Yesterday, I got a phone call from Alice, a friend, complaining about how slow her Lightroom has become. She uses Mac and I’m a Windows guy. She wanted me to come, I wasn’t too keen, she uses Mac and I’m no Mac expert. I can identify the screen, the mouse and the keyboard but what about the right clicks on a Mac? Nothing that important yesterday so away I went.

I arrived and Alice showed me how slow her Lightroom was. It was slow. Very, very painful. Actually, it wasn’t just Lightroom, the mouse was very sluggish and I noticed that every time she was doing something on the screen, lights on her router were flashing. The router is the piece of networking equipment that allows computers on different network to connect to each other like between your computer and the Internet. Why were they flashing? Was something wrong with her network? Now that’s something that I understand. So I started asking questions, like:

  1. When did it happens?
  2. What was she doing ?

Then I asked the question:

Me: What else’s running?
Alice: Nothing, I just have Safari running in the background.
Me: Can I see?
Alice: It’s nothing…

It wasn’t nothing. She was on a website running slideshows with a refresh of every few seconds. So every few seconds the Safari was downloading a high res photo.

Lightroom runs very differently on Mac than on Windows. Lightroom on a Mac is connected to the database catalog via the network. The catalog happens to be on the same computer so the network is local, but it’s still through the network. It still need proper networking…

Closing Safari and suddenly like the Mazda ads: “zoom, zoom”.

When running Lightroom, you should close all the other programs, if possible.