Adobe acrobat not working… Adobe Flash not working… why oh why?

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Ok… I do normally write very happy cheerful (& useful :)) articles :) But today is just a bit of a rant, I hope you don’t mind :) Please feel free to add your own comments… Although some ‘useful’ lessons learned are at the end of this :)

So the other day, I thought I’d try out Adobe Acrobat…

Just *try* it out, not buy it, or anything…

First, I have to *find* their downloads. Ok.

But before I download, I have to ‘register’. Ok…

Now I have to provide my full address, etc (filling in junk doesn’t work, because they “check” it to make sure they can send you spam in the mail)… Ok, starting to get a bit annoyed, just want to try it out…

Next, I have to “confirm” my registration… wait 2 minutes for their e-mail to send me an e-mail…

Then I finally get a download link… but no, it’s not a ‘real’ download link… I have to “download” their “download manager”…

Turns out it is a java based download manager, which due to some wierd bug crashes my browser (and freezes my system)… So I have to go into a different browser, get it up and running…

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I go into Firefox, start it up… Asks me where I want to save the file… not really thinking so I say “C:\”… It’s windows Vista, vista doesn’t let you save to the root directory… So now I am in a catch-22, I “delete” the file from the java-based queue — and try to re-download — but in its “attempt” to be friendly it “remembers” where I wanted to save it, so tries “C:\” again — only to say “This cannot be installed here. Retry?”…

So 10 minutes later after playing around with settings, trying to figure out how to download it… I finally get a download link…

300+ MEGABYTES… More than 300 times the size of the original Windows 3.1… To read documents. Almost as big as Windows XP. A complete operating system, that was bloatware in the first place.

But, Adobe has the super duper packed fun filled file, which takes 10 minutes to unpack and totally ties up your BRAND NEW SPANKING computer system…

It took ONE HOUR just to install adobe acrobat… maybe the reason they CHARGE so much for the software is because they have to make up for the few people that do manage to get to try out their software and buy it…

It’s ridiculous to make people jump through that many hoops JUST to try out your software

THEN…

I wanted to try out Adobe Flash… It took over one hour to ‘kind’ of get that software installed, only to find out that it wouldn’t work because of some wierd kind of bug in their installer… Not only does sometimes their ‘javascript’ engine not work, but they also actually screw up the actual instal process and say that there is an ‘error’ installing their software, so that you can’t even try it out unless you buy it… But if the trial doesn’t work — why would you want to even bother buying it? I ended up spending several hours going through the search engines only to find many frustrated users like myself…

Lessons Learned:

1. IF you decide to have your own online business — DONT MAKE PEOPLE jump through ridiculous hoops just to try out your software. I think the only reason Adobe manages to get away with this tactic is because online revenue is not their only source, and they kind of ‘defined’ what a PDF file is. But if you are just starting out and don’t have that clout, make it as easy as possible for someone to try out your stuff.

2. License/copyright protection is important. But again — don’t make it so ridiculous that someone can’t even try it out. Both products were a royal pain to install. Macromedia Flash didn’t even work. So, if you have your own software/goods/services — do protect it, but don’t cripple someone’s system when trying to do so.

Anyways, I’m sure there are other lessons, but I’m going to go watch some t.v. right now :) Take a break from the frustration :P

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