Last night I got a tweet complaining the Final Cut Pro X sucked because all they got were beach balls when they tried to use it. I sat there and stewed over it and got upset for a bit, not that it really matters but I had had a tough week and wanted to get mad about something that didn’t really matter. I gave it a lot of thought and then I decided, “Yea this can’t be solved in 140 characters.”
Let’s think about this. Achieving a level of proficiency with a piece of software is difficult. It is dependant on several things, not the least of which are, a modicum of understanding of the user interface, a semblence of knowledge about the workflow required and possibly, a working, functional and capable machine. So in other words, you need knowledge and you need a good tool.
People who know me have heard me bitch about Avid many times. Does that make Avid a bad tool? Of course not, and how do we know this? Because there are literally THOUSANDS of people out there that are using it every single day and being very productive. So why do I not like Avid? PROBABLY because of one of the two things mentioned above. Either, I don’t know HOW to use it, or my hardware is not CAPABLE of of running the code. I have access to pretty good machine so I’m going to go with the former, I don’t know what I’m doing.
Does that mean its not possible for me to learn it, well… we don’t really know what my mind is or isn’t capable of learning but for now, lets just say, its not in the cards.
The real issue here is the hardware issue, and that is what caused me to get up this morning and want to spend my Saturday morning putting words into my bloggity.
The tweet in question basically said, “FCPX is worthless because all I get is beach balling”. If that is the case, and I have no reason to doubt that it is, then one of two things is true. Either, A. Everyone gets beach balling when they try to use FCPX or B. Some people get beach balling and others do not. The ones that do NOT get beach balling are being productive and the ones that DO get beach balling would rather not be using FCPX to try to be productive.
Now, this could be seen is a 414 word diatribe (thus far) on how ‘your hardware sucks’ or ‘you buy crap’, or ‘my machine is better than yours’ but lets not make it that.
What I WOULD like to say is this…
“In the computer industry when you are configuring a machine the gospel truth, rule of thumb is… EVERYTHING EFFECTS EVERYTHING.”
If you have a machine that doesn’t run a piece of software as well as MY machine runs a piece of software, then probably your machine is configured differently than mine. And by “differently” I mean ANYTHING AT ALL.
We have 3 iMacs in our office, seamingly exactly the same, Late 2011’s 32GB of RAM, 3TB Fusion drives, cool machines. However, one of them is acting VERY different than the other two. It crashes about 4 times a day in FCPX. The autosave is very good and it always has all the data in it and when you reboot everything you had done thus far is there, but still, crashing with that frequency is not acceptable. So, does that make FCPX unacceptable? No, probably not. Like I said, we have several other machines, the two other identicle iMacs and 4 other machines that have not exibited any of the same problems.
It is important to remember that really, absolutely anything could cause a machine to act like this. It could be a bad stick of RAM, an old version of Flash, a corrupted Font. ANYTHING. (which makes me wonder… Do I have a bad Font on that machine).
So what I’m trying to say is this, if one group of people are using a piece of software successfully, and you can’t seem to make it work, it may very well be your hardware and software configuration that is the problem, not the application in question.