Identity Theft

April 19, 2005
misc

I think I finally put my finger on why hard-core Macromedians are generally un-easy about the pending Macromedia acquisition. Its that everyone hates Adobe. And when I say Adobe, I mean Adobe Acrobat Reader, but the fact is the Adobe brand sucks because of how slow and buggy the Acrobat Reader plugin is. The acquisition is brand identity theft to many Macromedia developers.

When the average internet user clicks on a link from Google unknowingly to a pdf file - many times the users reaction is I hate Adobe (furiously clicking the back button, and wasting the next 10 seconds while the plugin loads, or while their browser crashes). I have actually seen this.

Sure many web sites waste time with Flash as well, but the end user is more likely to blame the idiot/company who made the site rather than the technology, since there are lots of great uses of flash as well.

Don't get me wrong, I don't hate Adobe, I do hate Acrobat Reader - but I'm tech savvy, and know the difference. Adobe Photoshop, is an awesome piece of software, PDF is a great format - Reader gives them a bad rap.

In my opinion Macromedia has a much stronger brand, Macromedia Photoshop anyone? Sounds cool, yet I have seen lots of people saying: Adobe ColdFusion? ehhk. I think Adobe would do well to keep Macromedia's brand.

So here's how I used to explain what I do:

What do you do?
I work with ColdFusion.
Oh, like in the movie The Saint?
No, it's a Programming Language for building dynamic web sites made by a company called Macromedia.
Macromedia, I've heard of them?
Yeah they are most famous for their Flash plugin - if you have seen any sort of animated web page chances are it was made with Flash
Oh, yeah, cool.

Now It will be more like:


What do you do?
I work with ColdFusion.
Oh, like in the movie The Saint?
No, it's a Programming Language for building dynamic web sites made by a company called Adobe.
Oh, you make the web pages that take forever to load?
No, that's the Acrobat plugin...


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You hit the nail right on the head. But I think it goes beyond their less than perfect Acrobat Reader. Althought Photoshop is awesome, and if you are in print design InDesign and Illustrator are the industry leaders, the way Adobe handles them is less than adequate. I reformatted my computer last night and went about installing Macromedia Studio again, as well as the Adobe Creative Suite. Macromedia Studio MX took me less than 30 minutes to get all installed, up and running the same as ever. Adobe CS Suite took and hour and a half, and would not let me reactivate the software. I had to try once over the internet, once over the phone, and then finally talk to some punk at adobe who obviously had better things to do. Finally I got it all installed, and still my adobe acrobat (the editor not the reader) still doesn't work right. And guess what, since I bought it as a suite, my serial number is for the suite only, so to reinstall one of the programs, I have to reinstall all of them. Lets just hope adobe takes a lesson from macromedia on multiple fronts.
One of the most annoying aspects of the whole acrobat reader mess is that you can have it load in the browser very fast if you play with the config. It loads in about half a second on my laptop. Go to the "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 6.0\Reader" directory and move the entire contents of the plug_ins directory to the optional directory. Then go to a site that use pdf and try clicking on a link. Why Adobe doesn't provide an option to have that happen by default in browsers I don't know. version 7 of the reader is a lot faster to load with the default settings too.
"Sure many web sites waste time with Flash as well, but the end user is more likely to blame the idiot/company who made the site rather than the technology, since there are lots of great uses of flash as well." Whatever... that's only because you know what Flash does. People blame Flash, go to any sales meeting with a customer not familiar with it, or "tech savvy" Slashdot. Of course, you just did the oppostie here, hehe: "Oh, you make the web pages that take forever to load? No, that's the Acrobat plugin..."
I think developers and site designers are slightly to blame here, they could help the end user out by displaying an icon or some other indication that they are about to open a pdf. I always go over links before reading them and if they are pdf's opt to download it instead of opening it (so ff doesn't crash on me!)
You know, honestly, I see much more hate for Flash than for Acrobat Reader. The general impression I see of most of the user base I deal with is this - * Acrobat is used to produce print-quality output. * Flash is used to produce ads Which I'd say is an exact reverse of your argument.
Every once and a while I just type in "I hate adobe acrobat" into google. It's slow, it's constantly infecting google search results, it's a pain in the a$# to edit, and as for print quatlity I never print anything. Adobe acrobat is like driving a big clunky bus when you only want to go next door. Adobe Acrobat loads slower than Photoshop or 3DS Max. Adobe acrobat loads slower every year. What the hell is it doing? Cataloguing my computer? I could have a 10,000 MHz computer and adobe acrobat would still freeze it, everything would stop and you would still pray to god that it would come back alive when adobe acrobat was through spinning up all your hard drives and crunching every piece of data you ever stored. Why are these files in google search results? They are like the little bombs in mine sweeper you have to avoid them or GAME OVER for your nice casual web surfing. I have a good idea! How about Adobe team up with Real Media and make the Aobe Media One Player. Then you can click on a link and your computer with grow legs, kick your nuts and then all the hard drives blow up.
Oh and someone tell me why it CONSTANTLY needs to update like "oops sorry we forgot to give you yahoo tool bar" or something else you don't want... What the hell kind of pluggins does a DOCUMENT reader need to have! Stop it!
I hate acrobat reader too. It takes forever to load and crashes the browser most of the time. Now, i use foxit reader: http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/rd_intro.php It's much faster and it doesn't crashes. I only use acrobat for printing, as foxit reader is sometimes slow when formatting documents for my printer (don't know why...)
Some gy above wrote... >Adobe CS Suite took and hour and a half, and would not let me reactivate the software. I had to try once over the internet, once over the phone, and then finally talk to some punk at adobe who obviously had better things to do. Finally I got it all installed, and still my adobe acrobat (the editor not the reader) still doesn't work right. And guess what, since I bought it as a suite, my serial number is for the suite only, so to reinstall one of the programs, I have to reinstall all of them. Here's an idea just STEAL off bittorent. It will be less hassle to crack it than waiting on the phone for ten hours. You already paid for it anyway. Who cares?

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