Adobe Finally Wore Me Down

The back-story goes like this: I had a working copy of Photoshop CS4 which I’d obtained a few years ago. I’d seen reports that it didn’t work properly on Mac OS X Lion 10.7. Therefore, I abandoned it when I upgraded my operating system a few months ago. I later found a copy CS5 that worked (for a while). Adobe’s anti-copying measures are quite solid now. I had to do endless complex workarounds to get it to run, and those methods soon gave way and stopped working.

A few months ago, I’d downloaded a 30-day trial of Photoshop Elements 10 and quite enjoyed it. I didn’t buy it when the trial expired. Since Adobe had my credentials from the trial, they have been prodding me about buying the program. I have gotten something from them weekly, even fancy information packets in my physical mailbox.

Finally, last week they wrote me and said I could have the program for half off — $49. I threw my hands up and bought it. I am now a legal, licensed, activated user of Mac Photoshop Elements 10. It does everything that I want out of Photoshop. I was tired of fighting with activations, workarounds, time trials, and throwaway serial numbers. I had to screw around with my copy of CS5 for five minutes every time I launched it to get it to even run.

They finally wore me down. You win, Adobe. My money is yours. From all the use I have gotten out of Photoshop, I can honestly say that they’ve earned my $49. I hope they’re happy now. This just goes to show that when a company prices software affordably, people will purchase it.

Defending The Flash Player

I am an avid follower of tech news. It seems that as of late, the Adobe Flash Player has been taking a lot of hits in the tech press. I’m now writing to defend it.

Criticism of Flash reached a head last week when Apple announced their new iPad. As everyone knows, the iPhone OS does not support the Flash Player. Apple’s lack of support for Flash on their mobile devices is quite deliberate. The general consensus is that Apple hates Flash and wants to use the iPhone and iPad as weapons to try to kill it. This irks me.

The exclusion of Flash on the iPhone and iPod Touch is understandable, but I believe that the lack of Flash support on the iPad is a huge mistake. I don’t want to buy the iPad, but if I were interested, the lack of Flash would be a deal breaker for me. Far too many websites rely on the richness that Flash provides. Sure, YouTube videos play on the iPhone and iPad via H.264 video support in a dedicated app. However, web video isn’t the only area where Flash is popular.

Websites for musicians and restaurants are two areas where web designers lean heavily on Flash. One can complain about that fact all they want, but it is a reality. I personally have no problem with it whatsoever.

In addition, most all of the web-based games on the Internet are played within the Flash Player. Think of the gaming destinations Pogo, Kongregate, Farmville, etc. People enjoy playing these games. To simply not include them in a product that is designed to browse the web is totally unacceptable.

Flash has been a standard on the web for a very long time. More than a decade ago, it brought static web pages to life with animation, sound, and interactivity. I’m tired of hearing the growing calls for the format to be abandoned.

The anti-Flash camp contends that the Flash Player is a slow, buggy resource hog, often hitting 100% CPU usage and crashing web browsers. I have never noticed this on any of my computers. I can stream Flash video and multitask on my aging machine without issue. In fact, I have a decade old IBM Thinkpad that sports a Pentium-III processor with 512 MB of memory. That Thinkpad plays Flash perfectly fine, without struggle, overheating, or 100% CPU usage. When you consider that modern computers have dual and quad-core processors, what difference does it make if Flash is heavy on system resources?

To conclude, I have no problem with the Flash Player. I’ve never noticed it slowing down my computer or crashing my web browser, even once. In my opinion, Macromedia and Adobe have historically done a pretty good job at maintaining the Flash Player across all platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, and Solaris. It is ubiquitous, and it just plain works. So I say this to everyone who is bitching and moaning about the Flash Player: Get over it. If you don’t like it, uninstall it. See how great your web experience is after you do that.