BookSmart

1.9.0-1.9.1 Just Plain Dies when adding a photo from computer

I was working on a book – beginning to work on a book, fortunately – and BookSmart got into a state where when I tried to add a photo file from my computer, BookSmart would either:

  • crash immediately upon entering the file dialog
  • crash upon adding a file (double click / enter / whatever) from the file dialog, regardless of whether it was a JPG/PNG/GIF or what size or whatever
  • leave the file dialog open after adding a file and then crash when it was closed
  • leave the file dialog open, survive closing it, and then crash when I attempted to drag the newly-added file

Sometimes it died instantly with no message. Sometimes it died with a dialog saying it was dying.

Uninstalling and reinstaling 1.9.0-whatever didn’t help. Saving the book as an archive and reimporting it didn’t help. Installing 1.9.1 this morning didn’t help. Basically the book appear{s,ed} to be uneditable and unrecoverable.

I was also experiencing long periods of 99% CPU (minutes at a time) with the interface frozen. I haven’t had 1.9.1 installed long enough to know if that’s fixed or not.

This was all working just fine earlier under 1.9.0 so I wonder what precipitated this. I also wonder, is there any way to recover a book that has been damaged this way? Would be nice if there were, because it would be a big bummer to have 200 pages blown away.

I’m running XP on a laptop that has been fairly stable for some time. 

Replytopic_b_normal
Posted by
remid0d0s0
Oct 22, 2007 2:05pm PDT
Permalink
remid0d0s0
 

I don’t have an answer, but I do have the same problem.  I just installed 1.9.1 (I previously had 1.8.something).  I started a brand new book, and every time I try to add a photo from "My Computer" it crashes.  No error message, just closes up shop.

There are a couple of posts about a potential patch, but that seems to point back to 1.9.1.  Anyone have any ideas on this one?

Posted by
mollib
Oct 22, 2007 4:59pm PDT
Permalink
mollib
 

I had this problem on my first try with Booksmart. I’m using 10.4.10 Apple Mac. Can’t remember what version of Booksmart it was, but it was back in July. I think the problem for me was using large files. I had to trash the application and start from the beginning. Since then I’ve made my files no bigger than 10mb Jpgs which seems to have solved the problem. Good luck

Best

Barry J.

www.barryjholmes.com

Posted by
labarryj
Oct 22, 2007 6:55pm PDT
Permalink
labarryj
 

I had that problem when importing certain images. Booksmart 1.9 would crash continuously and I didn’t know what was causing it. Finally I created a new book, and imported the images one by one (not as a batch). Yes, it was extremely painful and tedious, but I was able to isolate the particular image that was causing the crash. My guess is that it was a corrupted image file. I deleted that photo file, relaunched Booksmart and continued to import the other photos with no problem. It crashed again when it encountered another corrupt image. Out of 100 photos, I found 4 that were bad, so I just put those in a separate folder and didn’t use them. After isolating the "bad" photos, my Booksmart didn’t crash anymore—well actually it still did, due to multiple undos, but after I installed 1.9.1 it worked perfectly after that.

Posted by
adrilon
Oct 22, 2007 8:31pm PDT
Permalink
adrilon
 

To Barry – it isn’t/wasn’t a large file, because this was just a proof of concept that I was using to check out some layout ideas, with low res images.

To adrilon – that could explain my behavior but only if I had already imported a troublesome image from elsewhere, in this case, Flickr, which is where all the other images came from. Booksmart crashes on the very first image I attempt to import from my computer into this file. I had figured that the file was already hosed (and that it wasn’t the attempt to import causing the problem) but I hadn’t tried anything to fix it.

Curious. I’ll play around with it some more. Thanks. Any of you have more suggestions, please post away.

Posted by
remid0d0s0
Oct 22, 2007 9:14pm PDT
Permalink
remid0d0s0
 

Okay … maybe this one will help the developers.  I’m a software alpha geek myself and if it were my software, this behavior is odd enough that it would would definitely do it for me.

The symptom is that the "import a file" dialog stays open after the file is imported successfully. I noticed that it is the dialog is longer modal after the import and you can go right back to using Booksmart. Just push the dialog to the side and ignore it. You can drag and drop, edit, save, open, all that. But close the file dialog, bam, Booksmart dies. Apparently Booksmart thinks the file dialog is already closed and can’t quite conceive of it closing a second time.

So somewhere, a bit of code that is supposed to be handling that window correctly after the conclusion of the local file import, isn’t. 

Meanwhile, deleting some and/or all of the files I had imported from Flickr as well as saving and loading a time or three in the process had no effect.

Posted by
remid0d0s0
Oct 22, 2007 9:23pm PDT
Permalink
remid0d0s0
 

Why do the tech guys keep telling me to download the new version, when 1) I’ve already tried and it’s failed (still freezing) and 2) all of these people are having problems with the new version…..

Posted by
renee17
Oct 23, 2007 7:23am PDT
Permalink
renee17
 

I started a book in 1.8 and just updated booksmart today. When I installed 1.9.1, and opened the existing book, it ran a ‘book upgrade’ on it. Now I have a similar problem to that explained above except I never even get as far as a file open dialog box, It dies the moment I press the ‘Load pictures from computer’ button. I logged a technical issue, no response yet.

Has anyone been given a feasable explanation yet?

 Cheers, Sean

Posted by
Scenic
Oct 24, 2007 3:27am PDT
Permalink
Scenic
 

Fortunately, although I also downloaded and installed 1.9.1 – The last book project I had open was only as far as the title page.  I am hoping that my other books (which I did not load…) are fully intact.  It’s one thing to have a temporary bug in your new program, but if your new version is destroying projects that your clients spent countless hours slaving over, you have a SERIOUS PROBLEM.

I hope Blurb gets it together – quick.

I the mean time, wouldn’t it make sense for them to pull the corrupt version from the download page to avoid more angry customers?  I would…  Imagine all the new members for whom 1.9.1 is just a really bad first impression.  If it were mine, I may not come back…

Posted by
candidstreet
Oct 24, 2007 7:06am PDT
Permalink
candidstreet
 

Hello Blubarians,

The file browsing dialog has changed substantially in BookSmart 1.9 to makes native calls to the operating system which has allowed access to other partitions and external hard drives.

This is fairly new technology for us and as such a couple potential issues could arise. Specific feedback such as Remid0d0s0’s is extremely helpful and I encourage everybody to send their observations into Customer Support . Details like multiple partitions or usage of an external hard drive or what file system you are using (NTFS, FAT32 or HFS Journaled) or if you are using a shared network drive, can expedite the solution greatly.

One thing to try is moving the NativeSmart.dll file to the desktop and see if this clears up the odd behavior. The NativeSmart.dll file is located in:

<pre><code>Program Files> BookSmart > lib</code></pre>

I do preface this with the warning that if you are not comfortable going into the program files folder then don’t perform this procedure. Doing this will make BookSmart fall back to the old file browser. If this does not clear up the clash then I would suggest moving the file back, as their is another potential issue at hand.

Hope that helps.

-Ben

Senior Technical Support Specialist

Posted by
bmartinek
Oct 24, 2007 10:19am PDT
Permalink
bmartinek
 

I have successfully built a book ( 8X10)  and had no problems … Now I am building a 7X7 and all my original images loaded and were placed in the book fine. When I reopened the book to continue to work, I get images from my computer fine but when I go to move images into the template it freezes up and then just dies as well. I don’t go into programs as has been indicated … scares the S*%T out of me … looking for help here.

Scooter

Posted by
Grubb
Oct 24, 2007 11:41am PDT
Permalink
Grubb
 

Message to Blurb

 I have an 80 page 8×10 book  that I have more or less ready to go to proof but I just need to add a few photos and text . Version 1.91 quits every time I try to load a new photo.

Please repost version 1.8 so we can download it and finish our work while you do your bug checking on version 1.91. That way you’re happy and we’re happy  – otherwise we’ll go elsewhere, you lose cash flow, we’re unhappy and tell the rest of the world, your unhappy and so on.

Let’s play nice with the customers and keep this thing going – we simply can’t  use version 1.91 as it stands. So we’re very unhappy, the clock is ticking and we have to make a decision whether we stay with Blurb or go elsewhere.

 Thank you.

 

Posted by
GeorgioR
Oct 24, 2007 4:11pm PDT
Permalink
GeorgioR
 

What gives?<cite>??? The earlier version was painfully slow and now can’t even add or make corrections to the new 1.9.1. I have three wedding books to publish and was going to give blurb a chance. I’m running out of time. Any idea’s on what to do</cite>?

Posted by
gbford
Oct 24, 2007 4:24pm PDT
Permalink
gbford
 

I have also had crashing problems with the new version. Since the new version has different themes, I had to completely re-do a partially started book (and I was already up to 86pgs).  As I moved the images into the new format, my computer crashed at least 7 times (I finally lost count) within a two hour period.

What to do?   

Posted by
WMannPhoto
Oct 24, 2007 5:46pm PDT
Permalink
WMannPhoto
 

I had same problem but found a work around. I simple use drag and drop from an open explorer window to the blurb software. It seems to import many photos without any lock up and crashing of the blurb software.

Posted by
dc2photo
Oct 24, 2007 6:58pm PDT
Permalink
dc2photo
 

Regarding the response from Ben, Senior Technical Support Specialist:

Is this really  Blurb’s solution to dealing witht the current problem, "One thing to try is moving the NativeSmart.dll file…  ...<pre><code>Program Files> BookSmart > lib</code></pre>"?!?

Are you serious???

Just becuse there are a few of us who would be comfortable doing this, or even know what you are talking about, you are making a big mistake assuming that most people will.  The whole point of service like Blurb is that it’s easy for everyone to use, that you can be a novice computer user and still make a book of family photos and give it to your grandma for her birthday.

Blurb has got to get it together.  Look at gbford’s post.  This user has a professional business to run and I guarantee that it only takes a few frustrating set backs and they’ll be bad mouthing Blurb for the rest of forever.

I have several books I want to work on right now and I’m dead in the water unitl this is fixed.  I won’t even open my half finished projects for fear of irreparable damage.

 

I’ve been recomending Blurb to a lot of people over the last year and I hope that I still will be next year…

 

 

Posted by
candidstreet
Oct 24, 2007 11:37pm PDT
Permalink
candidstreet
 

I can confirm that moving the dll file works for me. Thanks Ben. I hear the frustration in what candidstreet is saying, but I have to say, that this fix is not too much of a problem for me. Yes it’s going to put people off and yes, Blurb need to use a bit more cautious language when suggesting using the beta. Bottom line though, the price for fast paced software developement and release is this kind of issue and beta is well understood to mean ‘not fully tested’. It pains me to admit it (after wasting a few hours of down time), but I have to say I am still very impressed with this book publishing workflow tool.

 Cheers,

Sean

Posted by
Scenic
Oct 25, 2007 2:11am PDT
Permalink
Scenic
 

Yo Ben,

Would you please let us know the instant it is no longer necessary to perform brain surgery in order to run your latest “upgrade?”

Thanks in advance!!!

Posted by
Michal
Oct 25, 2007 4:44am PDT
Permalink
Michal
 

Thanks Ben! 

 Removing the NativeSmart.dll file fixed it for me. The program runs at top speed again. Yeah!

Posted by
pasoccupe
Oct 25, 2007 7:00pm PDT
Permalink
pasoccupe
 

OK, hold on <del>—I wrote that too quickly. It did make a big improvement, but after working for about 5 minutes, things slowed down a bit again. It’s still much more responsive, but I’m still seeing big lag times when, say, moving from the cover photo to editing the cover flap text, zooming the cover photo, clicking a menu item -</del> such as to change a theme or background… and I do still only have nine images in this new version of the book.  Sorry.

Posted by
pasoccupe
Oct 25, 2007 7:15pm PDT
Permalink
pasoccupe
 

Just downloaded the software 2 days ago and i am having the same problem importing files.  I must say that if this stuff isn’t usable it should not be out here.  It makes me have serious reservations about this service and their product.

Posted by
kuzzy
Nov 7, 2007 6:42am PDT
Permalink
kuzzy
 

Hi,

I just started using BookSmart and downloaded the 1.9.1 version of the software two days ago, and get the same problem whenever I’m trying to retrieve pictures from My Computer. For me, the programme crashes as soon as I close the dialog box. Since this seems to be some sort of bug, I’ve tried working around it by using my files from flickr (so far it hasn’t crashed that way) and uploading any files from My Computer on to flickr as Private and just making a set with one tag unique to the BookSmart Project title (e.g.: Portfolio). If I’m using files off My Computer, I’ll try to save them for the last part of a sesssion and avoid closing the dialogue box (you can work behind it, or move it over to a corner of your screen). Even though the programme saves automatically, it sometimes crashes before the most recent picture from My Computer is saved; I try to do a manual save right after I get the image and before anything else. 

In summary, try these steps to work around the issue:

  • Upload your photos to flickr (or Smug Mug); private status if you’re doing personal projects, and use your project title as a tag for quick finding
  • If you’re using a files from your computer, save them towards the end of  your editing session and keep the dialogue box open after retrieving the image
  • As soon as you get an image from your computer (and hopefully the programme hasn’t crashed yet), do a manual save before any more editing

Hope this helps.
Posted by
Samurai_545
Nov 9, 2007 12:38pm PDT
Permalink
Samurai_545
 

I just wanted to add my similar problems. Wrote to support and heard nothing.

Posted by
ebwest
Nov 9, 2007 1:44pm PDT
Permalink
ebwest
 

yeeesh!

 I just uploaded this software yesterday and the same thing happened to me.  Thankfully I can upload from smugmug.  I came to blurb to make things easier for me!  I’m not about to start messing with moving program files around.  That never leads to anything good with me.

 Please fix this problem soon! 

Posted by
ladylaura
Nov 9, 2007 10:35pm PDT
Permalink
ladylaura
 

I’cew got the same problem too… submitted my query to Customer Service with no response yet…

Posted by
MarkNick75
Nov 11, 2007 1:31am PDT
Permalink
MarkNick75
 

i guess this answers my question as whether or not to download the new version…

Posted by
fotovult
Nov 12, 2007 3:25pm PDT
Permalink
fotovult
 

Just wanted to chime in here.. I have version 1.91xxxx and just opened a book I was previously working on.  Went to import 35 photos expecting the worst.. worked just fine.  Actually, the import and directory structure was faster than I’ve ever experienced.

I also add a bunch of photos to the book without incident.  Just wanted to add the comment that it is working for me..  if I can offer any assistance in resolving, please just let me know.

Posted by
Jingothecat
Nov 13, 2007 9:30am PDT
Permalink
Jingothecat
 

Hello Blubarians,

We are working on a fix for this, so stay tuned.

MarkNick75, I took a look for your email and you wrote into Suggestions and Feedback as opposed to Technical Support or Customer Service. We do not reply to the suggestions and feedback form.

In any case the solution is the same as posted above:

One thing to try is moving the NativeSmart.dll file to the desktop and see if this clears up the odd behavior. The NativeSmart.dll file is located in:
C:\ >Program Files > BookSmart > lib

I do preface this with the warning that if you are not comfortable going into the program files folder then don’t perform this procedure. Doing this will make BookSmart fall back to the old file browser. If this does not clear up the clash then I would suggest moving the file back, as their is another potential issue at hand.

Hope that helps.

-Ben

Senior Technical Support Specialist

Posted by
bmartinek
Nov 13, 2007 11:45am PDT
Permalink
bmartinek
 

Ben

i am having the same problem on my MAC – how do i prevent the native file selection … you suggestion is for PC users only …

peter

Posted by
peterleslie
Nov 14, 2007 5:05pm PDT
Permalink
peterleslie
 

FOR MAC Users … i found the NativeSmart lib …

RightMouse click on BookSmart App – Choose show package contents
Navigate to … Contents / Resources / Java folder

there you will find libNativeSmart.jnilib

HOWEVER

i moved this to the desktop – restarted Booksmart – went to the file selection (and the dialogue reverted to some old file selection dialogue) ... however as soon as the application started to import the images …. Application Failed…

SO THIS IS NOT A SOLUTION….. at least for me – others my have some other luck.

As for me … i have now wasted about 2 hours of my time trying to get this to work … I’m heading back to Shutterfly.com … they do great books and their software works (albeit contained within a browser).

Posted by
peterleslie
Nov 14, 2007 5:14pm PDT
Permalink
peterleslie
 

same issue here. started my book (80+ pages) in 1.8 and ever since 1.9 i can’t – for the life of me – get the program to work. it hangs then crashes when i try to add photos. very frustrating! please help. :(

Posted by
georgiabrown
Nov 14, 2007 7:17pm PDT
Permalink
georgiabrown
 

I’m not seeing much improvement with v. 1.9.2.

Text editing still lags, the program is unresponsive, even without heavy disk access. I can type ten or more letters before they appear when editing text., flipping pages, even text pages, in edit mode takes forever. This is with only 12-14 jpegs in the library on only 2 of them inserted into the book.

Sadly, it looks like I have to give up and go elsewhere to do this. It’s a shame, after I invested so much time into it. I really was looking forward to my Blurb book!

Posted by
pasoccupe
Nov 16, 2007 3:56pm PDT
Permalink
pasoccupe
 

After a little more testing I am wondering if this is more a Vista issue than anything. I installed v. 1.9.2 on a Virtual PC running Windows 2000 under the same Vista version and machine I’ve been using and the performance improved quite a bit. Then I tweaked the memory allocation for the Virtual Machine and it improved some more. It’s not perfect, but better. I may end up having to do it this way—will have to see if performance can be maintained after adding a few dozen images.

Dan

Posted by
pasoccupe
Nov 16, 2007 5:56pm PDT
Permalink
pasoccupe
 

I don’t know if this is related but I as soon as I import an image Book Smart goes from using just 40 MB Ram to using 120 MB RAM. run an athlon 3000+ with 1 Gig of RAM so it doesn’t incapacitate my system it does drag it to a crawl. 

Posted by
TwistedTech
Nov 17, 2007 12:25am PDT
Permalink
TwistedTech
 

OK, still working on it—I am having speed issues with 1.9.2, both under Win2000 and Vista. Pretty much the same thing as above, though the program is more responsive under Win2000. Still, it is very frustrating to edit a text box for example. I can type a few words, then the cursor disappears while I am typing and the letter show up nine seconds later. Then it seems fine, until I make a mistake and hit the backspace key, which causes another long disappearance and lack of response. Moving photos around is slightly faster than under Vista, but still prone to long lags, even without intense disk activity.

I don’t know what’s going on. I really don’t want to give up on this. There has to be some way to speed this up.

The speed is somewhat comparable ot navagating these forums, which also seems to take a long time. The speed is very much the same for editing in Booksmart. The older versions were not like this at all!

 I even opened an old book that had 157 pages of lower-res images. I was using this to layout my photo book. It used to be very fast to move things around and make edits (v. 1.4…?) , but under 1.9.1 & 1.9.2, it crawls just like the books with higher resolution images.

Blurb, please fix this soon.

 Dan

Posted by
pasoccupe
Nov 18, 2007 8:17pm PDT
Permalink
pasoccupe
 

It would be great if we could just return to the older version of Booksmart than ran really well for us and somehow incorporate a few of the new page layout templates.

Posted by
pasoccupe
Nov 18, 2007 8:27pm PDT
Permalink
pasoccupe
 

OK, I did just that—removed 1.9.2 and installed 1.8 and it runs smoothly under Vista, so that’s what I’ll use until this problem with the newer version is sorted out. Note that if you do this, your newer books won’t open and you will have to recreate them from scratch, but far faster and easier than working with 1.9.

Dan

Posted by
pasoccupe
Nov 22, 2007 6:00pm PDT
Permalink
pasoccupe
 

I am new to Blurb—using a MAC and Blurb BookSmart™ Version: 1.9.5 . Have been having definite problems with text editing, and only to about the 6th page of the book. As I try to edit the text in BookSmart the program keeps crashing. Hard to make much progress. —Really like the concept behind Blurb, and really want to design and write my own books but that won’t be possible if I the program continues to crash with every two or three changes I attempt to make. —Any suggestions?

Posted by
shumer
May 16, 2008 7:38pm PDT
Permalink
shumer
 

Have you raised a Technical Support Request to get Blub staff to help you with this pronlem? You can do so here… http://www.blurb.com/help/technical_support

......Tony

Posted by
tfrankland
May 16, 2008 9:46pm PDT
Permalink
tfrankland
 

Yes Tony, I did and the suggestions they made did resolve the problem. Just needed to up date some OS and Java items on my MAC. —However, now that I know pages created in InDesign can also be converted pretty successfully, may opt for that because I do want additional options for how the photos can be fitted into the page layout.

Thanks for the link.

Posted by
shumer
May 23, 2008 7:03pm PDT
Permalink
shumer