The Computer Blog

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

One Step Back

Sometimes, you have to wonder what it is IT departments are trying to fix.

At my workplace, they’re switching over from standard PPTP VPN to a set-up using Juniper Networks’ Network Connect. To use it, you log into a URL and once your i.d. and password are accepted, the network you’re trying to connect to downloads a utility that establishes the VPN tunnel. If you’re looking at it from the outside, it sounds like a great concept. It’s supposedly platform agnostic and only takes a browser to get into.

That would be great, but it’s not working worth a damn for me. It’s not working on my Intel iMac at all, whether it’s running Mac OS 10.4.6 (Intel) or Windows XP Pro. I had no better luck with the set-up using my dual G5 PowerMac running Mac OS 10.4.6 for PPC. And I was getting two different symptoms. On the XP side, I could get the application downloaded and it would connect up only to immediately disconnect. On the Mac side, the application would start to load but then bomb with an error message. When I started trying to troubleshoot my problems, I discovered there was little information I could get off Juniper Networks’ website since it’s password protected and I wasn’t an enterprise customer. I did contact the IT folks where I work and sent them logs from my XP machine, and they sent me the Mac application for me to install but only a PPC version. Intel Macs are not supported, yet, they said. Well, that’s not unexpected nor their fault, but I was begrudging them turning off PPTP VPN. Luckily, even though the cutoff date has been passed, the PPTP VPN is still working. That’s a good thing. I need to at least have the XP connection up and running under the new system before they shut down the old.

They have their reasons for making this move. But based on some of the comments I’ve seen about it from some networking pro’s, I’m wondering whether they did their homework before signing up for it.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Words to Adobe: Fess Up!

If you’ve been on the web this week reading Mac-related news, then you know one of Adobe’s executives said at a conference in France that Adobe Go Live would be dropped and Dreamweaver, recently acquired in Adobe’s purchase of Macromedia, would be the web developer product included in Creative Suite 3.

I’m one of those Adobe Go Live users out there who was looking for Adobe to provide a Universal Binary version of the product. If that’s true, I’ve just been told I’m out of luck; and I’m pissed about it. So are a lot of other Go Live users out there.

Yesterday, to stem what Adobe must know would be a rising tide of user anger against it, Adobe told MacWorld those statements were incorrect and Go Live would “continue to be supported”. But that’s not the same as saying Go Live will be included as a CS3 product or released as a standalone Universal Binary product. So, fess up, Adobe! Which is it? Are you going to release Go Live as a Universal Binary product or not?

Yes, I know Dreamweaver has long been regarded as the prime tool for web development. But it’s way of working with and designing websites is very different from Go Live’s. I really don’t have the time to learn a new web development program nor do I want to spend any more money moving to it than I would if I had simply bought a Go Live upgrade.

Say what they will, but Adobe’s dropping of Go Live belies their commitment to support the Mac. One of the options I will have to look at is whether to run Adobe Go Live CS or CS2 on a G5 Mac or buy the Windows version and run it on my iMac via Boot Camp and Windows. Despite the happy face put on at the MacWorld conference when Jobs announced Mac’s move to Intel, Adobe’s decision not to provide Universal Binary updates for CS2 does “stick it” to the Mac community. Yeah, there’s lots of reasons for what they did and I know they make sense; I’m talking about how it feels, here.

I have no problem with Adobe killing Go Live in the long run. But they could, at least, provide us Go Live users with at least one Universal Binary version before they do that. If they’re not going to include it as part of CS3, fine; then, give it to me as a standalone upgrade at a reasonable price.

To be honest, all the money I’ve been spending on Adobe products the last few years is making me take a longer, harder look at my Adobe upgrades. I’m willing to step up to the plate to get Universal Binary versions of the products I’ve been using to get the full performance gains out of my Intel Macs. But asking me to switch to another product makes me want to take another route.

I’m starting to chill on Adobe.

I just want to be able to work.