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Adobe CS4 upgrade hassles

After paying for and downloading Photoshop CS4 and DreamWeaver CS4, I encountered a few issues:

  • When I ran the installer, it wanted serial numbers, stating they were to be found in the email I should have (and never) received. Logging in online, the order is shown, but no serial numbers. I never received the email, and it took 10 minutes on the phone to get them.When I finally did get an email confirming my order: no serial numbers. Adobe claims the activation requirement is not a hassle for users, but see the next item too.
  • When I ran “Check for Updates” in Photoshop CS4 and it updated Adobe Camera RAW, at the next launch it claimed my serial number was invalid, and I had to re-enter it.
  • Photoshop CS4 and DreamWeaver CS4 ignored all CS3 preferences, window positions, etc. I saw no menu item to read the CS3 settings, so I had to redo everything.

At first glance, both Photoshop CS4 and DreamWeaver CS4 appear to be warmed-over CS3 versions (that is certainly the case for DreamWeaver, I’ve been using the beta for months). It might not be true for Photoshop, time will tell.

Some changes have been made to command key shortcuts, notably the cmd ~/1/2/3 shortcuts for switching between color channels. Read John Nack’s blog on this, which links to a plugin to restore the CS3 shortcuts.

Another hassle is that the upgrades function only against a previous installed version. So if I need to reinstall from scratch (eg buy a new computer), I have to dig out various old versions, or so it seems. Such things are anti-customer in my view. After all I’ve bought and upgraded Adobe Photoshop since version 2—surely they can issue me a standalone version with each upgrade, so I could throw away those old boxes!

One longstanding performance disappointment has not been fixed: opening files remains single-threaded. You may have 2 or 4 or 8 CPU cores and a fast RAID, but Photoshop still uses only one of the cores when opening files, reading data at 1/8 the speed my RAID offers.

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