Adobe Flash: You Win Some…

…You Lose Some

With the imminent release of Linux Mint 9 KDE RC1, I decided to check the status of Flash on Linux.

Let’s back up a second.  The headline implied that I would start with a win for Flash.

I am currently running 10.1 beta 3 on my phone, and I have nothing but good things to say about it.  Flash games for mobile are snappy and fun, video from news sites has been streamed flawlessly, all in all, Adobe has done a great job.  With the good feeling that the mobile version left me, I decided to check out the linux version.

The only descriptive word that comes to mind when thinking about Flash on desktop Linux is “choke”.  Because that is exactly what my computer does when trying to watch Flash video on Linux…choke, stutter, and lock up.  Not a fun experience.  But since Flash is still a necessary evil, this makes the entire Linux experience on the desktop unusable for me.  The internet without usable Flash is not the internet that I know and am used to.  In five years time, perhaps living without Flash will be less of a sacrifice, but as of now, it is a sacrifice that I am not prepared to make.  It was Adobe’s Flash that ran me off of Linux nearly two years ago, and it is still the hang up today.

While on the subject of Flash, Phoronix has posted a series of graphic tests using OS X, Ubuntu, and Win 7.  The tests are all run on a fairly modern Mac Mini (equivalent to a 4 year old desktop pc)…hardware that OS X should be optimized to run on.  So how did OS X do on these tests?  Go read the results yourself, but the short answer is that Ubuntu’s admittedly crappy graphics drivers beat out those of OS X…and they were both creamed by Win 7’s.  Steve Jobs should get off of his high horse and put some R&D money into OS X.  His continuous whining about Adobe only serves to emphasize the need for him to get his own house in order.

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Open Letter to Adobe

I am a pretty loyal Adobe customer. I’ve bought 3 versions of Photoshop Elements over the years. I would prefer Photoshop, but it is very expensive. I recently upgraded to PSE 8 (side note: why no upgrade pricing?), appreciating the smoother integration with Windows 7.

So why did I have to waste part of my Sunday morning convincing Adobe that I was not a thief?

Wanting to do a quick photo edit before I headed out to the dog park, I fired up PSE only to be greeted by a notice that I had activated the software on 2 computers and that I need to deactivate it on one before using it on this computer. “But wait,” I futilely protested, “I formatted that drive BEFORE installing it on this computer, how’m I gonna deactivate it?” Only silence in return.

So I am forced to the Adobe support page where I quickly find a link to chat with a support person and, 20 minutes later, I have a working PSE.

I bet that it would not be any more inconvenient to download CS5 Master Collection from a file sharing site and crack the activation as it was to use my bought and paid for PSE. What’s up with that?

Accusing me of thievery, and forcing me to jump through hoops to use the software that I paid for, really makes it difficult to choose your products in the future.

To some extent I understand the draconian activation process, CS5 is a valuable professional package. But Photoshop Elements? This comes free with many cameras, scanners, tablets, etc… I give you almost $100 for it and you treat me like a thief. Once again, Adobe, “What’s up with that?”