Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time — update the work Mac to OSX 10.5 to take advan­tage of the new fea­tures, par­tic­u­larly Spaces (the vir­tual desk­top man­ager) and Time Machine, the auto­matic backup engine.

Aha, ha ha, silly me.

I use Adobe’s Creative Suite 2 to do most of my work. This includes the big three tools: Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. PS is great for bitmap hack­ing; AI is a non­pareil vec­tor edi­tor, and ID is a pretty damn good page lay­out pro­gram. CS2 is one ver­sion down from CS3, the cur­rent release, but CS3 didn’t do much for adding fea­tures so much as it changed the way a lot of the tools func­tioned, mak­ing them more acces­si­ble to rel­a­tive novices.

Oh, I also use Acrobat 7 to print to PDF, because when your work is sent to press, that’s gen­er­ally the for­mat desired.

Imagine my sur­prise when, after fin­ish­ing the 10.5 upgrade, InDesign began behav­ing like it was run­ning on Windows, com­plete with ran­dom crash­ing and unpre­dictable print­ing behav­ior — by which I mean that some­times a doc­u­ment would print, and other times the exact same doc­u­ment would not print. OSX Leopard: Bad, bad kitty!

Imagine my fur­ther sur­prise when I learned this is not only a known issue, but Adobe isn’t going to do any­thing about it. CS2 is offi­cially not sup­ported any longer, which means that if you want to run your CS apps on 10.5, you are forced to pur­chase the upgrade to the tune of $1,600.

Yes, that’s one thou­sand, six hun­dred dol­lars, US, for an upgrade to get damned lit­tle in terms of improved func­tion­al­ity — and as Adobe admits, damned lit­tle reli­a­bil­ity on 10.5 any­way. There are still crash issues. They still haven’t worked out the bugs yet.

Even the most basic tool, print­ing to PDF, fails on 10.5, and Adobe doesn’t see a buig­fix release com­ing out until some­time in January.

So I spent the day today doing the only thing I could do: Rolling back to an OSX 10.4 install, remov­ing 10.5 entirely from the Mac.

There are ample fin­gers to point here, but I think a lot of blame can be put on Apple for this for so fun­da­men­tally alter­ing the struc­ture of their OS that a ver­sion upgrade destroys all cru­cial func­tion­al­ity on a promi­nent, com­mon and expen­sive suite of pro­fes­sional pub­lish­ing tools; and on Adobe for refus­ing to sup­port legacy users in the name of, appar­ently, mak­ing a few more man­sion pay­ments pos­si­ble for their board of directors.

If I seem a bit miffed, I am. I actu­ally felt betrayed by both Apple and Adobe on this one. This is extremely poor engi­neer­ing and inex­cus­ably bad cus­tomer ser­vice, and it’s going to be one hell of a long god­damn time before I decide to upgrade either my OS or my CS apps. These guys need to stop tak­ing cues from Microsoft or they’re going to be in for one hell of a surprise.


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