This will undoubtedly all be solved by the time you get this, but it’s just one more bump in the writing/editing road I’ve been on. I’ll tell you about all the different software I hope to use in the next newsletter.
See you then,
[“Technology’s great — when it works.”
Michael Sirois, numerous times in the distant and recent past.]
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