Posted 07 March 2006 - 09:19 AM
The Font Reserve (single user) interface was so smooth, made it so easy to add filters and attributes to fonts and font sets so I never ever could mistakenly use the wrong font. Unfortunately no improvements have been made since Extensis purchased it 3, or 5 years ago. I can't imagine how great the product would be if Diamondsoft had been doing the R&D all this time.
At this point I'll use the existing Font Reserve until it is no longer supported by a Mac OS update. At that point (or maybe now) I'llI use Linotypes FontExplorerX. It does a good job and its free.
Posted 07 March 2006 - 09:28 AM
Well, Fusion nuked my hard drive. I had to completely reinstall everything after formatting the hard drive. Not even the archive version of OS X's installer would make things right.
Now I'll admit that I probably made some bad choices in letting it control my system fonts. When I did that, that's when the trouble started.
As for Font Doctor, it seems to be able to fix minor problems, but throw a real broken system font at it and it crawls away into a corner and wimpers.
I'm not impressed at all. I took Suitcase off my system and I'll never let it back on until it has a completely different user interface that makes sense. Or it comes with adequate documentation that really explains how everything works - in detail, and with explanations of why to put certain fonts where, and what fonts to leave in the system folders, etc. etc. Extnesis really made me unhappy with their font management software with Fusion.
The name makes sense I guess, My G5 had a melt-down. /forums/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif
Posted 07 March 2006 - 10:39 AM
Posted 07 March 2006 - 12:36 PM
Suitcase Fusion REMOVES the capability to make activated fonts available to applications running in Classic that was included in Suitcase X1.
While the recent arrival of Intel-based Macs probably sounded the death knell for Classic (at least as an Apple supported operating environment), many of us are still using Classic applications, and we appreciate the ability to activate fonts for both the Classic and OS X environments in a single step.
I will certainly NOT be upgrading to Suitcase Fusion in the near future.
Posted 07 March 2006 - 02:06 PM
Suitcase is a classical mythical "solution" for a real problem which is the bad font management in OSX.
Whenever this problem rears its ugly head (it never really goes away for Graphic Designers) Suitcase is paraded as the solution. The reality is it is clumsy, slooooow and causes further problems.
There is a whole generation of Designers who think that this whole font cludge is normal, never having seen anything better.
Better to use Linotype's FontExplorerX , which is about as near to the old Adobe ATM in Mac Classic as we are going to get, and spend the $100 on something useful.
Posted 08 March 2006 - 06:39 AM
However, Font Reserve's font vault was not as rock solid in my experience as the review claims. Over the six or seven years I've used Font Reserve the vault structure twice got corrupted somehow so that it became unstable and I had to rebuild the vault from scratch, including the font sets I had created. Not fun, I can tell you.
I was told by Extensis that they have improved the font vault feature but I will hesitate to use it anyway because of the time and trouble involved in replacing it. What would be helpful is the ability to repair the vault database; the fonts themselves, according to Font Doctor, had not been damaged at the time Font Reserve started acting up. It was the database structure that was somehow corrupted, reporting obscure errors that there was no way to correct.
The most useful feature in Suitcase might be automatic font activation - if it works. When you open an old project to update it you may not always remember what fonts you used and it can take a while to track them down. I've got the demo of Suitcase Fusion; I'll have to find the time to test it out.
One other caveat: the documentation for Fusion recommends using the vault to store all your fonts in a central location and eliminating copies of the fonts elsewhere on your hard drive. I would never use any utility to handle the only copies of my fonts. I will always keep separate backups of my font files because my experience suggests that all font management programs screw up sooner or later.
Posted 08 March 2006 - 12:50 PM
"Suitcase Fusion REMOVES the capability to make activated fonts available to applications running in Classic that was included in Suitcase X1."
That hasn't been my experience with Fusion. Whenever I activate PostScript and TrueType fonts in Fusion, then switch back to QuarkXPress in Classic, the new fonts appear in its menu. (QuarkXPress was already running in Classic when I used Fusion to activate the new fonts). The same success also occurred with theTypeBook, a utility for printing type specimen sheets in Classic.
Note, however, that when Fusion activates OpenType fonts, those fonts are not available to my Classic applications. This isn't too surprising since OpenType support was only added to ATM at the very end of its life in Mac OS 9. I am curious about whether anyone has trouble with Classic applications recognizing PostScript and/or TrueType fonts that Fusion activated.
Posted 08 March 2006 - 01:50 PM
My misunderstanding came from Extensis' reply to my inquiry when Suitcase Fusion was first announced:
> Does Suitcase Fusion support font activation for Classic applications
> such as PageMaker?
> Your published information does not mention this, so I must assume the
> Entered By: Support Rep @ Jan 12 2006 3:16PM
> No, Suitcase Fusion does not support auto-activation for Classic
> applications. I would recommend that you contiue to use Suitcase X1 if you
> use PageMaker 7. Suitcase X1 is Tiger compatible.
> Kind regards,
> Technical Support
> Extensis, Inc.
Posted 03 April 2006 - 08:15 PM
I kid you not, it regularly took hours to respond to an activation of a group of about 20 meager fonts. The only solution Extensis offers to these ridiculous wait times in their manual is just don't force quit the app as it can lead to serious problems. O-k-a-y.
But, this is not the end of my tale. I idiotically trusted Extensis to manage my system fonts. I noticed immediately that some of the fonts in a few of my applications (ie, Apple Mail...the number indicators by the folders) were a bit wonky. But this was heaven compared to what was just around the corner.
Long story short: "Startup disk is full" message.
After hours of panic and attempting to isolate what was caused my startup disk to fill to capacity, I found the culprit. A 10 GB 'asl.log' full of the same error message over and over again from another piece of software that couldn't access the system font it needed to operate. Thanks again, Extensis!
It was at this point that I began shining up my boots to drop kick Suitcase out of my life forever. Can you say AppZapper?
Anyway, I wasted a little more time deleting the 10 GB asl.log file and disabled the app that was seeking the font that Extensis was monkeying with, then spent a full day reinstalling and reorganizing 2700 fonts -- after waiting over half a day beforehand for Suitcase Fusion to allow me to even access them (can you say, "Application Not Responding"?).
Thankfully, the FREE Linotype FontExplorer X was there to help me pick up the pieces from what seemed an eternity in Suitcase Fusion Hell.
Anyway, the silver lining to this story is that I discovered that FontExplorer X is a genuine breeze to use. Quick, responsive, and pretty to look at. Did I say QUICK? Yes!
Oh wait! Not so fast. It appears that when Suitcase 'managed my system fonts' it altered several of them.
The original Helvetica and Times system fonts (in the /System/Library/Fonts folder):
Helvetica LT MM
Times LT MM
... were apparently subdivided further by Extensis to include the following:
So, when you move your system fonts back to their PROPER place (which is, incidentally, NOT in Extensis' file vault... apparently so secure even the system can't access it), be sure when you're doublechecking the relocated fonts in the '/System/Library/Fonts' folder against Apple's default installed font list, make sure that these 4 additional fonts (that Extensis has so nicely made for you) are there. (Why can't Extensis just put the ORIGINALS back where they're supposed to be?)
Apple's List (notice the 4 fonts mentioned are NOT on it): http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=301332
Anyway, all is back to normal now (I hope). It remains to be seen whether the four mutated fonts above will introduce any further havoc. We'll see...
Posted 04 April 2006 - 01:09 PM
Bear in mind that all the problems I've mentioned with Fusion, I do not see in Font Reserve. All 2300+ fonts are activated permanently and all applications perform optimally.
P.S. I emailed the URL to this forum thread to the Southeastern Extensis rep. I just wanted to point out to him that my experiences were not isolated and others were having problems with Fusion as well.
Posted 12 April 2006 - 10:26 AM
Been a loyal Suitcase User since version 3.
This is the worst release i've ever seen.
I have over 15 years managing many many thousands of fonts for a vartiety of clients, so I know what i am doing...
Nothing will get suitcase fusion to work in my environment. Admittedly I do have a large number of very old fonts, but i need to use them for reprints of old projects and cannot replace them with new fonts as all my text will rewrap (a big problem for book publishers).
My experience is that if you have any (and especially opentype fonts) installed in Classic (because you need them to work in classic with Quark, and that is the ony way), then Fusion stops working altogether. It cannot "see" fonts installed in Classic fonts folder, can't manage them, and can't resolve any conflicts between Classic and OSX fonts.
Fonts that are activated, even by hand, and show no problems in Fusion preview and no problems in Font Doctor, yet they DO NOT SHOW UP in any program whatsoever.
I have been working with Priorty Support at Extensis (and they are very very nice and accomodating), I sent them all my fonts to test, but no one can get Fusion to work for me and my 30 co-workers.
Fusion's Auto-activation (which I use exclusively with great success in X1) does NOT work in Classic, and it would be painful to have to open every Quark doc in Classic, then notice which fonts need activation and activate them in OSX and then BACK to classic...(and since some are in eps files, you'd have to try to print or do a collect report to even find out what they are).
That said, I think the idea of BREAKING all your suitcases so the fonts are "loose" is a horrible idea.
Tha means that if I open a doc with Helvetica plain, ONLY plain will activate, and if I want to use bold or italic, I have to activate it by hand (thereby negating the usefullness of auto-activation). Plus, even if I DO Activate an entire font by hand, ONLY THE STYLES ACTUALLY USED in the document will COLLECT (for output), because "Anti-Suitcase" has broken all my fonts up into individual styes (even if you don't use the vault), and Quark/Adobe (and Markzware) collect features do not therefore, recognize "Helvetica" and all its styles as one family (font suitcase) anymore so ONLY used styles are created and therefore if I need an emergency change "on-press" (client saw bluelines and we need to change headline to Italic right now!..) the vendor will NOT have the whole suitcase and will NOT have italic and cannot fix my file. So I would have to collect the fonts using Fusion itself, and then instead of 2 or 3 suitcases I will get 50 "broken up" ones to send to my printing vendor.. THAT'S PROGRESS???
So I am sticking with Suitcase X1 as long as I can, then I guess I switch to Font Agent Pro, which still works the way i need, and will not "break up" my suicases if i don't want it to.
Have use Font Agent Pro will success for some of my clients. Still would NOT reccomend the "vault" feature of that program either... (keep your fonts where they are, my friend).
For me, Linotype's free font manager works a little better than Suitcase Fusion, but not much. Font Explorer has many of the same problems and does work at first, but soon (like after 20 mintues) it just stops. And of course, with Linotype's, you get the support you have paid for ...(none, it's free, but also free of one-on-one support). Linotype's support did actually e-mail me after a month to say "have you tried our new version?" Not yet. So maybe that will work... will try it again some day when I am really really bored.
Posted 20 May 2006 - 06:11 PM
Posted 22 September 2006 - 03:04 PM
If you would like to discuss Suitcase Fusion or any other Extensis products, please visit our new Extensis forums: http://forums.extensis.com.
Also, as was mentioned in a number of these posts, we have created a Font Management Best Practices Guide. We make a concerted effort to update this guide as the list of required fonts changes as the OS changes. Please download a copy of this document from http://www.extensis.com/fmbpg/
Once again, my thanks for your constructive comments.
Technical Product Specialist