The debate has been raging since before Lightroom came out of Beta v1: when will we be able to share Lightroom catalogues? At the very least, how can we host a catalogue on a server somewhere and just open it up on different computers one at a time? Lightroom has a restriction where it blocks access if the catalogue database is from a networked location. Adobe built Lightroom this way to keep file-locking issues and database corruption to a minimum. But when you have many computers and thousands upon thousands of files, it’s nice to be able to open the same catalogue on each computer quickly without having to plug and unplug external hard-drives.
Only a few years back, most companies stopped making film scanners. The game was up; scanning equipment no longer pulled a profit. The future was in digital capture and the world marched on without looking back. It left educational institutions in a pickle. They were already reeling from high silver costs and a change in photo curriculum. Suddenly companies stopped updating software for Intel chips and repair service on older scanners dropped like a stone. It put pressure on the education world to go all digital and those ripples were felt everywhere. For us high-end scanning labs that were outside of the educational “prosumer” world, we fared ok although young clients were coming to us with 8 megapixel files instead of 40 megapixel (equivalent) 6×7 film. We already went through this in the early 2000s when companies stopped making drum scanners. Over the years, most of us learned enough about our various drum scanning machines to fix the beasts ourselves. Third party service vendors, mostly past employees of the very corporations that build the crazy things in the first place, took care of the rest. But recently the support has slipped and it gets harder every month to maintain high-end equipment. Today, prosumer scanners are taking the same track but at a more accelerated pace; everyone feels the heat including professional photographers who prefer 35mm film.