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Manufacturing Indaba 2018

CS6: who gives a buck?

I recently downloaded Photoshop CS6 Beta to get a taste of what the fuss is about. A new interface, improved layer panels, lighting effects and introduction of style sheets for text was keeping the Adobe site busy with users trying to download this free software.
The idea, of course, is for Adobe to see how we react to the application and its changes before the official release later in the year. Though the real cost has not been publicised, the question on my mind is whether the upgrade is worth the possibly big hole it will leave in my wallet.

Moneymaking schemes or appreciable improvements

For me, software upgrades often have the effect of moneymaking schemes instead of appreciable improvements. Unless the news is much akin to finding water in an oasis, such as the introduction of multiple pages in an application that did not initially offer them, or the ability to create interactive PDFs in a vector application, I intentionally skip certain upgrades.

At the same time, I do not want to become one of those Stone Age creatives who are still using Macromedia Freehand, via a postscript printer, via Adobe Distiller, merely to create a PDF.

But being a freelancer, I cannot afford to keep up with technology. Not even the gazillion software updates due for download on my iMac. I am not afraid of change - especially free change. I just do not always have the time and internet bandwidth it takes to do all due updates.

Released too frequently

Software updates are released rather too frequently. Waking up to a bouncing icon on my computer that will not go away until I update the operating system maybe for my own good - especially in protecting my computer against new bugs and improving its overall performance.

But I can't always afford to take a holiday while my machine is being updated and rebooting.

Of course, the repercussions of not updating operating system software are dire. I have to keep my computer safe and efficient. But will Photoshop CS6 really turn my life around? After all, I'd like to believe that turning a blind eye to CS4 and its minimal offerings and, instead, jumping from CS3 to CS5 saved me a lot of money.

Applications are tools

Some would disagree and argue that the panning and zooming features of Photoshop CS4 or rotating spreads introduced in InDesign CS4 saved an entire civilisation. But at the end of the day, I reckon applications are tools, and what we use them for really depends on individual needs and personal experience.

For some people, every upgrade means saving time and optimising their skills. Those who work with hundreds of layers will enjoy the ability to search for layers by names and attributes in Photoshop CS6.

As for me, I'm happy with my CS5 - until I see notable improvements worth my bucks.

About Vanita 'Bezi Phiri

Communication is the weapon. Riding on that collaborative spirit flowing in Mother Africa. I'm breathing real air. I shake old problems. I design new solutions. I tell stories. My boss is Africa. I would like to work with the curious.
phanuel motsepe
I totally agree, im still using CS3, and even my friends who are using the latest tools can't do the things I do. but its not because I don,t have the the latest Upgrades though, but because I can do what I want with CS3, I think with every upgrade you loose a bit of In-dependency. Drawing a potrait with a pencil and taking a picture with a camera are two different things, with the pencil, you can be creative and even change some things but with a camera you just take a picture, I feel like Photoshop is becoming a camera with buttons that shapes your results. It is not about Creatives anymore but Users, so soon it will feel like you are using Office Puplisher. Upgrade, I will, but just like the other upgrades, if I feel like I m being dictated ill go back to my CS3, and wait for CS7, just scared of being left behind with the Freehanders though.
Posted on 6 Apr 2012 10:04
Judy Karpathakis
I assume Adobe heard a lot of these complaints and that's why they introduced their subscription options. I.e. you pay a monthly subscription fee and automatically get any new releases of your product. You do have to be connected to the internet whenever you want to use it, but most people are connected most of the time anyway.They also indicated that they will release Creative Cloud when CS6 comes out which includes iPad apps as well as the Design Suite (I think) on a subscription basis and it seems the subscription amount will be reasonable. I am currently using the subscription option for CS5.5 Master Collection and am very happy with this option as I didn't have to spend R25k or more only to have to do it all again when CS6 comes out (and then CS6.5 etc.)
Posted on 11 Apr 2012 13:10
It's a confrontational article and a strange one too.Confrontational by using a title like "CS6: who gives a buck?", strange for asking a question that she partly answered herself when she said: "Unless the news is much akin to finding water in an oasis, such as the introduction of multiple pages in an application that did not initially offer them, or the ability to create interactive PDFs in a vector application, I intentionally skip certain upgrades."Her problem is that she doesn't think out of the box. It never crossed her mind that a lot of people who buy a new version, are actually people who had been using a rather old version?
Posted on 16 Apr 2012 00:43
Grace Mwanahanja
I never thought I'd read a piece full of technical jargon and yet enjoy it. I love the subtle humour in your writing style.
Posted on 23 Apr 2012 10:36
Nyembezi Phiri
Thanks for your comments guys. For those interested, Adobe has published a video on Illustrator CS6
Posted on 26 Apr 2012 10:43