My computer at work crashed last week. Thankfully, other than half a day of work, I didn’t lose anything. I was able to do an “archive and install” to get my operating system back up and running and you can only imagine how glad I was to see my cluttered desktop appear on screen.
The worst part of the computer crash was that it really screwed up my Adobe products. Just when I thought I had recovered everything I opened up InDesign only to be greeted with a “Licensing for this product has catastrophically failed.” I love that “catastrophically” part. The other Adobe products just said “Failed” but InDesign has to be the drama queen. I figured that I could simply reinstall the Creative Suite and get back to work. I got the same error. After three calls to Adobe’s tech support I was able to clean all the licensing junk off my G5 so that I could get CS3 reinstalled. The support people were nice and spoke good English and they knew what they were doing. The problem is it never should have happened in the first place. Why was the licensing so deeply embedded in my machine that it couldn’t be easily removed or overwritten? The techs told me this happens all the time.
It seems that each year Adobe products get more and more overrated. Generally they are the best thing on the market, but I never get the warm fuzzy “the designer of this software really cares about making a beautiful application” feeling. Upgrades always seem so minor and unless you count acquiring Macromedia, there really hasn’t been a major innovation from the company in recent memory.
For anyone that doesn’t think that there is room for innovation in the Adobe product lineup I point you to a web editor called Coda. I have been using this beautiful application instead of Dreamweaver for about a month and I absolutely love it. If you try hard enough, you can do everything you need to in Dreamweaver, but in Coda things are where they need to be and everything makes sense. Read about it here and download a demo to try it for yourself. And at only $79 Coda makes the case for how inflated and overrated Dreamweaver at $400.
I guess it must be difficult for an innovative company like Adobe to maintain their edge. Rather than reinvent and improve their software there is a temptation to protect their lead. Instead of competing with their rivals, they absorb them. Rather than making their products more appealing they focus on making sure that everyone is paying full price. Why change a product when you can add a couple bells and whistles and promote it as a major upgrade. I am hoping for more applications like Coda that make it easier to not rely so heavily on Adobe.