20 September 2005

[design, tech] Installing Adobe Creative Suite 2

The box with the CD set came two weeks past, this Friday. At the time I was in the middle of laying out the Columbia Overlook Fall edition (which is done now) so I left it, much as I wanted to get in installed and get all up ons with it.

It's a new toy. A super new toy. A $549 new toy, but I was able to get that pricing because I've owned InDesign since version 2 and Photoshop since version 7. The bill for a seat of CS2 is a little more than 1-large, but the same money thrown at Quark will just get you XPress-if you want Photoshop, you'll have to buy it, and if you want Illustrator...well, you get the idea. And InDesign is a sexah, sexah program to use; a Metafilter poster opined that "InDesign is teh new hotness." And that is true.


You don't change mission-critical horses in midstream, so, I plugged away in InDesign CS, which, as expriences go, isn't a bad thing at all. Like I said, it's a sexah, sexah program.

With the Overlook finally to bed though, it was time to get busy. Now, I already have a program on disk called Adobe InCopyCS2. This was courtesy of my friend Pariah. Now, some of you may be curious about what InCopy does. It's meant to integrate with InDesign to enable editors to collaborate with creators as the publication is being laid out but without messing with the layout that already exists. Editors can assign and edit copy without having to have a copy of the .indd file or having to worry about screwing up the designers work. It's really sweet. It plays nicely with CS1 but refuses CS1 won't let it play in any reindeer games-there are plugin issues as well as the assignment workflow, which CS1 doesn't recognize.

So, InCopyCS2 comes off so I can install it after the Suite so InDesign recongizes and installs the proper plugins. This is a bit of a worry; the InCopyCS2 CD doesn't always play well with the Mac's combo drive. It reads it but only after just ejecting the CD-ROM several times. But, as it will turn out, InCopyCS2 will eventually reinstall. On to the meat of the fun.

The Creative Suite comes on four CD-ROMs. The installation is something Adobe really got right from the first. The installer, once started, sucks up all the files off the CDs, writes them, confgures them, and moves on. Once one CD is complete, it is ejected automatically, waits patiently for me to insert the next, and takes up the next batch.

It does, however take a bit more than 20 minutes. Sure, you have those pretty teasers the installer puts up because, since you are a designer you are quite easily distracted by bright shinies. Aw, heck, anything good is worth waiting for.

And the teasers are pretty.

I get CS2 installed and fire up the Bridge...ahh, let me tell you about the bridge. If you've used PhotoshopCS you know about the file browser they debuted with the first Creative Suite. It's a lovely thing. You have great thumbnails, the ability to rate files, and access to more metadata than anyone actually needs. You take the PhotoshopCS file browser, give it one of those Tony Little excercise machines, amp it up on performance enhancing drugs (the pro designer leagues still do not, as far as I know, do random UAs) and you have Adobe BridgeCS2.

If you have Bridge you have a ton of tasty stuff. You can save open file collections, so that you can open a handful of open files at a single click. You can navigate the disk. You can have your favorite RSS feeds to hand (doesn't matter where they come from). Bridge rawks.

There are other features in the Suite that are worth mentioning. Photoshop CS2 brings us the Vanishing Point, automatically giving perspective. Snippets in InDesign promise to make collaboration a hell of a lot less trouble. Illustrator gives us Live Trace and Live Paint, which do almost everything in rendering a drawing in vector but moving the mouse. There's more. I've not gotten to everything yet.

Now, after installation the next thing to do is update. There are updates out for the CS2 already. I set to downloading. 22MB. Huge, but will finish while I'm still young. For some reason I get confused, though and reinstall the first Bridge update over one that's already there. Then I go to start Bridge and....

Bounce, bounce, bounce (in the dock), bounce, bounce, bounce....

It doesn't stop bouncing, and the Bridge doesn't launch. Neither do the other CS2 apps. A forlorn uninstall and reinstall don't cure the problem. Then its off to the Spice Mines of Portland for 10 hours more-than-vaguely-unsatisfying work.

And I stew on it.

Back in the morning. CS2 uninstall...and trash the prefs files. Reinstall. CS fires up. Life Crisis over. Go to reinstall the updates and patches, and this time, am more careful about what it is I'm doing.

I'm looking forward to doing a lot of great designing with CS2. If you don't have it, you must get it. And once you use it, you'll see why Quark has to really pull one out with XPress 7 if they hope to remain #1.

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