Adobe insensitive to more than just case

February 1, 2008

CS3 The Adobe CS3 Master Collection is a treasure chest of well-respected applications for graphic design (Photoshop and Illustrator), video editing (Premiere and After Effects), web authorship (Dreamweaver and Fireworks), and various other useful tools (like Acrobat Pro). All these goodies don’t come cheaply, of course: the regular version is $2,500 USD, though the academic institutional pricing is very attractive at about $500.

I’m actually not a regular user of any of these applications, but I was still fairly excited to install the latest versions on my Mac, especially to get the speed boost of the universal binaries. Imagine my shock when I fired up the installation disk and received this error:

This software cannot be installed because the file system of the OS volume is not supported.

No thanks to the informative value of this vague error message, a bit of searching revealed that the issue was that my disk was formatted to be case sensitive. What? You advertise the added creativity, productivity, and efficiency of your new software and then you expect people to reformat their drives and re-install their systems just because you don’t support case sensitive systems? Now, granted, a case sensitive disk isn’t the default for Macs, but I always reformat my drive to be case sensitive for several reasons, including the benefits of having the case sensitivity of my local development environment match that of most deployment servers. Having a case sensitive disk isn’t exactly an obscure practice. Come on, Adobe, let’s be sensitive here.

So, yes, I did bite the bullet and obediently waste most of a day reformatting my drive and re-installing everything – open software isn’t returnable, ya know. Fortunately it was time to do a clean install anyway. The more difficult question might be why I purchased the CS3 in the first place, given that I prefer web development in Eclipse and that there are so many great open source and low-cost alternatives for graphic design, such as Gimp, Inkspace, and Pixelmator. Adobe products are installed in our Multimedia labs at McMaster, so I’m going to blame technical support for our students, ok?

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