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July 25th, 2021

Death To Adobe…(continued)

One more thing…

That professional cartoonist I mentioned above. He was a Hugo Award winner, with a presence in both fan art, and in commercial and underground comics. When he discovered Adobe had turned off the licensing servers for his version of Photoshop, he spent the last days of his life looking for a good replacement for it, and trying out new tools, because the tool he had used for many years and was familiar with suddenly stopped working thanks to Adobe. He did that instead of creating art.

I know how it is to suddenly have to struggle learning a new set of software tools because Adobe pulled the rug out from under you. It is very time consuming and frustrating. And of course Adobe thinks you just give them more money for new software you don’t necessarily need, or just submit to paying them rent every month whether or not the software gets better in any way shape or form…and everything is fine. But even successful cartoonists are living on the edge these days, and this one simply didn’t have the money to spare.

And so all the art he could have made, instead of struggling to find some new tools that would work for him, is lost. Gone. Never to become. And not just lost to him, but to all of us.

There’s how Adobe supports the “creative class”.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Death To Adobe…(continued)

Death To Adobe!

My new Canon 6D mkII will produce CR2 camera raw files like the 7D and the 7D mkII, but for Some Reason (to force users into their rental software model) Lightroom 6 won’t read them. Which is interesting since the old version of MacOS I’m running does.

This was a problem I ran into with the Canon R, which wrote to CR3 files. I expected that, since it’s the latest and greatest iteration of the Canon raw format. But I expected CR2 files to be the same as always and…apparently…they’re not. Either that, or Lightroom maintains a built-in file format reference and it is checked the camera version not the file extension.

The last buy it once use it always version of Lightroom…version 6…was released April 2015. The 7d mkII was released September 2014. The 6d mkII was released June 2017. Even if the file formats are the same, and I strongly suspect they are because of all the new and old software I have that reads the 6DII raw files, if Lightroom is going by the camera version then my Lightroom six won’t know about the 6DII, but does know about the 7DII.

So I just throws up it’s hands and gives up on the 6DII CR2 files, even though they’re the exact same file format.
I don’t know this for a fact…it’s just a hunch…but it’s an informed hunch based on Adobe’s predatory corporate behavior. Yes citizen…you must pay our software rent from now on.

But…no. I left Photoshop when GIMP finally evolved enough that I could use if for everything I used to use Photoshop for. My problem moving away from Lightroom is it was a comprehensive photographer’s workflow system: it does both image cataloging and editing and exporting to web gallery pages I could upload to my website. Apple Aperture used to be that, but it never worked very well, so I moved to Lightroom, blithely thinking that I could trust Adobe with my creative work. Hahahahahahaha…

Okay. Fine. Here’s what I have so far. Affinity Photo actually seems to handle camera raw edits Much better than Lightroom. So there’s my image editor, but I need to try it with my film scanner TIFFs to be sure it’s going to work for me as a Lightroom replacement. Digikam is a good cataloging application, with the extra advantage that it is open source, and runs on Linux as well as MacOS and Windows. Awkwardly, it won’t let me use Affinity as an external editor; I have to open an image file in Finder and then tell Finder to open it in Affinity. But at least that’s do-able. jAlbum looks like an excellent replacement for Lightroom’s export to web function. Affinity and jAlbum come in buy it once use it always licenses. Digikam is open source and would like your contributions very much. Once I’ve become comfortable that it’s my new photo catalogue, I will.

Adobe makes a big deal out of making tools for the “creative class”. But they actually don’t give a good goddamn about individual artists, cartoonists, photographers, creators, who are, if they can even manage to make a living at their art, usually living hand to mouth. They argue that the rental scheme allows artists to use high quality software tools for just a little money every month, but that cost, like everything rented, is at the discretion of the landlord and I’ve never in my life seen rents go down. What Adobe cares about are its big institutional customers. And Wall Street. For instance:

I knew a professional cartoonist who remained on Photoshop CS2 because that version worked fine for them and they were content. Now you can argue that this means they’re not supporting maintenance, but if a user does not need the later versions they’re not costing the company one thin dime? You want more money out of me, give me something I need in a new version. Then one day Adobe shut down the licensing server for Photoshop CS2… And It All Just Stopped Working. And they were fucked. How about instead of giving you something more that you might want to pay for, we just turn your software off.

Now, instead of paying for maintenance, you are paying to simply keep the software running. Every month. Or Else.

When you buy software that requires permission to run from the corporate licensing servers every time you run it you have bought nothing. And that perpetual license you bought from Adobe means whatever Adobe says it means at any given time.

I will not rent my creative software tools for the same reason I don’t rent my pens and brushes. I’ll buy a license. I’ll pay for the updates…if the updates have anything in them I need. That includes support for the current operating systems, and security bug fixes. I’ll pay for those. If and only if what I get for my money is software that runs without needing to check a corporate sever for my license Every Time It Runs. Because buried deep inside Every software license agreement is the clause that allows the vendor to unilaterally change the terms of the license out from under you whenever they want, whenever their business model changes.

I have a Nikon film scanner…the best one they ever made…it scans both 35mm and 120 roll film. But they stopped updating the scanner software for it sometime back in 2005. It does not run on any current version of MacOS or Windows. So I bought one of those half a beach ball iMacs that run Tiger…the last version of MacOS that the Nikon software ran on…at a computer flea market, and I installed the scanner software on it. Then I connected the Mac to my network. And I still have a film scanner that works.
I would pay for a software update but Nikon won’t bother with it anymore…the brave new world is Digital, sorry. I don’t think they even make a film camera anymore. But…okay…the software will run without having to get permission from a corporate licensing server. Suppose it wouldn’t. I’d have a very expensive doorstop now and no film scanner.

When you buy software that requires permission to run from the corporate licensing servers every time you run it you have bought nothing. You have made a bet.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Death To Adobe!

December 4th, 2020

A Coming Out Story, Episode 30…Real Soon Now…

Final strip for ACOS 30 almost finished. I hope to put the new episode up tonight and make it public tomorrow morning. I’ve discovered I need to let my cartoons simmer overnight before going live.

Notice I’m using GIMP now instead of Photoshop. After Adobe bricked the Windows copy I spent 850 dollars for I vowed to get myself off Adobe products. They claimed I’d somehow bought a “bulk” license that had expired even before I registered it. They’d let me use it for two years after the alleged expiration date. Then one supposes, since their new rental software business model wasn’t such a big hit, the tweaked their license algorithm and remote turned off my copy when it failed the new check.

I called their support number to ask what was going on and that I’d spent serious money for that copy, and their service droid told me to be more concerned about all the money Adobe was loosing to Piracy. But I’d bought a legitimate license. They even let me register this so called expired license that cost me 850 bucks and use it for two years.

The wonderful thing about commercial software is there are so many different directions they can point their fingers to blame for customer abuse. Adobe of course can blame the vendor I bought the license from that they claimed was already expired when they let me register and use it for two years. But of course, after two years the vendor isn’t much likely to refund my money. And more than likely they’ll claim it was a perfectly legitimate license and it’s Adobe that’s fucking with me, not them. And the fact is, buried inside nearly everyone’s licensing terms, is a clause allowing the vendor to change the terms of the license out from under you whenever they feel like it.

Think about that, those of you who think you have a permanent license for an Adobe product. 

So I’ve switched to GIMP, which has turned out to be a nearly perfect replacement for Photoshop. And it’s open source. But there is one small problem.

GIMP has a well known problem with tablet input devices, like my Wacom. It seems there is a bug in GTK2 that they’ve been dallying with fixing for 5+ years (It’s Open Source!), and the only machine that GIMP works properly on with my Wacom is the MacBook Pro you see here. So for the duration, that has become my art room computer.

Allegedly GIMP 3 fixes all that (real soon now!). There is a development release, GIMP 2.99.2, that allegedly has the tablet fix in it. But what you get, apart from a development release they tell you up front might crash on you at any moment, is a tarball that you have to compile.

I don’t have an up to date Linux system (it’s on my todo list) so I’ll just stick with the MacBook Pro for now. I’m actually really happy with GIMP. It does some things I need better than Photoshop, and its quirks are easily adapted to. I have a reference document I’ve been working on that steps me through a How To in GIMP things I did all the time in Photoshop, like ingesting line art onto a transparent layer. (It’s in Google Docs if there are any GIMP users here who want to look at it…message me) Moving and sizing objects on a layer is very odd in GIMP if you’re used to the way Photoshop does it, but once you understand it the process is very straightforward. Likewise copying line art from one image to another. But I can do everything in GIMP that I once did in Photoshop…at least regarding my cartoons…so I’m happy.

At some point I need to work on moving my photography workflow away from Lightroom. They say there are lots of good alternatives, some of which work way better at things like noise reduction and shadow detail.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on A Coming Out Story, Episode 30…Real Soon Now…

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