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Living Earth Desktop’s Potentially Dangerous Conflict with Aperture

Tom Wolski's picture
December 12, 2014 - 12:00pm

From the editor: Please note that this is one user's experience, and certainly not a general knock-down on the Living Earth app, which actually has very good reviews on the App Store. We don't know what system Mr. Wolski is using, and perhaps a more modern computer would have handled it better, or even perhaps there are graphics card hardware issues at play on his system. Regardless, this is his experience, and we felt it worth sharing as it was such a source of frustration for him, unsolvable by multiple Apple techs, initially pointing to Aperture as the blame, but once discovered, the problem was quite easy to solve. If this post helps anyone else identify a supposedly Aperture problem, then it's worth sharing.


I recently returned from a two month National Park photo tour with a new huge library, and also upgraded to Yosemite. Only one program did not like the upgrade; Aperture. I spent three weeks first trying to repair my several Aperture Libraries by myself, then on the phone with three different Apple pro software techs, and even had my computer at the Apple store for several days to figure out why Aperture was behaving bizarrely.

The screen image would repeatedly revert to a previously viewed image, even if I switched to a new library. Images returned from editing by the Nik plug-ins could no longer be edited in Aperture. Both problems could be solved temporarily if I quit Aperture and restarted. Viewing and editing images was pretty much impossible; I could not keep an image on the screen long enough to do anything with it.

The techs were solicitous but in the end could not solve the issue, so with their help I did a complete reinstall of my computer. And, during the reinstall I noticed that the Aperture problems only reappeared after installing and turning on the Living Earth Desktop app, a spectacular desktop graphics/screensaver/weather forecaster. This app has always been a memory sucker, but never bothered anything until the upgrade to Yosemite. But, Living Earth  was also recently upgraded with much more intensive graphics capabilities—it is no longer just the Earth, but now includes the heavens… stars, planets and the Milky Way. Somehow this was apparently just too much for the graphics card. I turned the app off and Aperture now behaves normally.

I'm not sure how popular the Living Earth app is, but perhaps my experience can help other Aperture users out there avoid the frustration I had for the past three weeks.

Apple Aperture
Tom Wolski

Hi Tom, I’m the author of this app, Living Earth for Mac. I’m really sorry you had issues with the app with Aperture. We’ve actually never heard of this issue before so it’s quite a surprise to hear about it and must have been frustrating for you to resolve it. Please feel free to reach out to me at anytime at contact @ with your system info. This will let us look into the issue more deeply and fix it for others. Thanks!

Moshen, thanks for responding here. I will make sure that Tom responds, and once the issue is resolved please be sure to let me know so I can post a follow-up here.

— Have you signed up for the mailing list?

I posted the original warning. There certainly was no general outcry from this site’s audience, so my assumption is that I have an isolated problem. That’s good for Aperture users and the Living Earth developer. I have not had any follow-up from Moshen Chan, but I am still interested in knowing if he found out what the ultimate problem was and if there are any solutions. Thanks.

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