22 September 2006

[tech] Things That Make You Go Hmmm: Cheap-Cheap Software

As a user of online ad-supported things, one sees amazing offers; design software that costs literally hundreds of dollars for, almost literally, a couple of bucks.

We have no evidence on this, but we suspect people like this is where a significant percentage of that cheap-cheap software comes from (via BetaNews):
A California man has been sentenced to seven years and three months in prison and ordered to pay $5.4 million in restitution as a result of a federal piracy case, software company Autodesk said Friday. In addition to Autodesk, 26-year-old Nathan Peterson also was copying and selling software from Adobe, Macromedia and Symantec, the company said in a statement.
It got our attention because we find insanely great cut-rate prices for things like QuarkXPress
V7 for less than $200, and we even Googled a price for QuarkXPress Passport 7.02–the international version–for $50. For reference, the full price for QuarkXPress 7 is $749 from jump street, and $1,499 for Passport.

And Autodesk, for those who don't know, produces the may-as-well-be industry standard CAD program AutoCAD (I remember version 10...good times). A seat of AutoCAD 2007 will set you back...are you sitting down? Good...$3,995. I was able to find a vendor who'd send you ACAD for $55.

You know how your mama said that if a thing seems too good to be true, it is? This is one of those times. The version you get from a cheap-cheap software vendor may well be cracked or compromised, and if you want to register it to get upgrades–forget it.

Yes, its true that the design software worth having is pricey. I don't like it much myself, but, despite the heavy load of cost I don't feel I've been gypped by buying honest-to-God actual software from a reputable source. QuarkXPress 6.5 is a good goer, and the Adobe CSs have been golden. You get what you pay for.

If you really want the good tools, spend the money. If you're a student, get those student-licensed products–the upgrade path is the same for student users as pros...Adobe allows you unlimted use of your student-licensed software, and even Quark has been loosening up on things lately.

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2 comments:

MissKris said...

Hi, Samuel! Thank you so much for coming to my 'rescue'...your suggestion for getting my Start Menu bar back to the bottom of my screen worked just fine. Like I said, I knew it'd be something super-simple and I'd end up feeling like an imbecile, which I do, haha! It was very kind of you to take the time to post a comment to help me out. Thanks a bunch, and hope you have a good weekend.

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Aw, shucks, ma'am, 'twarnt nuthing. Just doin' my civic duty.

I have about 20 years personal experience just using Win (and now Mac OS) on a daily basis just to play. I see answering simple questions like this just part of my obligation to society.

Thanky for stopping by!