View Full Version : January Entry: An invitation you can’t refuse

01-25-2008, 11:33 PM
January Challenge:

I decided to post what I was working on I am unable to put any addition time into it as my computer only has 1gb of ram (which I will be upgrading next month)

Hopefully it is clear what I was attempting to do and is interesting enough to warrant some of you attention

And hopefully I posted this in time


01-25-2008, 11:51 PM
A party in the Underdark with those fun-loving Drow, there's an idea! Nice to see another participant. I see several spelling errors in the invitation, though, I'd think the Drow would be more careful than that. Nice try.

01-26-2008, 09:43 AM
Yep I posted with spelling errors

Not my first choice, but illustrator cs2 was using up 800mb of ram and I only have 1 GB. So consequently I was getting into a situation where my system was freezing and I was unable to continue working on the file.

One of the problems with illustrator is that it is a major resource hog,
And I was abusing it. I placed a large Photoshop file and added more and more effects layers until, bam my computer was freezing up, just when I was beginning to make some real progress.

My next step will be to get a second 1 GB stick of ram. If that doesn’t do it, it will be time to bite the bullet and swap out my P4 for a duo core or is it a core 2 duo

01-26-2008, 10:25 AM
You might try something other than Illustrator, Inkscape maybe? I run a professional graphic design studio - all I got is 1 GB or RAM on my best PC, yet I create all my maps and professional work on that system. Sometimes I even use my other PCs for some work and they have at best 512 MB RAM - yet I have no memory problems.

I understand what you did by bringing a large and probably high-res file into Illustrator which began to hog up memory - Photoshop eats tons of memory too in its operation.

One of the main reasons I like Xara Xtreme over Adobe products is the much more sensible way it handles memory usage.

I've never had a problem with only having 1 GB RAM for any project...

01-26-2008, 10:35 AM
It sounds as if you have a few problems when it comes to using illustrator.

1) One Gig of ram may not be enough, so have you checked the location of your scratch disks? Is the scratch disk on the install drive? That could be your problem right there. If you have a second physical drive on your system, try setting the scratch disks there, and you should notice an improvement in your system experience.


01-26-2008, 02:59 PM

Just because one remembers to setup their scratch disk correctly in Photoshop does not mean they will remember to do so with illustrator

Also I have les than 2GB remaining on my start up disk

I will have to do some disk clean up maybe uninstall some of the kids games (lego star wars takes over a gig)

I also downloaded the trial version of Xara Xtreme this program looks really cool


01-26-2008, 06:03 PM
Great to see someone try out Xara Xtreme, you won't regret it. If you have any feel for a graphics app, you should figure Xara in a day or two. Oh, maybe not every nuance of the app, but its very easy to figure out.

In Photoshop, for example, you open a raster image, apply a filter to see the result - as far as memory usage goes, PS creates a duplicate of your original to apply a filter to it. Once applied PS creates a duplicate again to show you the results. Just to do a simple operation eats 3 times as much memory as necessary - hence filled scratch disks on large projects.

In Xara, you open the raster image, select a filter or option, this is applied to the original image and you see the same image as result. Xara never created a duplicate at anytime - no reason too. If you click undo, you are undo the applied filter, the original is viewed without filter, still original image. This is a much more efficient use of memory - that's why Xara is so fast.

Xara has some ultimate size restrictions compared to Adobe products - its not the perfect proggie in every way, but fast, powerful and easy to use. Post a WIP of your first project using Xara and explain detailed steps, I'd be interested - in helping to educate the rest of the Guild...

Good luck! 8)

PS: I've got a couple light duty Xara Xtreme Tutorials in the Software Discussion Forum - look for entries around July/August 2007, that's when I uploaded them.