Move Your CS5 Plug-ins to CS6

This is a quick and easy way to transfer your plug-ins like Nik without  re-installation or re-entering any product keys. Although I use Nik plug-ins in this example you should be able to move any plug-in using the same method. Update Sept 18, I have only used this with Nik Plug-ins so you should use caution if you try this with another plug-in type. Also I should mention that I made sure my Nik plug-ins were up to date before I used the technique below.

1. First you need to make sure Photoshop is closed.

2. Now go to the Photoshop CS5 plugin folder. For a Mac running OS X you can find it here:

Applications > Adobe Photoshop CS5 >Plug-ins > Nik Software


Program Files > Adobe > Adobe Photoshop CS5 (64 bit) > Plug-ins > Nik Software

If you are running Windows OS be aware that there is a 32 bit and a 64 bit version of photoshop plug-ins so pay special attention to make sure you keep the plug-ins separate and to see that each type goes into the proper place in Photoshop CS6. Mac OS only comes in 64 bits, so there is only one version.

3. Click or select the Nik Software plugin folder and press Cmd + C with a Mac or Ctrl + C with a PC.

4. Once you have copied the Nik plugin folder go to the CS6 plug-in folder.

Mac OS X:

Applications > Adobe Photoshop CS6 >Plug-ins > Nik Software


Program Files > Adobe > Adobe Photoshop CS6 (64 bit) > Plug-ins > Nik Software

5. Now paste the Nik plugin folder from CS5 into the CS6 folder and you are done,

Cmd + V

with Mac OS or

Ctrl + V

with Windows computers.

For this example my Nik Plugins worked perfectly the first time without any product key issues.

It is easy to check to if the plug-ins load into CS6 properly. Open CS6 then open an image and go to Menu > Filter > Nik Software. Everything should be there ready to use.

What about Lightroom?

In LR Plug-ins are added and maintained via Lightroom's Plugin Manager, which is accessible from Lightroom's File menu. I am told you can copy and paste a plug-in folder then register that new location with the plug-in manager but I will have to leave that for a future post.

All content (including text, design, photos, layout, and graphics) are copyright © 2012 Robert OToole. All rights reserved.

MacBook Air 480 GB SSD Upgrade

What you need to know about Apple's MBA SSDs

The Apple MacBook Air is a seriously good laptop and is almost the perfect back up or travel computer for a photographer. In 2011 Apple finally refreshed their MacBook Air lineup with new SSDs using new form factor Called mSATA SSDs (also known as blade SSDs). Although Apple does offer two choices on the 13 inch MacBook Air, 128 and 256 GB (on the 11 inch you can choose 64 or 128 GB), this is one area where the MBA disappoints.

The OWC 480 GB 6G SSD upgrade installed on my 13 inch Macbook air with 1.8GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7.

Apple uses both Toshiba SSDs and Samsung SSDs on the current 2011 MBA. This doesn't sound like anything to worry and really its not but you should know that the Samsung SSDs are much faster than the Toshiba units and there is no way of knowing which one you get before booting up the machine for the first time. This just takes a second. Go to the Apple menu > About this mac > more info > System Report.. > Serial - ATA.

You can tell what SSD type you have by looking at the model string in a System Report from your machine. The SM prefix indicates a Samsung drive while the TS indicates Toshiba. A Samsung 256 GB drive will show up as - Apple SSD SM256C.

The problem is that the performance difference between the two Apple 3G drives is pretty significant, the Samsung is about 2X or more faster than the Toshiba SSD, see the Anantech's MBA review -

Upgrading the MBA with the 480 GB SSD

The OWC 480 GB 6G SSD upgrade and 256 GB Apple Samsung 3G SSD side by side. The pink square is a foam thermal pad.

The OWC 6G SSDs are about 3x faster than the Apple Samsung factory SSDs. The 480 GB SSD upgrade costs right around $1000. The Apple 256 GB upgrade for the 13 inch MBA is $300 or $2.34 per GB, the OWC upgrade is $2.14 per GB and 3X faster and you get to keep the factory SSD for back up or other tasks. This is a great value for someone like me that needs the additional HDD space.

OWC's Mercury Aura Pro Express 6G SSD should guarantee a significant boost in speed and with the 480 GB model, almost twice the disk space as Apple's largest SSD. There are no other SSDs suitable for 2010-2011 MBAs, unless you find an original Apple unit on the used parts market.

Installation notes

Because OS X Lion is preinstalled on the removable Apple factory SSD, you cannot simply remove that drive and replace it with a new SSD. There are two methods to prepare using a new SSD, I used two USB HDDs to back up and restore the OS. Remember to format the new SSD with the disk utility before you restore the OS. For more details -

OWC Mercury Aura OS X Lion installation instructions

Installing the OWC SSD

The installation is quick and easy only taking about 15 minutes or so. All the necessary tools for the job such as Torx and Pentalobe drivers are supplied by OWC with the SSD purchase. Make sure you use a proper container or at least a strip of tape sticky side up to hold onto the tiny Pentalobe screws that secure the MBA bottom cover.

OWC Mercury Aura Pro Express installation videos

Important links

Information on OWC MacBook Air SSD upgrades -

OWC SSD review at -

All content (including text, design, photos, layout, and graphics) are copyright © 2012 Robert OToole. All rights reserved.