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Wireless Networks Thread, Digital Photography and Wireless Laptops in Technical; Hello everyone, We teach Digital Photography and they have a set of laptops that they use Photoshop on. However, the ...
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    Digital Photography and Wireless Laptops

    Hello everyone,

    We teach Digital Photography and they have a set of laptops that they use Photoshop on. However, the problem is that they are slow to load up PSD documents and due to the size of the image files that they are working tend to crash. The department have asked for some new and up to date laptops, however, we believe that it is the wireless network that is slowing these laptops down and causing them to crash when saving large image files onto the network server.

    The wireless network is N. With a Gigabit uplink all the way to the server.

    My question is, has anyone else found themselves in the same situation as us and how have they gone about solving it. There is no room for any hard-wired desktops and as the room is multi use between being used for art and digital photography we cannot really implement any permanent solution, so keeping the laptops wireless offers flexibility.

    Any help/advice regarding the above would be appreciated greatly.

    Thanks in advance.

    J.Worth.

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    Would probably help if you mention how many laptops there are and what access points you're using.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Worth View Post
    However, the problem is that they are slow to load up PSD documents and due to the size of the image files that they are working tend to crash.
    Are you quite sure that's due to the network speed? I've had a machine with hardware RAID-1 10,000RPM Velociraptor drives, fast CPU, 8GB of RAM and directly hardwired to the server cupboard still manage to crash regularly while using Photoshop - network, CPU and disk performance shouldn't have been an issue.

    The wireless network is N.
    A managed wireless system? They really do make a difference over standard wireless access points.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyd View Post
    Would probably help if you mention how many laptops there are and what access points you're using.
    Sorry! That would help - We have 20 laptops and the access point is an Aruba AP-105.

    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Are you quite sure that's due to the network speed? I've had a machine with hardware RAID-1 10,000RPM Velociraptor drives, fast CPU, 8GB of RAM and directly hardwired to the server cupboard still manage to crash regularly while using Photoshop - network, CPU and disk performance shouldn't have been an issue.

    A managed wireless system? They really do make a difference over standard wireless access points.
    Its an Aruba managed wireless system. The art department also have four desktops (that's all we can fit in the room) which are hard-wired to the network and they can cope with Photoshop just fine without any problems.

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    Are they saving directly onto the server, if they are then get them to save the file locally and then copy up to the network.

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    Been meaning to write this up for a while... here is a quick fix, assuming the laptops aren't too locked down, and that you're running Windows 7 with Windows Server 2008 R2 as the fileserver.

    Once logged on, the user selects the file (or in the case where I actually use this, the Premier Project with all the media files etc) they wish to be working with, and makes it available offline. (they can track the sync process a number of ways - I recommend task manager for a quick visual of network traffic... when the line drops to zero for a while the transfer is done)

    Then they click the Work Offline button.

    They can edit the psd (or what ever) as it is served off the local disk. Once they are done (saved and closed the file) , they click 'Work Online, and select the psd/folder and click Sync to force the computer to copy the changes back up to the fileserver.

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    Alkaline's Avatar
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    It may be a bit of both, slow machines and an over stretched connection. A school I support upload a lot of photo's from digital camera's (A class of 15 laptops) and they seem to work ok. Guess this is not the same as loading the image within a software package.

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    What wireless cards are in the laptops?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon View Post
    What wireless cards are in the laptops?
    They are Intel WiFi Link 5100 AGN wireless network cards. The laptops themselves are Latitude E6500. We are, however, looking at replacing these this summer.

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    Interesting. I spent six months with those cards, they never worked right, but there has been a few years of driver development since then. Personally I think they are probably the cause, if memory serves these are only 1x2 cards and draft-n.

    When I had a fleet of them, roaming caused BSODs and any more than 10 in one space would bring the wireless to it knees.

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