CS3 Hoops

Well the book is at last entering the stages of copy-editing and pre-production. One of my duties now is to review the press-ready layouts in PDF format as they become available, to make any final tweaks and edits. This requires highlighting passages and adding comments in a PDF file, which requires a full-blown version of Adobe Acrobat. I don’t have Acrobat, and Preview’s “annotation tool” won’t cut it. I was offered temporary use of an older version of Acrobat (v5) but for some reason have been unable to install it. The files simply don’t register as applications and attempting to run “Acrobat 5 Installer” just opens the 105mb file in TextMate.

I decided to spring for my own copy of Acrobat 8, thinking I’ll surely have use for it in the future, and it’s all a business expense anyway. Then I recall that Acrobat 8 Pro is included in the just-released Adobe Creative Suite 3: Web: Premium edition, which I planned to buy anyway, just not right this minute. It would be foolish to pay for Acrobat 8 just to replace it later.

In the interest of getting my stubby little fingers on the software right this minute, I decided to go whole hog on CS3 Web Premium and spend $1600 at the drop of a hat. Unfortunately, the local Apple store had none in stock, and no ETA on when more copies would arrive. Ordering directly from Adobe displays the statement “usually ships in 7 days,” with no way of knowing just what “usually” means in this particular circumstance. I could buy the 3.2 gigabyte download from Adobe and get the whole thing right this minute (after a few painful hours of downloading, that is), except I really would prefer the nice box and an official install disc, rather than burn my own backup. Call me picky.

So it’s off to PriceGrabber to see who offers the best price as well as overnight shipping. The winner was SoftwareMedia.com, who offered the suite at $30 below retail. Of course, overnight shipping is $30, so I only broke even. So be it. I held my breath and placed my order, excited at the prospect of having it within 48 hours.

But no, it just couldn’t be that easy, could it? I awake to an E-mail informing me that SoftwareMedia has no copies CS3 Web Premium Full in stock, and they’re planning instead to ship me CS2 Full, along with the upgrade to CS3. Yes, this would equally accomplish the same goal of getting working, legal copies of the latest versions of the suite overnight. But I really want full installers for CS3, preferably right this minute. Call me picky.

I phoned SoftwareMedia’s customer support, intending to either cancel the order or at least find out how much it would be delayed if I waited until they got the full version in stock. Alas, no ETA. Nice distribution, Adobe. The helpful chap on the line did some poking around and it seems one of their third-party distributors actually has it in stock, right this minute, and is willing to ship overnight. But they’re in California, as am I, so it would add $107 in sales tax that the Utah-based SoftwareMedia wouldn’t have charged me. The other option would be for the warehouse in CA to overnight the package to UT, where they could then overnight it right back to me and save me the sales tax, but it would take an extra day. Quite the conundrum.

I had two choices: pay sales tax and get it the next day, or pay a second overnight charge and get it in two days. Perhaps foolishly, I opted to save myself 77 bucks and wait an extra day. Call me stingy.

So at this moment, my shiny copy of Adobe Creative Suite 3: Web: Premium: Full is winging its way from a warehouse in California to a warehouse in Utah, thence to be sent back to California, and I should have it by noon on Friday. Meanwhile, I’m still unable to provide review comments on the PDF of Chapter 4, so perhaps I’ll fill the time by trying to sort out why OS X thinks this copy of Acrobat 5 is an undefined file.

Update: I didn’t realize Acrobat 5 predates OS X. Supposedly, I could install it by first installing OS 9 and running in “Classic mode,” but that’s a hoop I just won’t jump. Commenting on PDFs will have to wait until CS3 arrives. Note to Apress: you should invest a multi-user license for a newer Mac version of Acrobat for your Mac-lovin’ authors.


  1. Crikey, you really have jumped through some crazy hoops here. Methinks you got carried away, Craig. Be careful and never take up gambling – your determination will end up losing the shirt off your back :-D

  2. Well it seems Adobe “underestimated” how quickly the CS3 Web and Design bundles would sell, though I’m not sure I believe that. They’re backed up because it’s just sooo hard to burn a DVD and print a box? Any place that had any copies sold them out in a flash and is waiting to receive more, but nobody has any idea when a shipment might come in. This feels like a manufactured shortage, Nintendo Wii-style, to keep demand high.

    I really did plan to buy CS3 Web, but probably would have waited a few months. The need for Acrobat 8 on short notice just accelerated my plan.

  3. So, do you have it yet? and how did this all pan out?

    I can’t be sure, but at least with Macromedia’s site, my purchases were redownloadable from my account section.
    I’m hoping Adobe does the same thing, and, as far as i can remember when i upgraded my CS -> CS2, Adobe had the same feature.
    Perhaps a T3 line at this point for downloading Gigs would have been helpful, but i thought i’d at least chime in. heh.


  4. Since my eager readers want to know (well, ok, just Luke), CS3 arrived in a timely manner and I’ve been using it for a month. The first thing I noticed is that Photoshop is much snappier on my Intel Mac now that it’s a proper universal binary application. The only oddity is with the various selection tools… there seems to be a slight pause between releasing the mouse and the actual marching ants appearing. But perhaps it does that on all platforms.

    I haven’t quite gotten used to the new palette situation in Illustrator CS3. The palettes are hidden under icons in this sort of palette/toolbar hybrid until you call them up. I probably just need to spend more time getting my workspace set up just how I like it, but meanwhile it’s rather annoying to not have all my palettes showing at once.

    As expected, Dreamweaver is a throwaway. Fine software I’m sure, I just have no use for it at all. And for all its improvements since I last used it in 2002, Dreamweaver still generates presentational markup and inline CSS and is thus still to blame for many badly-made websites built by people who rely on WYSIWYG instead of actually understanding HTML and CSS.

    I haven’t had much use for Flash nor time to tinker with it, but I’m sure it’ll come up eventually, if only to create sIFR font files.

    As for Acrobat, the thing that started this whole saga, it works just as promised and I was able to review all the PDFs. The book is now essentially “done” and is undergoing indexing and final layout, and should be off to the printers any minute. I believe June 25 is still the targeted publication date.

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