After I Cooled Off a Bit...
What’s ridiculous about the whole process is that to override the activation all one has to do is give the customer service rep a valid reason why activation has been tripped. If a person is willing to copy software to a third machine, why wouldn’t they also be willing to lie a little on the phone to get it done? Yet, to prevent alienating its customer base and because activation is too easily tripped by everyday malfunctions or reconfigurations of one’s computer, Adobe can’t afford to do anything else. Its customers would revolt, and I’m still on the edge of doing just that.
Frankly, I don’t want to have to deal with the added hassle activation brings. To that end, I’m still considering removing Photoshop CS2 from my machines and sticking with Photoshop CS. The feature difference isn’t huge, though I obviously thought they were worth the upgrade costs or I wouldn’t have spent the money. But they were marginal, and activation now tips the scales in the other (I don’t need to buy this) direction. It won’t take much to push me over. A hard disk crash or even an operating system upgrade that kills activation will probably be enough to push me over the edge, and edge I may choose to jump over anyway. I’m going to give myself a few days to sort this out, but if I’m still uncomfortable with running products with activation on my machine, I’m going to jerk them off.
Has activation impacted my plans for future Adobe purchases? Yes. I’m still thinking about whether I’m going to commit to buying Illustrator CS2. I’d really like to have its Live Trace and Live Paint features. But I have backed off any plans to upgrade InDesign Cs to CS2 and GoLive CS to CS2. Further, I will not buy any future Adobe software that contains the technology. So, Adobe and I are done; and that spells big trouble for Apple as well.
My big processor hogging applications are my Apple video editing applications and my Adobe applications. The latter I run on my iMac, and that computer was one of the two I was most likely to take to Intel when Apple goes there next year. But now that I am abandoning any further Adobe upgrades (because of activation), I also am much more likely not to “upgrade” my iMac unless it breaks and can’t be repaired or there is some other reason I can’t conceive of today where I really need a new machine.
Activation shifts some of the costs of software piracy from the software company to the user. It sends a message that the software company considers their lost profits more important than the money you lose in lost productivity because of dealing with this stuff. Five minutes on the phone may not be much for a single application where dealing with a customer service rep goes smoothly, but it’s something else again when it doesn’t or you have multiple applications all of which have to be managed in this fashion. As long as us users put up with this abuse, they’re going to continue to behave in this way. If we want to stop it, we’ve got to vote with our pocketbooks.
Open Source software just leapt up a notch in my book. For now, if I decide to ditch the CS2 line of products, I’ll drop back to CS. But going forward, I’m going to look to other vendors and also take a much harder look at whether Open Source software might get the job done.