Cloud computers are computers you can only use with someone else's permission




I didn't want to pay subscription fees, and Adobe still hasn't bothered to update Photoshop Elements for retina display, so I switched to a combination of Acorn, Pixelmator and Aperture. Very glad I did.


Yep. Use stand-alone, open-source tools as much as possible. Critical work needs to be totally on your schedule. Less critical stuff can be on a leash. There are some leashes you can't avoid, such as research on the web, paid subscriptions, etc. But as much as possible be local. With another huge caveat: unless you know what you're doing and want to babysit the thing, don't host or serve anything. Get a good, cheap, reliable hosting provider to do it for you. Rules for 2014, basically.


If anybody's got good substitutes for InDesign, I'm all ears.


Basically, the only feature they added to Adobe products is the same annoying Flash update model, where each update adds nothing but a new version number that you must update to if you want to keep using it.


So I shouldn't buy a Chromebook Pixel?


Scribus ( can do most of what InDesign does. It takes a little getting used to, but is really great once you get the hang of it. It's a fully open source, cross platform application.


This is sort of like how rental housing is housing you can only use if someone gives you permission except that we have all kinds of laws about rental housing to protect tenants. Similar laws to protect people renting cloud computing are going to be very slow coming, and until then, it really is the digital equivalent of slum lords who will send their goons to evict whenever they feel like it.


I use this software daily for both my day job and for my freelance projects. "Stranded" is a bit of an overstatement. Whenever I've had connectivity issues I have 30 days before I need to re authenticate. If I stop paying today I'd have 30 days before I'd be 'locked out'.

Subscription pricing isn't for everyone and it's a shame that it's Adobe's only model but for me it allows me access to more current software than I could otherwise afford and their release of new features has accelerated dramatically.


But why would we need laws to protect computer users? The only people who use computers are kids playing murder simulators! We should be working to BAN them!


Well, you could use it with your own cloud apps, or switch on developer mode and install Linux.

However, for 90% of people the technical knowledge needed to run your own cloud services is too high a bar to jump over right now, so the general warning applies.


Do you have experience using this for commercial offset printing? I'd be interested to know how well it works with separations and spot colors, and if it can import INDD files. I spend my work life running Adobe applications for web and print, and I'm dreading the day my options become bend over and take it from Adobe or walk away. It'll save my bacon if I can walk away from Adobe and continue to make a living without having to rebuild thousands of files.

I haven't moved the the latest version because I have an attitude problem. I would like to buy software and use it, rather than rent it. I believe this marks me as a dinosaur.


As much as I think that it's important that new consumer protection laws be drafted and implemented, it's a little silly to compare housing laws to cloud computing. Housing laws are harsh explicitly because the roof over your head is a tier 1 need, up there with food and water.

Additionally, unless there's been some major change I'm not aware of, it's not like cloud computing companies are looking to vacate users or anything like that. Any time you take ANY dependency on an outside force, you're opening yourself to risk, so it's better to think of this in terms of something to be aware of in a risk assessment.


More generally than in reply to an individual: I think that when we talk cloud computing today, it's important to realize that for small-to-medium businesses, cloud infrastructure like S3 and Azure give companies a specific feature they couldn't achieve otherwise, which is global redundancy and infrastructure. Setting up a regionalized CDN or something like that is certainly a reasonable goal if you're netflix, but if you're something tiny and starting out, being able to have a presence in four countries right off the bat with traffic rerouting/etc is a hard thing to achieve otherwise. It's not magic or anything, but you also can't just open source your way out of that.


Cloud backup is one of the things I can't rely solely on, while it is offsite, is also dependent on a lot of variables. I prefer TB drives.


Well, I did mean to literally compare the importance access to cloud computer to the importance of having a place to live, and I am willing to stand by the comparison.

This is kind of the problem. Small and medium businesses need these services to survive.


Can I ask why the combination? It seems like they all do similar tasks. (Also, it seems like Lightroom could also do all those tasks, but LR is Adobe and maybe you're staying away from that.)

More pertinently to me, as I've been looking for something to replace iPhoto for managing my 50K photos: Aperture uses its own database, and it looks like Acorn at least does as well. Do all these apps play nicely with each other? Would you able to easily have your photos on several different hard drives, without worrying too much about libraries and what-not?

I've been trying to find something that's as easy to use as iPhoto for simply scrolling through photos, but that just treats all my photos as files. So far I've found Lyn, but that seems to be a little too bare-bones. Would love something like that with the ability to sort and tag photos (using Exif, and not a database).


CS5, not CC. smile


There's always a problem with taking a metaphor too far, the housing example is a pretty good way to understand how this model can be unfair and how it can be abused.


You seem to have misspelled "rational person who understands the word "buy.""