View Full Version : Printfab gone wrong...

10-01-2007, 01:40 AM

After banging on about how good a program PrintFab was (see Sticky, above, on Photo output quality), I now have a problem with it, or think I do.

Running: iMac, OS10.4.9, QuarkX, Photoshop, PrintFab, Canon MP800 Pixma printer.

All brilliant up until two days ago, when wallop, print output from both QX and Photoshop went to hell - all prints went about 20-30% darker.

I suspect the PrintFab Rip, since the problem is on 2 output programs, so:

a) I tried without the RIP. Quality much improved (although not as good as it had been with the RIP.

b) Checked mechanism in printer by making a colour copy of the original print, which came out fine (thus I think eliminating foreign bodies in the ink, for example).

c) Downloaded a new RIP, used its uninstall facility, then reinstalled.

d) checked USB connections.

e) checked paper.

None of the above worked. I have left a message on PrintFab's internal discussion forum, but I'm asking you guys in case you can see something obvious (and maybe Mac-related) that is going wrong.

If you want to see the pics in question, they are here:





1. Original print, fine, as the system was running up until last week.
2. Current print of same pic with PrintFab.
3. Current print of pic WITHOUT PrintFab.
4. A colour copy of the original, just for a test.

Any ideas gratefully received!

Allen, London.

10-01-2007, 12:39 PM
Seems like ICC Profile hell ;)

Maybe the prefs file from either printfab or System or both are messed up.

Did you install a System update or did you make any changes (everything could be the culprit)



10-01-2007, 01:03 PM
Hello Nicolas.

Mac system: haven't touched it. If automatic updates come through the 'Software Update' route, I usually tick 'Yes', (unless it's for odd things like iTunes etc), so I might have said yes to a 10.4. update without thinking much about it - although not, I think, in the past couple of weeks.

PrintFab: no, haven't touched it at all, except for the uninstall and reinstall I did after the problem came up.


10-01-2007, 07:02 PM
Ahh, if you updated QT which is within iTunes package then you have:)

QT is not only the thing which shows videos it is an entire framework and with the help of the QT some image renderings are done by OSX.
So yes, this could be the problem.

Also as I said a gone bad preference file deinstalling PF does not remove the settings ;)

So you have to clean it out of your own or deinstall it and use Applejack to delete the outdated prefs, than do a reinstall of PF.

Just thinking out loud



10-01-2007, 11:06 PM

sounds good, but also sounds beyond me.

What do I DO? Is there a set of instructions somewhere that I can work through? Or is it a question of just deleting one or two specific files?

(My English might be good, but that doesn't mean I'm fully computer literate!)


10-03-2007, 05:29 AM
Can anyone recommend a RIP to run from my iMac 10.4.9 (Intel) to a Canon Pixma MP800, for high quality photographic output from Quark and Photoshop?

I've tried PrintFab, and after 2 or 3 good months encountered a catastrophic problem, and have had no reply from PrintFab's own advice forum, so maybe it was just too cheap ($50) in the first place.

I don't mind paying 3 or 4 times that for either a better software RIP or even a basic hardware RIP, if it does the job consistently.

Any ideas?

Allen, London.

10-03-2007, 11:39 AM

First things first.
You don't have to start another thread on the same/on going topic.

Never touch a running system!
Don't do updates etc. if those are not needed for your critical work!
Also always do backups before changing something on critical systems!

The problem is you installed QT and iTunes which is used by PrintFab.
QT also updates some core frameworks and color rendering intent's (those are also used by printfab) and this messed things up. If you uninstall a programm not all informations (like the preferences) are getting removed, so you still have the messed up preferences form printfab. Thats not the fault of the makers of printfab!

Also other RIPs ($6000+) are no longer working right after the last system (10.4.9/10.4.10)/QT update because of some changes made by Apple. The only thing to do is going back to the old version.

In other words, your PrintFab (queu) is gone south due to system software changes/updates!

Once I saw the selected ICC profiles got changed thats it you have to go to Systempref>Colorsync and select the old profiles again thats all.

Once I saw, a no go also after reselecting the right profiles and after a complete reinstall with deleting the old prefs so only a new version of the RIP will solve the issue.

Every application has its preferences you have to uninstall printfab and delete those preferences AppleJack is a tool to do this but, I prefer the manual way here.

Yes there are other software RIPs like the EFI RIPs (1300EUR+), Herlequin RIPs (3000EUR+) or PowerRIPX (doesn't support your printer and is 357EUR+) the point is the High-End RIPs only supporting High-End printers ($2000+) and the more favorable ones are using the same architecture as printfab so they may have the same problems.

A cheap hardware RIP is running 8.000EUR+ up to 25.000EUR+ and you can bet those RIPs are for digital press' or Color Laser Copiers. So a 500 to 25.000EUR+ RIP won't support your printer. But back in 2000 all vendors changed to software RIPs, Canon/OCE/Xerox ColorPass', (all made by EFI) EFI changed from the Aplha+Linux plattform to Pentium and Win), but basically all of them are WinPCs (Pentium 4s or Celerons) with a Display and some added software to command the RIP with 6 or 8 keys on the display. "Real" Hardware RIPs like the first AGFA, Heidelberg, Creo and EFI RIPs no longer been made. So if you have a PC/Mac with the software and an interface card like the Xerox Splash RIP, Canon EDOX etc. is mostly the same as a PC labeled by Canon or Xerox in a custom made enclosure.

So if you bought it, call Zedonet (the maker of printfab) you have support but the PF-forum is not the best way. I would give them a call or an Email and I guess they will send you a "walkthrough" a step by step ToDo list. http://www.printfab.de/contact.html



10-04-2007, 08:15 AM

Not too sure of some of your points.

'Never touch a running system! Don't do updates etc. if those are not needed for your critical work!'

Does this mean you are advising NOT to take Mac OSX updates that come through automatically?

And you say 'always do backups before changing something...'. Backups of what? I have, of course, got all applications backed-up to an alternative hard drive, but would that have stopped the current problem, if it was caused by me taking an update for an (apparently) unrelated program?

Incidentally, here are the last entries from my update log file:

2007-06-01 10:40:53 +0100: Installed "iTunes" (7.2)
2007-06-01 10:40:59 +0100: Installed "Security Update 2007-005 (Universal)" (1.1)
2007-06-01 10:41:37 +0100: Installed "Security Update (QuickTime 7.1.6)" (1.0)
2007-06-22 17:31:08 +0100: Installed "Mac OS X Update (Intel)" (10.4.10)
2007-07-01 13:54:17 +0100: Installed "iTunes" (7.3)
2007-07-01 13:55:15 +0100: Installed "Security Update 2007-006 (Universal)" (1.0)
2007-07-17 06:16:25 +0100: Installed "Audio Update 2007-001" (1.0)
2007-07-26 14:12:37 +0100: Installed "QuickTime" (7.2)
2007-07-26 14:15:08 +0100: Installed "iTunes" (7.3.1)
2007-08-19 12:35:59 +0100: Installed "Security Update 2007-007 (Intel)" (1.0)

PrintFab was running fine on 31st August 2007, i.e. after all the above updates. It went wrong during September. No further updates or installations had been made.

But if PrintFab can be 'messed up' by the innocent updating of other valid programs, maybe it should carry a warning on the label!

Thank you for your information about other RIPs, from which I gather that there are no other comparable software RIPs on the market, at all, and that PrintFab is the sole option. Ah well.

Anyway, I had already taken your advice and contacted PrintFab by email, and they are now looking into the problem

I will let you know their comments.


10-04-2007, 11:04 AM
Does this mean you are advising NOT to take Mac OSX updates that come through automatically?

Good God! NO!! :)

Auto update is probably OK most of the time for a consumer box (not that I would recommend it), but the more specialized your setup, the more dangerous it is. If you have a "work station" that has to do stuff, I would agree: Never update it unless you have a problem to solve, a specific reason (new software requires it, etc.), and even then, make a full clone of the box. Then the updated box is a safe test of the updates/patches/fixes. If it works fine, great. You are done. If not, reinstall the old image, and you are back to work.

10-04-2007, 01:25 PM

Not taken the wrong way at all, but still suffering from shock!

I thought, in my innocence, that if Apple sent these updates through, then they were APPROVED and NECESSARY (to improve existing software, or whatever).

As you can see from my list, I haven't just taken them in willy-nilly, but have certainly not expected them to cause problems.

Not any more.

Alright, I am just an ordinary Joe, and certainly no computer geek or guru, but it does make me wonder how many thousands of other ordinary Joes there are out there merrily clicking 'Install new software' every few weeks, and NOT KNOWING that it can screw up all sorts of apparently unrelated things in your system.

So, forget my crack about PrintFab having a warning on the label - maybe there should be a warning in big letters across the top of the MacGuru Forum, telling saps like me not to be so trusting.

Ah well, you live and learn, hopefully.


10-04-2007, 04:29 PM
I think what Unc and Nic are trying to say is... You will need to download certain items. Via Software Update your going to get every little change to the OS or any Apple iApp such as... iPhone, iLife's, iWork's and a BUNCH of other applications you don't need on a production computer. Keep it clean with the most basic OS X your applications need. AND when you do an update, FIRST, BackUp your operating system to another drive/partition and let it sit then update your system and after a few days, weeks or a time period that will test ALL your needs and if stable you are good to go. If you have problems then you have a good working" saved backup to use.

Also many people like to download the specific file from Apple's downloads (I save them) rather than SU and install at their connivence.. I prefer to do this and leave the computer while it is updating. AND always download from a reputable dealer/ISP etc.

Alright, I am just an ordinary Joe, and certainly no computer geek or guru, but it does make me wonder how many thousands of other ordinary Joes there are out there merrily clicking 'Install new software' every few weeks, and NOT KNOWING that it can screw up all sorts of apparently unrelated things in your system. A bunch that run basic applications that 99% of people do and they rarely conflict because Apple took more time and I am sure did some extra testing. ;)

This entire post is my opinion nothing scientific.

10-08-2007, 06:59 PM
THX Unc and RWM!

I was away over the weekend.


what I was trying to say is don't apply an update just because it is listed at ASU and wait at least a week and take a look and some Mac websites if someone is coming up with problems after the updates.

Don't be a Betatester on a critical system!

And yes, always do a backup from your system disk if you are not sure on new updates so you have the chance to easily revert to the "known as working" backup from the backup image.

Infact most users don't know or even care about ASU they just apply those if available. But there are several things lets say in the QT update not just the part to view videos. Those things in the background are named framework and some 3rd party application are using those so if those frameworks getting changed by Apple there is always a chance ;) that 3rd party software which is using those is no longer able to work correctly.

Good news that you contacted Zedonet hopefully they figure the error and they get you back in business.

Please let us know if they could fix your problem.
If not I'll try my best to guid you thru all those of uninstalling and reinstalling as good as I can.



10-08-2007, 09:29 PM

Allen: sorry, I meant to post back. We all have to balance "new and improved" vs. "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

The easies and safest thing to do is backup (clone or image) your entire system before you update, so you can roll it back if things go bad. Apple tries hard - and does a good job - not breaking things with updates. But it happens. So we have to be prepared.

There are ways to roll back your OS, but it much easier and faster to backup first and be ready to restore your machine. Plus, you have a backup should your box die unexpectedly too. A third advantage to backing up and restoring a machine is that every file is defragmented during the process.

Get those backups rolling and you will be prepared next time. As Nic said, yell if we can help with anything else.

10-09-2007, 12:17 AM
So, Nicholas, Unclemac...

By next week, a Powerbook G4 will be sitting near to my iMac, as I've just bought a secondhand one. We didn't buy a laptop because of the PrintFab problems, but as it happens it could help.

Now (and this is assuming the PrintFab problem ain't fixed by then) this means I will have a second Mac, uncontaminated by my unwise downloaded updates, and virginal as far as PrintFab is concerned. This at least will prove, if proof were necessary, that my Canon Pixma is not the culprit.

I have not heard back from Zedonet yet, and will leave it a few days before I ask them again.

Thanks for your time, and I'll keep you updated.