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PS cs Activation Hysteria

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  • PS cs Activation Hysteria

    Hi Doug

    There is paranoia abound over at the Adobe Forums concerning the activation requirement. There is a Big Brother wave building and its got a lot of those folks in a real twist.

    If you read all the threads (and there is a bunch) everyone has a different take with confusion the result.

    Everyone was pretty much blind sided by this activation requirement and it has thrown a lot of people into knee jerk speculation.

    Would you or any of the members care to try and put clear definition to this subject?

    RetouchPro and its membership have always provided down to earth logical and polite professional guidance in all of its forums. Personally, I find RetouchPro has a calming effect on me after leaving some of the other forums. The opportunity for learning is much more prevalent here. (In my humble opinion)

    Keep it up folks. You are wonderful.

  • #2
    My understanding of the activation process is that it generates a random number, then broadcasts that back to Adobe, which then uses that number to formulate a "key". The hysterics generally feel there's room in that random number for their name, home address, shoe size, etc. (there ain't, it's just a number).

    Adobe has one of the most liberal licences in the business, letting you run Photoshop on two completely different machines on one license. And I also know they have a piracy problem second only to Microsoft.

    Since my copy of Photoshop isn't pirated, I say good for Adobe! My opinion might be different if I was using a pirated version, though.
    Learn by teaching
    Take responsibility for learning


    • #3

      None of my software is pirated either. However, depending on the implementation, activation can be a real problem. I purchased my computer four years ago with MS Office Professional. I went through several upgrade cycles on Office ending up with the Special Edition version of Microsoft Office XP Professional (had to be activated). I can no longer use it. Why? Well, I upgraded my hard drives. When I loaded my new hard drive using my backup tapes, Office would not run. Of course I had to do a reinstall. Sine the Special Edition requires a "qualifying" product and my old versions of Office are long gone (yes, like a dummy I pitched the disks a long time ago) I am up the creek. Of course I could simply go out on Ebay and purchase an old version of a "qualifying" product or borrow one from a friend. But, I am not sure I want to deal with MS products any more than I have to.

      Hmmm, while typing I thought of something. I have an old version of Office on a backup tape. I could restore that version and then install the copy of Office XP. Nahhhh, too much trouble.

      It took Quicken one year to back off of activation in the Turbo Tax products. I wonder if Adobe will "see the light".



      • #4
        I, too, use only legit software. The first time I had to deal with activation was with XP and let me tell you something, what a pain that turned out to be. Being the kind of person I am, I like to upgrade my system all during the year. I may add hard drives or change out my processor and motherboard. I have already done that twice this year. MicroSoft won't accept my copy of XP any more, even though I purchased it and only use it on one machine. I am now the proud owner of two copies of XP that are totally worthless and have been at odds with MicroSoft for quite a while. I have always known that there was a workaround for this activation but refuse to violate the license agreement. The workaround is very simple and only takes about a minute to work around it. This fix came out before XP was even released. Now, as far as MicroSoft is concerned, I'm running an illegal copy of XP.

        With that said, I believe Adobe is heading in the right direction. I can't see them doing something that would hurt their followers in such a way that would cause them to seek alternative means (software). Being in the business that I'm in, I have a lot of contacts with people who use PhotoShop and I have to say that 3 out of 5 use pirated software. The reason I know this is when they went to do the upgrade from 7 to 7.1, their software ceased to work and they called me to see if I could fix it. I told them I had the perfect fix, buy a legit copy of PhotoShop.

        Some people have been saying that this new version is not worth the upgrade. I beg to differ. It's finally offering the features that I think PhotoShop should have had all along. I think it was here that I read that you will be able to use the healing brush to a blank layer. Now, I see all kinds of possibilities for this. The other is the fact that text will now be able to follow a path. This is a feature that most all other programs already have. I don't even need to get into the 16 bit argument. I know and can tell the difference. For me, it's long over due.

        Well, enough said.



        • #5
          The initialisation system that Adobe are using for 8 sounds similar to that used by Caere for their Omnipage OCR prog. Caere eventually went back to serial numbers perhaps a lot of bona fide customers found it troublesome.


          • #6
            Here is a repeat post that I made to both the Applied Colour Theory list and the Sparky Photoshop List. Thankfully the number of posts has not reached the Adobe forums levels, but both of these lists are running hot with this news.

            Product activation is now a required step after the 30 day
            grace period, it is 'simply' reflecting the existing agreement
            between yourself and Adobe - although the point is no longer as
            subtle as it previously was.

            A regular single user license grants the user legal installs on two - and only two units at one time. Sadly, those who have their studio, their home studio and their laptop are out of luck with the regular license, AFAIK.

            So prior to activation, one copy on three machines was illegal - two was fine, as long as you meet the license agreement terms.
            The only difference is that activation forces the issue.

            Activation was introduced on APS7 in Australia on the PC.

            Now CS requires activation for any location, on the PC - for single license installs, those with multiple license purchases do not have to worry - this seems more of a 'retail consumer' thing (not that there are not plenty of pro business users who only need one license though).

            The Mac does not at this time.

            I would guess that Adobe are slowly testing the water, I have no
            doubt that Mac's will have to activate at some future point - but this is pure speculation on my part.

            > And what about when I reformat my
            > drives?
            > Does anyone really know what this will mean?

            I have not tested with a disk image of the HD, but I would presume that if you wipe and reinstall, then you would need to reactivate. I have activated over the internet as part of my beta test of Photoshop
            CS on W2K.

            Changing the video card won't trigger activation. Changing or adding other hardware like printers, scanners, cards, mice, tablets, etc, will not alter activation. Changing the hard drive on which Photoshop is installed will break activation. Changing the motherboard and/or moving the drive on which Photoshop is installed may break activation if the motherboard is different (example, moving the hard disk to another machine).

            If you do happen to trigger the behaviour [broken or removed
            activation], you can reuse the serial number to activate the new
            configuration [if you used the phone to activate via automated means or live human support]. Adobe allow up to two activations per serial number per six month window, if I understand the situation correctly.

            Again, more details here and at the main Adobe site:

            From my experience, activation is painless when done over the net, I'm sure the phone is not too much of a chore either.

            I have removed activation and reactivated without issue. I have also removed the app without removing activation, which means that I can install CS at a later date but I do not need to reactivate.

            Yes, I can imagine that there will be times or situations that
            activation may cause problems for a legit owner of the application - but from what I have experienced with my trials, this should be no big deal. 24/7 activation (two automated, one human assist) should remove most problems with lost production time (most folk should have earlier versions as a backup and we all save with backward/forward compatibility don't we <g>). It appears that Adobe have tried to cover common concerns and they have taken note of Quark and others who have had problems with this technology.

            Yes, I dislike the general principle - once money is down, a user
            should not have to deal with Adobe for either activation or
            registration (two different and separate things, users are not forced to register). Adobe should need nothing more from the licensee than the money for the license.

            Conclusion - activation is as transparent as possible from the
            average end user perspective - and should not be a drama. Folk may not like it, but it is here and it seems that this implementation is better than some.


            Stephen Marsh.


            • #7
              My view of activation is some what akin to my view of padlocks. They are to keep honest people honest.

              I do not believe that padlocks and activation deter dishonest people.

              Activation is a a minor inconvenience at best and a major pain in the a** at its worst. Unfortunately, I have suffered both minor and major with other products.

              Only time will tell if Adobe is any different than Microsoft, Quark, or Quicken.

              Hmmmm, is now a good time to switch from PC to Mac?



              • #8
                Well, I think that I am going to make any upgrades to my system BEFORE I upgrade to PShop CS -- since a new hard drive and/or a motherboard are on my list.

                Hmmmm, is now a good time to switch from PC to Mac? - Catia
                I'm sure that Winwintoo and other Mac users here will agree that it's ALWAYS a good time to switch... No viruses, no activations...


                • #9
                  Well, I have mixed thoughts about it. I license some software from a tiny company that requires activation. When I switched computers I kept putting off loading it on the new computer because I didn't want to be bothered with activation. It was an irritation more than anything. But I finally got around to it when I upgraded the software.

                  Also, considering how some software companies disappear overnight, I do not feel confident that I'll always be able to activate this software. Something similar already happened to me with copy protection when a company was bought by a larger one, and the new company would not return any of my requests for help in getting the software installed on a new computer.

                  I don't expect this kind of scenario to happen with Adobe. But I do see the possibility of being refused help after the software is a number of years old. For example, calling and being told "Oh, we don't support activation on older software. You need to upgrade."

                  So I guess the bottom line is I just feel annoyed that I have to get their permission when I load something I already paid for. And, I realize that Adobe is just trying to protect their business. But it's still irritating, and I can understand why some people are upset by this.


                  • #10
                    I live just down the street from Adobe in San Jose, Ca. I have a friend that works at Adobe and they are just as frustrated as us legtimate license holders. Catia hit it right on the head with the "keeping honest people honest" analogy. Given the choice of paying $600 for software and getting it free with no penalty, majority will lean toward free. That is just human nature. (No wonder animals will not talk to us) Copyright infringement takes on an air of insignificance when practiced on a grand scale and allowed to go unchallenged. As evidenced by the music industry's move to curtail file sharing, three hundred people across the country now face charges for copyright infringement for sharing and storing some three thousand songs on their hard drives. One of them was a twelve year old girl and mom had no idea what she was doing. Neither mom or daughter was aware of the legal implications of what she was doing. Song file sharing had been going on for four years with no one taken to task. Point is, Adobe is on the right track with this new procedure. You have to start with the casual pirate who can be reasoned with. On the other side of the coin is the hard bitten program cracker that will drool at this challenge and will no doubt have an end run figured out by the time CS hits the store shelves. Adobe can only hope to stay a few steps ahead. Didn't mean to go off on a rant. Personally, I will deal with what is required to keep PhotoShop moving in a positive direction. I certainly hate the thought of trying to accomplish what I have been doing without it.


                    • #11
                      Interesting situation although it amused me to see amongst all the Adobe initialisation blurb that they would still have to provide versions for corporate distribution. I wonder what form these will take as I can't see large licence holders tolerating sole user procedures.

                      The action taken against the 12 year old aroused great interest on this side. Allowing for press inacuraccies would the copyright agencies have proceeded against a child ? With regard to file sharing the record companies lost the battle the day Napster appeared, their once lucrative back catalogues now reside on the net.
                      Last edited by chris h; 10-05-2003, 08:22 AM.


                      • #12
                        Why don't they do like the kids game developers have always done - no disk, no play. And, you can't copy the disks (we've tried - one for home and one for Grandma's house - the copy wouldn't work.

                        Two computers, no problem, ship 2 disks in each box - one for home, one for the studio. So what if you keep one disk and give the other one away.

                        Catia, CJ is right, now is always a good time to switch to a Mac



                        • #13
                          Why don't they do like the kids game developers have always done - no disk, no play. And, you can't copy the disks (we've tried - one for home and one for Grandma's house - the copy wouldn't work.
                          Margaret, unfortunately as soon as a disc protection scheme comes out, a crack is found for it. There are very few CD protection schemes that can't be copied - you just need the right copy software. It's like Catia's padlocks.


                          • #14
                            activation work around

                            I attend classes at a local community college and priated software rules the day. Students have already exchanged PS CS with a work around that does not require activation. I have no idea how they got the copies so quick and figure out how to by pass the activation but they do, as is the case with all software, even when Quark required the dongle they had copies that did not. It seems to become a challenge to many, the more they try to stop the more they try to do.


                            • #15
                              Intuit Says It's Really, Really Sorry For Product Activation

                              Intuit Says Sorry


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