Adobe Creative Cloud thoughts, one year in…

images Adobe Creative Cloud thoughts, one year in...When Adobe announced their move from packaged releases to a pure subscription model last year, I wasn’t a fan. I’ve been an Adobe customer for nearly 20 years, and this move didn’t look like a good deal for anyone who wasn’t an Adobe employee or stockholder. But, at $29.99/month for the first year, I figured I’d give it a shot and re-evaluate after 12 months. Well, my 12 months are just about up, and here’s where I’m at.

The apps I use the most in the suite are Photoshop and Lightroom. Lately, Lightroom really handles the lion’s share of what I need to do with my images. I’m not a compositor, so I rarely use Photoshop. And of all the new features that have been added to Photoshop CC, I can’t think of one that I’ve used in the last 12 months.

As for the rest of the apps in the bundle, I found myself using Illustrator a good bit while I was working on Swimsuit 2014. We used a lot of vector art in this project, and for the first time, we exported much of it as SVG, which Illustrator is perfect for. I also used Sketch 2 for a lot of this work. Sketch handled open Illustrator files and exporting them as SVGs brilliantly. So while I used Illustrator a good bit, I think I can get the same job done using Sketch, for a lot less money.

I also used Acrobat Pro a couple of times. Mainly to edit a few PDF files. There are several apps on the Mac that can do this for a lot less than the recurring cost of Creative Cloud, so again, this isn’t something that would compel me to re-up my subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud.

As for the rest of the apps in the bundle… I gave Premiere Pro a try, but it was so crashy during my usage that I gave up. After Effects is a great program, and if I was in a position where I needed such a tool, I could definitely justify the price. But After Effects isn’t an application that is needed in my day to day work, so committing to a $600/year subscription to have it to play with isn’t in the cards.

That brings us to Dreamweaver… Years ago, Dreamweaver was my IDE of choice. But the years have not been kind to the old lady. She’s big, bloated and slow. These days I prefer the lightweight nimbleness of editors like Sublime Text and Textmate.

The other app I could have found use for in my day to day work is Fireworks. But Fireworks has been abandoned by Adobe, and although it’s in the Creative Cloud, it’s a buggy, sad mess. The aforementioned Sketch serves as a much better tool for many of the same tasks.

So that leaves me with two applications – Photoshop and Lightroom – that I ‘need’ in this bundle. At $50/month ($600/year), I couldn’t justify the price for just these 2 applications. I suspect I wasn’t alone in my situation, as Adobe got a lot of feedback from many users, and offered up a plan to address these concerns. The Adobe Photography Bundle was offered late last year for a limited time. At $9.99/month, you get access to Photoshop CC, Lightroom, a Behance membership and 20GB of storage. I signed up for this plan when it was available, and at this price, can justify a yearly subscription.

But I have little faith that Adobe will leave this pricing in place for long. I fully expect Adobe to jack this price up to $15 or $20 month within the next 12 months. At that point, I’ll have to re-evaluate the value of the bundle. As applications like Acorn, Pixelmator and Sketch become more capable and take up more and more of the slack in my day to day graphics needs, Adobe’s subscription plans become less and less compelling.

So at the end of my first year of Creative Cloud, I am canceling my subscription and moving forward with the Adobe Photography Program instead.

I can’t help but think that while the Creative Cloud can be a bargain for professionals who use 4 or more of the apps in the bundle on a regular basis, for the rest of us, it’s just a money grab.

I’d like to see Adobe offer some flexibility in their subscriptions, perhaps offering the ability to do month to month subscriptions to individual apps for $10/month (they currently offer single apps at $20/month with a one year committment). I think this could offer them a lot of upside, and not jeopardize their cash cow Creative Cloud subscriptions. As of right now though, Adobe seems to be pretty pleased with it’s subscription numbers, and as long as they feel the don’t need to, I wouldn’t expect them to make any changes.

Category: Opinion,Reviews,Web Development

Web Development on the Mac: Part 2 – MySQL

Installing MySQL on OS X can be as easy or as complex as you want it to be. On the complex side, since OS X is UNIX, you could install from source and build your own package. Or your could use the Homebrew package manager to install completely from the command line.

The easiest way to get MySQL installed on OS X is to use the packages built by MySQL. The packages are offered up in tarball or in DMG. Getting the DMG is going to give you the most ‘Mac’ like install. For the purpose of simplicity, this is the method we will use in this example. (more…)

Category: PHP,Tutorial,UNIX,Web Development

Web Development on the Mac: Part 1

Mac OS X has been my platform of choice for web developmet since the release of OS X 10.2. The UNIX underpinnings of the OS and the inclusion of Apache, PHP and other web technologies, coupled with other tools like Photoshop and an wide array of high quality text editors and IDEs make OS X a stellar platform for building websites and web applications.

This article will guide you through the many options you have in setting up a killer, comprehensive platform for building web apps. (more…)

Category: PHP,UNIX,Web Development

Camino reaches 2.0

The Camino browser team has released version 2.0 of the Gecko powered web browser. Version 2.0 brings a number of new features to the table for the browser, including…

  • Tab Overview: Think of it as Exposé for your open tabs.
  • Tabbed browsing improvements: You can (finally) reorder tabs, and when the number of tabs exceeds the window width, view open tabs in a drop down menu. Additionally, left and right scrollbars appear to allow you to scroll through the tabs.
  • Download notifications through Growl (if it is installed).

There are a number of other smaller improvements and bug fixes to the browser as well.

I have a soft spot for Camino. Back in the early days of OS X, Camino (then called Chimera), was the best browser, hands down available for the platform. As a web developer, using Mac OS X in those days was a difficult task. The included web browser, Internet Explorer 5, was a big steaming pile of shit. It was slow, buggy, and its rendering engine was nowhere near as robust as the Gecko rendering engine. When the first builds of Chimera appeared, it was like seeing the Marines appear on the beach with reinforcements. By the time Chimera 0.2 was released, it was my default browser. I stuck with Chimera/Camino until Safari hit the scene in 2003.

But I’ve always appreciated what Camino offers Mac OS X users – a small, fast, lightweight browser built on top of a rock solid rendering engine.

Congrats to the Camino team for shipping version 2.0!

Category: Software,Web Development

Safari 4.04 available

Safari 4.04 is available via software update. No word yet on whether the recent improvements to the webkit inspector landed in this update.

From the release notes:

This update is recommended for all Safari users and includes improvements to performance, stability, and security including:

Improved JavaScript performance
Improved Full History Search performance for users with a large number of history items
Stability improvements for 3rd-party plug-ins, the search field and Yahoo! Mail
For detailed information on the security content of this update, please visit this site:

Update: The Webkit Inspector improvements noted above are not included in Safari 4.04.

Update: It appears the keyboard shortcut for Top Sites, Command-Shift-1 has been removed from Safari 4.04. If you use this keyboard shortcut, you may want to hold off on upgrading.

Update: Looks like the shortcut has been changed to Alt-Command-1. That’s the sort of change you would expect to be detailed in the release notes, if your release notes had any meaningful, detailed descriptions.

Category: Software,Web Development

How To Enable PHP & MySQL in Snow Leopard

In previous versions of Mac OS X, Apple included PHP, but usually an older version that what was available at the time of the operating systems release. In Snow Leopard, Apple has included the just released PHP 5.3. Compared with other Mac OS X releases, Apple has made getting PHP and MySQL up and running much easier than before. (more…)

Category: Tutorial,Web Development

How to delete .pureftpd-upload files

One of the issues I routinely encounter when updating many of my WordPress site’s is Transmit’s failure to delete .pureftpd-upload files. These are zero byte, hidden files with permissions that prevent you from deleting them via your FTP client. The consensus seems to be that these files are left when an FTP client gets interrupted during upload. Since I use Transmit exclusively, my first assumption was these files were Transmit specific. Upon further investigation, it appears many other FTP clients suffer from creating these little monsters as well.

The only solution I have found to remove them is to use CPanel’s File Manager to navigate to where these files reside, and delete them. This can become quite the pain in the ass if you have several of these buggers floating about in your site.

Category: Web Development

Safari 3.1 released for Mac & Windows

Apple has released Safari 3.1 for Mac & Windows. New to Safari 3.1 are additions from the HTML5 spec, including new audio & video tags and a storage (database) API, along with significant Javascript optimizations, and new CSS tag support.

Safari 3.1 is a free download for Mac & Windows.

Category: Software,Web Development

Coda theme for TextMate

Love Coda? Love TextMate? Wish that you could get Coda’s syntax coloring for HTML in TextMate? Well, here’s my first quick stab at replicating Coda’s syntax coloring in TextMate. Download the CodaHTML.tmTheme file, unzip, double click, and enjoy.

Category: Software,Web Development

Safari 3 and the Acid2 Test

safari3 acid2 Safari 3 and the Acid2 TestSafari 2 passed the Acid2 test when it was released. It was one of the first browsers to do so (Opera might have beat Safari by a couple of months). Word hit yesterday that the IE team had their in house IE8 build pass the Acid2 test for the first time. Things are looking up for developers who support standards!

However, look at this screenshot of the Acid2 test in Safari 3.04 (both Windows and Mac). It seems that Safari is suffering a regression.

Here’s hoping the Safari team can fix this glitch quickly. I’d hate to live in a world where IE passes the Acid test, and Safari fails.

Category: Apple,Web Development

About the author

A user of Macs since they had silly names like Performa and Centris, Theodore Lee is a techie who prides himself on his vast knowledge of all things Apple. OS X Factor was started in 2001 (originally as macosxcentric), and continues to churn out tips, tutorials, reviews and commentary on the tech sector.