When I got my new computer, I decided to try Adobe’s 30-day free trial for photographers. Find out first-hand how I feel about their subscription service.
It was everything I expected it to be, nothing I hoped it might be. Which means I hated it. Because it’s online, it takes significantly longer to open and close than your own software.
It didn’t work with my NIK filters (though the NIK people assure me they are working on a solution to that), so I felt as if half my tools were missing. The software would not remember my library locations, no matter how many times I opened it.
And of course, without a WiFi connection, your tools don’t exist. Vapor-ware has finally come of age.
The third day after signing on, I signed off. Adobe has the absolutely worst, most inept customer service I’ve yet to experience — and that’s saying a lot. Long telephone wait times (“Your business is so important to us that we have put you on hold and play merry tunes to keep you grinding your teeth”) combined with operators who don’t know anything about the products they are supposed to service.
Nothing. At all. “How can I help you?” is a trick question. No matter how simple the question, they have to go ask someone, leaving you on hold. Again. It took hours to cancel the contract with me giving them every possible identifying detail of the contract. It doesn’t bode well for customer support should you decide to subscribe long-term.
It’s all part of the plot to make repairable equipment obsolete … probably to make us obsolete too.
A year ago, ZDNet declared:
The repairable PC is dead
… Amazon … launched their Workspaces offering yesterday. (It) provides a remote Windows environment … to run all your business-critical and personal applications in EC2.
Amazon is certainly not the first service provider to do this, but its endorsement of the technology speaks volumes about where we as an industry are going.
You don’t need an expandable, serviceable PC to get to that desktop and the applications that are hosted there. Indeed, Windows still serves a very key role in that scenario, but within the datacenter and public clouds. — From ZDNet, November 15, 2013
They keep telling us we are obsolete. So far, they’ve been wrong, but they’ll keep at it until eventually, they will make it true. Now that subscription is the “way to go” in the software biz, those of us who can’t afford subscriptions will inevitably fall behind. There will be no place for us in the new scheme of things.
I don’t mind old versions of applications if my tools get the job done. I have gone for years without upgrading. But corporations don’t make big money selling software to folks like me.
Enter subscriptions. No more nasty upgrades. We’ll always have “the latest version” (assuming this is a good thing, which I doubt) because we will rent software, not own it.
If you are one of millions of computer users living on a fixed income — or merely poor — this is terrible news.
If you’re barely surviving, subscribing isn’t an option.
When my PCs stop working, as one of them recently did, before replacing it, I call Jeremy, the computer fix-it guy. He comes to the house. Replaces the broken bits. Cleans out viruses and generally tunes it up. I give him a hundred bucks, he gives me a card with his number on it so if the problems come back, he will come back too, no charge.
I don’t quickly decide to dump my equipment. There has to be a problem that can’t be worked around or fixed. I can’t afford to replace things only because I want something new and shiny. The computer that was not working for me has been re-homed with my granddaughter. Eventually it will need to be reloaded, but if she treats it gently, it will last for years. Despite its inadequate graphics card.
Aside from not having money to replace things on a whim, I hate the whole idea of disposing of stuff so casually. I deplore our throwaway society and its mindset. It’s destroying our planet, trashing the environment. Polluting landfills. Making a profligate society even more wasteful.
It’s the definition of how we’ve gone wrong.
Does no one in the computer industry look at the effects of their business in a social context? Does no one recognize a moral parameter to business at all? Do they not realize what a dangerous path we are treading?
If one thing is going to doom our world, throwing stuff away rather than fixing it will put us on the fast track to doom.
Long time ago when Garry and I were working a ridiculous number of hours, we started using paper plates to avoid washing dishes. After a while, I found myself washing the paper plates. I couldn’t bear to throw them out.
That was when I rediscovered the concept of reusability. I remembered I had real dishes in my cupboard. I could wash and use them again! Revelation!
We are turning into a world of paper plate users. Everything, from your car to your computer, to your kitchen appliances is junk. If it stops working, dump it. Don’t even think about fixing it.
Change your cell phone every six months. Toss the old one. When in doubt, throw it out.
Because we hold fast to the myth that somewhere on our planet, there is a giant, bottomless hole into which the trash goes. It will never fill up, so we don’t have to worry about conserving resources. If only it were true.