Accomplishing the Impossible

I hadn’t really thought about it much – until tonight – but Adobe accomplished the impossible with Creative Suite 3: It represents the first true offspring of the marriage of Adobe and Macromedia. Definitive Macromedia apps like Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Flash were rolled into the Adobe fold and are now being served up alongside apps like Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, and InDesign. Keeping that in mind, it’s amazing there weren’t more problems with the release of CS3. That is all.

The Time to Act is Now

My traffic has nearly tripled in the past two weeks. The cause? People are having LOTS of problems installing Creative Suite 3. Most of the traffic has come as a result of search engine queries. Of my top 20 search terms since April 27th, 12 have been related to CS3. Coincidence? I think not.

cs3 install problems (37); cs3 install (20); cs3 install problem (14); cs3 installation problems (14); install CS3 (14); cs3 will not install (10); adobe cs3 installation problems (9); trouble installing cs3 (6); how to install cs3 (6); photoshop cs3 installation (5); installing cs3 (5) … and so many more…

Adobe: The time to act is now. Loyal users are suffering silently, searching the web for any and all help they can get. You’ve offered little help. Forcing people to run CleanScripts, editing their registries, changing system permissions in order to install software in unacceptable. The CS3 Installer is broken and it needs to be fixed NOW.

What’s the solution? Calling Support is almost out of the question. Before I even got CS3 I waited on the phone three times for 30 minutes or more. I suggest we start calling and writing and/or faxing letters to Corporate voicing our dissatisfaction. What better place to start than at the top?

Adobe Systems Incorporated
345 Park Avenue
San Jose, CA 95110-2704
Tel: 408-536-6000
Fax: 408-537-6000

A Mini-Design Update

You may or may not have noticed, but I rolled out a few design changes shortly after I upgraded to WordPress 2.2 yesterday morning.

  • I changed the color scheme a bit. Went from a dark blue background with white text to a white background with black text. It’s not a major change, but I’m hoping it’ll help with readability. More significant changes will probably be coming in the next week or so. (I’m still trying to wrap up a few projects I’ve been working on for a while, so depending on how quickly those are finished will determine how soon I get to play again with the site design.)
  • I reworked how Comments and Pings/Trackbacks are displayed on individual post items. Previously, trackbacks were displayed inline with regular comments. Now, they’re not. They used to be included in <div>s, now they’re in an <ol>. (These are subtle changes, I know, but I’m trying to improve the semantics in the markup for the site.)

The way I’m versioning the site is sort of weird – and pretty arbitrary – to be honest with you. I’m calling this Version 14.1.0 because of some improvements I made in the code structure for my site template and some CSS changes that I made. But the reality is, I have no idea what version the site is at currently. Hopefully I can do a better job at explaining some more of the changes I make in the near future.

(Thanks, Matt, for the nudge to do this.)

CS3 Install Problems are Inexcusable

UPDATE: Additional information on installing CS3 is now available (Thanks to Barry Hills at Adobe!). Please read through the article “Additional Information on Installing CS3” for help installing CS3 on your computer.

I’ve added a post to the site with info on using Selective Startup Mode under Windows XP to get Creative Suite 3 Web Premium to install. Hopefully it will help some of you that are struggling with getting it on your system. Article: Installing CS3 Premium

Never before have I had this much trouble installing an application that should just work. I’ve done everything from uninstalling the Photoshop CS3 Beta, running the CleanScript for Windows XP and each and every time I try to install Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Premium I get “component fail” errors.This is COMPLETELY unacceptable.

I’ve wasted way too much time trying to install applications that shouldn’t have had ANY problems at all installing.

I’ve learned a valuable lesson from this: never beta test software from Adobe again. Photoshop CS3 Beta was their first widespread beta test of an application, and it has completely screwed things up for me.

Ugh… I am so disgusted right now.

Design Quote

Fantastic quote by famed Apple product designer, Jonathan Ive:

“I don’t want to see a designer wagging his tail in my face. I want to see a problem solved, and in a way that acknowledges its context.” – Jonathan Ive

Sneak Peek

Here’s a little preview of the upcoming design for cdharrison.com:

cdharrison.com sneek peak

I’ve been putting a lot of thought into the UI design, trying to make the site easier to use. I don’t have a timeframe for roll-out, but you’ll start to see bits and pieces of the new design starting to appear soon. My site has long been about stuff, and that’s why I’m calling this release “Effercio” (Latin for, you guessed it, “stuff”). This will be the 14th major iteration of the site, and the third since migrating over to WordPress. (In case you’re wondering, I called v13 “Nanideska”. “Nani deska” is a little Japanese phrase I picked up from watching too much anime in my younger years… it literally means “what” or “what is it?” That’s what I kept asking myself about the direction I was heading with the site and the design…)

Redesigning, or realigning, a site is one of the more rewarding aspects of what I do. You take what works and you make it better. You take what doesn’t work and you throw it out the window.

“The desire to redesign is aesthetic-driven, while the desire to realign is purpose-driven.” – Cameron Moll

With every iteration of this site, and pretty much every site I work on, there is a strong desire for me to push my skills a little bit further. Design, in general, should be fun. It isn’t when you’re doing the same thing over and over again.

So… here’s what you’ll be able to expect with v14:

  • Full Sandbox integration. Sandbox supports microformats like hAtom and hCard right out of the box. It’s a great theme upon which to build a site.
  • Better navigation. Browsing through the ‘stuff’ on my site will be a bit easier than before. Navigation will be more apparent throughout the site.
  • Better organization of content. Categories should be easier to use. Older content should be easier to browse through.
  • Better accessibility. An alternate stylesheet will be available for High Contrast. (I’m hoping to accomodate text-resizing a bit better as well.)
  • Better design. v13 evolved from a theme called Qwilm! … but it’s never been exactly what I wanted. v14 changes all of that.

I’ll post something in the next few days detailing more of my process of taking an idea, mocking it up in Photoshop, and then turning it into a design…