Dear Adobe: Your Activation/Licensing system sucks

I am grumpy.

Why?

Because after my wildly successful hard drive upgrade on my MacbookPro, none of my Adobe applications work.

It’s extra-frustrating because everything else is working flawlessly, better than ever. The upgrade went off without a hitch, the machine is running faster than before, humming along like a charm.

But my Adobe apps are completely, utterly, kaput. It’s because Adobe’s copy-protection is preventing me from using my own license of the software on the same machine it was installed on. This is completely insane.

I shudder to think of the amount of money I’ve spent on Adobe products over the years, certainly many thousands. I understand that piracy is a problem for them, and that companies need to protect their IP, but when it stands in the way of actual paying customers there’s a real problem. Not to mention that their phone support costs money (I am not gonna pay it!)

So yeah, I am grumpy. My install discs are at home, so I might not be able to fix it until tonight (if at all.)

Update: I have run Adobe’s troubleshooting and license repair apps and scripts without any luck. I dunno how this is going to get fixed.

Download Crossover tomorrow!

I’m a mac user, but I occasionally need to run windows stuff, and when I do I have a variety of methods for doing so – VMWare is my tool of choice, but for quick and easy compatibility I often reach for CrossOver, and I’ve been one of their “advocates” (testers) trying to help get better compatibility in some of my favorite games.

So I thought it was really cool when they announced their “Lame Duck Challenge” which was intended (mostly as a joke, I expect) to encourage Bush to get some good stuff done in the sunset of his career. There were some pretty lofty goals on their list – reduce the price of gas dramatically, improve the housing market, etc.

In any case, with the economy in freefall, some of their goals have inadvertently been met. (Jeremy White of Codeweavers apologizes thusly “Specifically, I had no idea when we launched the CodeWeavers Lame Duck Challenge that George Bush would take it so seriously.  And it was truly remarkable of him to engineer a complete collapse of our financial industry just to prove he could meet my challenge.  My fault; I had thought he would try more prudent methods.”

But the upshot is that Crossover is going to be free for everyone tomorrow 10/28/08, and it’s good software, so well worth the download :)

Thanks to Codeweavers for sticking to their word on this!

Hooray! WordPress for iPhone

Gigantic apple-nerd that I am, I have been longing for a way to post from my iPhone. The wordpress folks caught on mighty quick and just released a spectacular mobile admin interface for blogging. So this has just been a dumb little test post from the phone. A real post will come later.

Wow, ScribeFire is great!

Holy cow – after upgrading to Firefox 3 I grabbed this amazing blogging plugin called ScribeFire – it lets me add posts without having to mess with the admin section of my blog. The end result – it is easier to post, which hopefully means it’ll be easier to be more consistent about posting regularly. We’ll see about that one. If you have a blog of your own, and if you use Firefox (and let me tell ya, I was a Safari holdout until FF3, which totally changed my mind) you should have a peek at this plugin, it is great!

Open letter to Apple – Unbreak the iPhone!

Ok Apple, here’s my story:I bought my iPhone on day 1. I had faith that the platform would open up, and I had faith that you as a company would keep your users best interests in mind as you developed the device. I believed you when you said you’d be rolling out features to “surprise and delight” me. I’m patient – I didn’t mind that the price dropped precipitously after just three months, in large part because the developer community succeeded at opening up the platform even without your support.

Their efforts showed us just how lameass your “AJAX devkit” really was – native apps were just better, even those written with zero support and zero SDK. They did a great job. They made your customers happy. We loved our iPhones.

Then yesterday, FOR NO REASON, you released an “update” that offered no meaningful new features (sure the wifi store is cool and all, but now that Amazon sells DRM-free music for less, why do I want to buy from you ever again?) and instead crippled iPhones everywhere.Now, I never unlocked my iPhone, because I don’t really see any reason to do so. But HOW DARE YOU break phones willy-nilly while simultaneously voiding warrantees just because people legally installed _legal software_ on a device they legally owned?

It’s time you showed up with an apology, a plan, and a path towards Apple-sanctioned 3rd party development. In the meantime, I’m happy I never unlocked my phone, and I’m going to avoid all of your future “updates” like the plague.

For all those whose iPhones are now broken, it seems to me that a remedy from Apple is owed you. They’ve essentially sold you a defective non-upgradeable device which they refuse to support, and that is simply appalling. I wonder how many class-action suits are being written as I write this. Apple – I expected better from you. I am very, very disappointed in you. Make it right.

Oh Parallels, why have you forsaken me?

So, despite being a die-hard mac zealot, I do occasionally have a need for Windows. Specifically, I need windows for many of the games I love to play. So, I’ve been using Boot Camp for a while to play Oblivion and Galactic Civilizations, and I got Parallels 2.0 and 2.5 running to play 2D games.

Parallels has been great for many things, and 2.0 and 2.5 are really stellar products, but they’ve lacked support for 3D games (or 3D anything really) and that’s been a real disappointment. So it was with a great deal of excitement that I plunked down my upgrade fee for Parallels 3.0, which promised (direct quotes “New! Run today‚Äôs most popular PC games on a Mac with support for 3D graphics” and “2. Play the hottest 3D games! OpenGL and DirectX support lets you explore a whole new world of 3D games and applications right on your Mac.”)

Sadly, I was in for quite a disappointment. These claims are simply false.

First – Parallels only supports the long-obsolete DirectX 8.1 (DirectX 10 is the current release)

Second – Only a handful of games are actually supported, and those are all extremely old/obsolete. The release notes list about two dozen games, none of which could be considered “today’s most popular” or “the hottest” – some were hot in the late 90s, but that really won’t cut it.

Third – This “update” was sold for a $40 preorder. Many of us, based on our very positive experiences with Parallels in the past ordered the upgrade on faith. This was a mistake, and I regret it, but I also feel that Parallels themselves should have known that it is unethical to pre-sell a product based on false promises and defective software.

I’ve written to Parallels tech support, who were utterly unhelpful (reaching them in the first place is an ordeal – there is no direct email address, no phone support, no chat support, and several hoops to jump through before the web-form will allow a question to be submitted.) They claim that because they were “first” with 3D support (a bald-faced lie, as VMWare and Crossover both had (poor, but better than this) 3D months before this release) they can’t be held accountable for the feature’s defects.

It’s not just me – the Parallels Support Forum has been a firestorm of activity, with similar comments. There has been little or no response from parallels themselves. It’s time to announce a refund policy or a timetable for actual, honest, working 3D support. Are you out there Parallels? We’re done trusting you on blind faith. We have options now. VMWare has been honest and aggressive, and their features actually WORK. Get your act together – I for one won’t be sinking another penny into your defective fraudware.