I’ve long known that Adobe software is among the most unstable and sports the ugliest, least intuitive, inconsistent UI’s of any Mac software I’ve ever had. I just went through the experience of dowloading the “free trial” (30 days) of Adobe Flash CS3 Pro, just because I want to develop some apps for my new Chumby.
Download the free trial version: 750 MB.
The downloaded disk image contained a non-folder icon called “Adobe CS3″. So I did what Mac users always do—I tried dragging it to my Applications folder. The Finder popped up a dialog that eventually stabilized at “Preparing to copy 109,775 items.”
Well, that’s going to take awhile. I stopped the copy and poked around and finally realized the non-folder icon is actually a folder—nice job, Adobe—inside of which I found a Setup program. Aha, I thought, the Setup installer should be faster than actually trying to copy 109,775 separate files.
Wrong. The installer took 45 minutes on a 1.5 GHz PowerPC G4 Mac.
Then I had to download a 58 MB software update to get the Flash Lite 3 functionality recommended for Chumby developers. Not including download time, the updater took 1 hour and 45 minutes to apply a 58MB “patch”.
During this time, you’re not allowed to open any Web browsers, as the updater insists on updating various browser plug-ins. (But it doesn’t tell you when during the 1 hour and 45 minutes this occurs, so you have to forgo Web browsing the whole time.)
This “free trial” download experience does not encourage me to shell out the $995 Adobe wants for the product. (Hell, at my consulting rate, it’s already cost 2/3 of that to install the damn product.)
Maybe Adobe is used to Windows users accepting this level of user insult. Their PDF reader plugins for Web browsers are spectacularly unstable (Mac Preview is far superior), and even after CS3 was installed, it takes 30 seconds just to start up. Their Flash plugin for Safari and Firefox on Mac seems to be the most frequent cause of those programs crashing (according to the stack trace, anyway, the crash occurs inside the Flash plugin).
So it’s finally happened: I’ve found other desktop software that makes Microsoft Office a dream by comparison. How sad from the company that basically invented PC imaging and multimedia. If I can find an open-source toolchain for Chumby development, I’ll use it even if I can get an Adobe academic license for free. This product deserves to LOSE.