That Sinking Feeling

A sour note in the PC to MAC transition?

Yes I own registered versions of Adobe Photoshop CS2 and Indesign CS2. Yes I have a registered copy of MS WinXP Pro. Yes I want to continue to run them on the MAC next year under Parallels. And yes, it just occurred to me I probably can’t: > $$$

My Adobe Creative Suite is under an academic license, purchased when I was teaching at Radford, and probably not along an upgrade path. And besides, at least Photoshop wouldn’t even let me put a copy on my laptop. I’m thinking now my one installation is all I get, so just copying the Windows version to the MacPro is not gonna happen. Add $1k to the cost of the upgrade expense. Ouch. Better to upgrade PS to the MAC version; limp along with InDesign from upstairs when I have to.

Windows XP came on the dell. I have a disk, of course, but I will have to purchase a new package–less than $100.

I did stop by Computer Pros in Roanoke last week and decided I could cut initial cost by using my current 19″ monitor and sound system and use some dinky speakers and get a smaller inexpensive LCD monitor for the PC that will go upstairs for Ann to send email. That lessens the sting a little.

Now the matter of when. My hope is to hunker down for three months (Jan-March) on this book project. Do I want to add the learning curve and the back and forth between PC and Mac in the middle of what should be a focused effort without distraction? Or will the Mac make the process easier after a week of learning my way around?

This is no small matter making a transition of this extent and kind after 20 years of habit and ease in the frustrating PC rut I’m in. I’ll be glad when I’m on the other side of it, the checks have cleared, and Im’ feeling like I made the right decision for the long haul.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. I understand completely and have been holding off on the big switch for that reason. When the PC needed a motherboard and processor, it looked like the perfect time except that I could get a barebones system including a 260 gig hard drive for $200. The laptop is now giving me an occasional black screen, but the warranty is still cheaper than the super duper Mac I want. And, like you, I depend on the Adobe CS. So I’m status quo for now, but still eyeing the Mac and the Leopard O/S which means better compatibility and useability from what I hear, of Windows-based programs. BTW, check into that aspect–upgrading to Leopard…

  2. Most likely, I’ll hold off until spring or even summer to make the move, by which time Leopard will have most bugs worked out and third party add-ons abundant. Also I’ll use Parallels (or less likely VMFusion) also by then in improved forms compared to today. I guess the idea that I can’t simply load the PS I already own on the Mac and run it under PC mode was the shocker. There will likely be more to come.

    But I really need to move BEFORE the 4+ yr old Dell goes south, and just get over the expense; I’m talking here about an essential tool, not an extravagant toy. (You see how the rationalization works!?)

  3. Boy howdy, I’m reading Greek here! I consider myself fairly up on things, but after reading this, I guess not. Leopard? Parallel? I’ll have to go check them out.

    I too play with the idea of switching from a PC, but the prospect of buying new software on top of the more expensive Mac dissuades me. I’ll be interested in keeping up with your progress.

  4. Wow! I’m amazed, I understood everything!

    I still haven’t taken the plunge either. I’m thinking probably the week after Christmas, will be the best sale price. Last week of the year, company’s last chance to meet their sales figures for the year. Many companies have their biggest sale that week. Hopefully the kinks will be worked out by then. So I’m gambling that this 4 year old Dell will hold out until then.

    What about the iPhoto ’08, the editing program that comes with the iMac OS Leopard? I was hoping to be able to use it instead of PS. Does anyone know how iPhoto ’08 compares with Photoshop?

  5. I’m pretty sure that the Adobe licenses will allow you to install on 2 machines, provided that you’re not running the programs concurrently.

    Also, I believe that the academic serial number can be used to upgrade to a regular (non academic) version.

    iPhoto is more of a photo library than a photo editor. They have been adding some tools for common editing tasks in recent versions though. (color correction, blemish and red eye removal, etc.)

  6. I have never been as happy with iPhoto as I am with Photoshop for my photos. iPhoto is ok with stills not involving “people” shots. For photos involving people I still stick with Photoshop for the red-eye problems. However, I now has less problems with red-eye with my new Nikon D40x – rarely a problem with red-eye as my previous Nikons.