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Recently I experienced a slow-connection speed to my server which hosts all my current projects. There are always intermittent slow tmes but this was particularly noticeable because I had a deadline to meet and not enough time to meet it!

I was designing a double-page spread for a golfing magazine and the copy deadline was just an hour and a half away. I was in a creative mood and I was excited to create a masterpiece over two pages – it was a rare treat of advertorial space to use as I saw fit. So it was utterly frustrating when my ideas which I wanted to get onto the canvas as fast as I could were hampered by simple things as opening a 3MB Photoshop file. My frustration was quickly evolving into anger as the multi-coloured spinning beach ball of death persisted to burn itself onto my retinas. As I scribbled my ideas on paper whilst waiting for logos, images and reference material to open through my usually fast server connection, I became increasingly dislussioned with my initial ideas and I started to scribble new concepts. I’d glance back at my screen to see the spinning ball seemingly laughing at me as the clock ticked on and my deadline approached.
Finally, I had all the media on screen I needed and started to compose my layout. It was going well, so I hit “Save”. Beach ball.

Two minutes later my mac finally confirmed that it had saved. That was it. I couldn’t work at this pace so I reset my wi-fi, tried an Ethernet connection, rebooted my machine and closed any and all unnecessary applications that may or may not be hampering my progress.
The clock was still ticking. I was fretting. I was above ready to launch my laptop or the small-framed I.T. support guy.

I was angry that technology was holding back the creative process and in many ways putting an end to it altogether. I wasn’t inspired anymore. What with messing about with connections and the frustrating waiting of files to open I lost the feeling, the passion and the excitement I had when I first received the brief.

Sometimes I would click “Open” on a file of about 34MB and go and make a cup of tea.

It did however give me time to reflect on days gone by when slow connections were common place in busy studios. Large photoshop files notoriously took a long time to open. Sometimes I would click “Open” on a file which was about 34MB and go and make a cup of tea. On my return the loading bar might say something like 73%. Was this just the design studios I worked in or were everyone’s connections like this in the early 2000’s?
Designing back then, I recall, was a drawn out process because you had to allow time for saving, opening, rendering and exporting. You even had enough time to get completely side tracked in iTunes when you popped in there to look for a track while your document saved only to find yourself 30 minutes later burning to disc the awesome playlist you had just complied.

Nowadays I get frustrated when a 100MB file doesn’t open within 60 seconds. My productivity has definietley increased with these faster connections speeds but my creativity has also benefited because I am able to create designs must faster and move on to the next iteration or project without the down time.

Does anyone else have any similar creative bug bares?