This is a complicated out of box experience. So far, there are two boxes, and there may end up being a third. They arrived several weeks apart.
A little background. For about 10 years I have been using a Gretag Macbeth SpectroScan/SpectroLino (the SpectroLino is a spectrophotometer; the SpectroScan is an XY table that automates the measurement of color patches) to make color profiles for printers. I started out with the Praxisoft profile package and the Kodak profile editor, and when Praxisoft went out of business and Kodak abandoned the editor, I moved on to Monaco. I haven’t made a profile for many months, but when I did I used Monaco Profiler 4.7. That was running on a Windows XP machine that is now defunct.
I tried to run Monaco Profiler 4.7 on a Dell T3400 with 16 GB of RAM running the 64-bit version of Windows 7. The installation appeared to proceed well. However, when I tried to start the program, I got a brief look at the spinning disk, and then nothing. Using the Windows task manager, I looked for processes that appear to be associated with the Monaco profiler, but couldn’t find any. I messed around with the various program compatibility options, but to no avail.
I installed the Windows virtual machine, and set up an instance of Windows XP. The virtual display is a 16 bit display. Then I installed Monaco Profiler 4.7 on the virtual Windows XP machine. Again, the installation appeared to proceed normally. However after the virtual restart, it wouldn’t recognize the dongle. Not only that, when I ran it in demo mode, it said that the display needed to support color table correction in order for the program to run. I’m fairly confident that the actual hardware is okay, but the virtual hardware presented by the Microsoft virtual machine is not. There seems to be no option to change the virtual display to 24-bits.
About that time I received an invitation from X-Rite to upgrade my Monaco Profiler software to the newly shipping I1 Publisher profiler. However, there was a problem. I1 Publisher didn’t support my Gretag Macbeth hardware, even though X-Rite had purchased Gretag some years ago. I talked to Erica at Rods and Cones about my options. There are new X-Rite spectrophotometers available, and is also a potential workaround, using an X-Rite program called ColorPort to operate my Gretag Macbeth spectrophotometer, and then exporting the data to I1 Publisher.
I figured it was worth a try, and ordered I1 Publisher at the upgrade price. That was the first box, and it arrived a couple of weeks ago.
The installation process went less than swimmingly. The installer installs three programs plus a hardware driver for the dongle. Each of the software installation programs spawns an additional application, for a total of six. All six tasks hung, and I had to close them with the task manager. The hardware driver installation program kept asking over and over if it was okay to perform the installation. I finally got tired of that. After I rebooted the computer, everything appeared to be okay; I1 Publisher launched just fine, and after the registration process it recognized the dongle.
I installed ColorPort 2.0.1, but it will not run under 64-bit Windows 7, at least my 64-bit Windows 7. It seemed to run under virtual Windows XP, but it didn’t recognize the SpectroScan/SpectroLino.
So, I have no way to make printer profiles. My old profile maker won’t run on my present computer, and my new profile maker can’t use my spectrophotometer. X-Rite offers four spectrophotometer choices. In order of increasing cost, they are:
- A simple USB spectrophotometer, the I1 Pro, that ships as part of I1 Basic
- The I1o, an XY table that accepts that spectrophotometer
- Two sheet-fed spectrophotometers, the I1Sis and the I1Sis XL, which accept 8 1/2 by 11 and 11 x 17 paper, respectively
Erica did some research and got these estimates fr0m X-Rite for the time to measure an IT8.7/4 (1617 patches):
- ISis: about 4-5 minutes
- Io: about 3-4 minutes
- I1 Pro: 15-20 minutes
All of these are faster than the SpectroScan/SpectroLino. Is not the speed is so important to me, but the use of my time. Any of the automated solutions only require me to change paper, while measuring the patches by hand means I can be doing anything else.
I ordered the I1 Basic, with the idea that I could get the XY table for it if the manual measurements proved to be too much of a pain. This has gotten to be a long post already, so I’ll report on the rest of the experience later.