Martini Hour 009, In Which Colleen Breaks the Gin Protocol for Adobe’s John Nack

We had so much fun with our first guest (Russell Brown) back in Episode 007, we had Russell kidnap another Adobe notable this week and bring him to the secret lounge bunker. This week we’re drinking sidecars which, despite their lack of gin, are at least served in a conical martini glass, because they are a favorite of Principal Product Manager for Photoshop and Bridge, John Nack.

Here’s what were chatting about with our esteemed guest this week:

The Product Manager’s Wish List

Those of you have read John’s wonderful blog know he’s not shy about saying what he thinks works and what he wishes were different in Photoshop. So this week we open up one of our favorite segments, the Wish List, and ask John to tell us what he would like to see in future episodes of Photoshop. Also you get to enjoy John’s helpful analogies and listen to Deke actually be in awe of John’s Photoshop geekery.


The one thing you’ll note about John is that he really cares about the experience of Photoshop users. So no surprise that he toasts Photoshop peeps everywhere, even those who are made of sugary coated marshmallow.

Interested? How can you resist. Here’s the regular-quality (192kbps) audio file. You can stream, or for best results, right-click and choose Download or Save. 

Don’t want to miss a single episode of this singular treat for the ears and mind? Subscribe via iTunes. And don’t forget, this is a separate subscription from your regular dekePod podcast.

Got a question you’d like us to answer on the show? Write us on the site, or even better, call 1-888-dekepod. (That’s 1-888-335-3763.) Practice, be charming, and ask us something really intriguing. Or just ask a sincere question with great earnestness.

Next entry:Four MORE Full-Resolution Channels & Masks Videos Available for Download

Previous entry:The Mating Habits of the Pen Tool


  • PSB large format files not opening in Photoshop CS4

    I just ran into a problem with a PSB large format, multi layered file of 1.27 gigs not opening.  Dimensions are 5175 x 3225 When I try to open it, Photoshop immediately crashes.  I never had this problem in CS3 and use these large file sizes all the time when creating images for children’s books.  Has anyone encountered this, and what can be done to resolve it? 

    I turned off OpenGL to see if that would make a difference but it doesn’t.  I rebooted the computer several times with no luck.  This is a serious issue because most of my files are too large for the PSD format and are saved as PSB.

  • Whoops!

    Posted the reply out of sequence. I’m moving it where it belongs now.

  • I had similar experiences…

    …where Photoshop would crash as it tries to open a smart object within an image. Trashing prefs fixed the issue.

    However, nearly getting DanoK to trash his pref’s file the other day (thanks for the quick save, Deke) made me think that the better way to work is to rename the extension on your pref’s file to something like .backup.

    If your ‘shop still refuses to open the same file, then I’d say it’s the file itself that got corrupted, and it’s safe to trash the new pref’s file and undo the extension changes to the old one for a quick revert.

    In which case, you should try opening it on another machine, just to confirm that’s the issue. And if it is, it may be a perfect time to change the workflow habits so stuff like this doesn’t affect you as much.

    Seeing you were up ‘till 5 this morning (got your email) it must have been a “lovely” experience. 1.3GB tells me it’s not the kind of file you’d want to lose. Yikes!



    Happy, happy, joy, joy!

  • Happy Easter Everyone

    God Bless

  • Finally opened without openGL

    Hi iVan,

    After trying for about half an hour, I finally got the PSBs to open with OpenGL turned off.  This is so disappointing because most of the files I work with are PSB and now Photoshop CS4 is functioning like CS3, without any of the wonderful, time-saving, gob-stopping features. 

    The way I finally got them to open is by first turning off OpenGL, then opening a very small sized PSB (even with OpenGL turned off it wouldn’t open a larger sized PSB ... but once I got it to open a small PSB, with that one already open, I then tried opening a larger PSB file and it finally opened, thank goodness !).  There’s no logic in why it worked this way because if it was a RAM problem, then certainly it wouldn’t have opened both a small and large PSB simultaneously.  Very strange, defying logic. 

    Now if I can get it to open them with OpenGL turned on, then I’ll be happy.  I will have to phone Adobe Tech. Dept ... but they usually just brush off the blame onto the graphics card, in order to not have to delve into trying to solve the issue themselves.

    If anyone else has a similar experience with PSBs not opening, pl. let me know.

  • That’s weirder..

    ...even than my cousin iGor. Does your file have a hunch on its back, drags its left foot and talks with a lisp as well?

    I can’t even begin to imagine why such strange behavior takes place. Did you try turning the OpenGL feature back on now that you know how to tickle it just right, and what happens then? Also, perhaps trying it on another computer might give you some insight into what is happening.

    It’s a shot in the dark, but if you have one of them HP computers, or something along the lines of another machine that has a self-updating driver capability, it’s possible you received a video card driver update that made it incapable of rendering certain type of data on screen after you exceeded a certain file size. I mean if OpenGL option makes a dif, it does point to a problem somewhere along the Photoshop-GPU autobahn.

    I would also try posting it on Adobe forum; there are several resident experts that are always hard-at-work trying to get to the bottom of current issues one might have with the ‘shop.

    Wish I could be of more help, but it often comes down to a meticulous and time-consuming troubleshooting when you get a weirdo like that. Which is why iGor is kept locked in his shed.

    I swing by your ‘hood every so often. If you’d like I could give you a heads-up when I’m planning a trip your way and have spare time to swing by and take a boo at it. Might be as early as tomorrow, but I’m yet to confirm that.

    Best of luck!


    Happy, happy, joy, joy!


  • It’s so strange

    Now it seems to behaving OK as far as opening PSB files, and I was even able to get the OpenGL to work.  And I had no problems at all for several days, then suddenly, out of the blue, the OpenGL stops working.  I see only a black screen.  It wasted about 4 hours of my time, trying various solutions, trying various versions of graphic card updates.  Then it suddenly dawned on me to drag the Photoshop window onto my second monitor, and voila, it was no longer black & OpenGL was actually working fine.  I have no idea why it suddenly stopped working on my second monitor.  So I changed my primary monitor to the one I prefer working on .... which somewhat resolves the problem .... except sometimes I like dragging the Photoshop window from one screen to the other because one shows the brightness and depth of colors differently, so it often helps me guage whether I have the colors correct.  Now I’m unable to do this comparison .... very very strange that OpenGL suddenly stopped working on one monitor.

    The problem coincided with a Windows auto update ... not sure if this could have caused the problem, but it was right after I had accepted a Windows update and restarted my computer.  Anyone else experience this?

  • It seems likely…

    ...that there is a registry error which took place at some point in the past and has affected you GPU. At least I hope that’s it ‘cause the solution is simple in that case:

    Use system restore function (you’re on PC, right?) to get to the point before ANY of the GPU-related issues first occurred, and then try ‘shop. If it fixed the problems, do the Windows updates, hopefully they’ll take this time.



    Happy, happy, joy, joy!

  • Kudos to John

    Job well done.

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