Adobe: Perils of Advocacy

I know quite a few people who have been staunch advocates of the PDF format for a long time. When you buy MS Word, you know you’re paying money to be forced to pay more money. But Adobe’s access software is free, so if you buy into Adobe and use their document formats, you’re doing the world a favor?

Well, please stop trying to help me. Adobe’s software is ranking alongside Real Media these days for insidiousness. Did you upgrade your PDF viewer recently? Congratulations! You are now running an Adobe Inc computer.

First up is the “Speed Launch” that you didn’t ask for, which will slow your system startup down by anywhere upto 15 minutes. But its worth it – because you read a lot of PDF files, right? It’s the only document format of choice!

And then there’s the auto-updater. The one which fires up periodically and somehow manages to use 99% CPU for extended periods of time. Exactly what you want happening on a gaming system or while you’re in the middle of some business critical task. And, of course, if it gets stuck (as Adobe software is want to do) you’re stuck with a rogue, 99% CPU usage app that you have to be aware of.

So far the only method I’ve found for actually disabling it appears to be uninstalling anything and everything adobe related. Get it wrong, and it’ll fix itself for you – because you wouldn’t want to be without your adobe updates, would you?

Of course, there’s also the general buginess of Adobe – anyone not encountered the thing where it locks up your browser? There’s the need to reboot after its installed, the need to reboot when it auto-updates.

Well, at least I’m free of it now. I just uninstalled the last piece of Adobe software I could find. Although when I did this at home, my machine ran like crap the next time I rebooted until finally a pop-up appeared telling me that Adobe had downloaded an update. Apparently, it had re-downloaded a full install of itself ready for me to install. Their networking code seems to suck up CPU real badly though – the way it does if you make all your sockets non-blocking and then manually poll (and I don’t mean poll()) your sockets.

12 Comments

I agree – I used to love Adobe products, but I think since they bought out Macromedia, they must have taken on a load of the nefarious decision makers who were responsible for whoring out Flash etc. as Adobe is nothing but a PITA with its takeover of my system. Second only to Apple and Realmedia…

I remember when FLASH wanted to constantly install Yahoo toolbar, and made you opt out of it if you wanted to install or update FLASH.

Adobe will annoy the ‘Net enough that it will fall from grace. It was popular because it was free, small and easy to use. Now it sounds like it will have webcleaner recommendations like RealMedia. I just deleted all the Real Player applications for the 40th time. I *hate* bandwidth sukking monsters like that.

I checked my processes, but nothing is running for Adobe now. If it hits my CPU usage even once without notification, I’ll strip it out hard. Thank you for the update KFS.

One of the nice things about having a low-end system here at work is that I get a bit of a feel for the guys with lower-spec systems trying to play our game. I only really noticed this because Bloo had annotated the fact that we occasionally get ‘sucky fps’ complaints from guys who are running a butt-load of adobe crap that manages to somehow use upto 22% cpu while apparently idling.

Guy sent in a ticket the other day – a not particularly hot system running 3 different anti-virus/spyware/etc suites, one of which was the full-on corporate-grade antivirus server, a full IIS web server, adobes picture sharing server and … well you get the idea.

Incidentally, anti-virus software isn’t like house insurance – running more of it can actually result in less protection.

The new MS Office 2007 includes a portable document format (of course, it’s their own breed). From the Office seminar I went to, it looks to be teh future of, .doc and .pdf, for universal compatability.

“Convert your Word documents to PDF or XPS. With Office Word 2007, you can share documents in Portable Document Format file (PDF) and XML Paper Specification (XPS) format without using third-party tools”

I like PDF the format, but Adobe’s reader is getting suckier by the version. Nowadays I use Foxit to read my PDFs.

Well, there ARE other pdf readers than Adobes. Something you cannot say truthfully for the microsoft format.

i prefer the linux .pdf readers. they’re usually much easier on the ole cpu.

PDF is a native format on MacOSX, and I use apples or path finders to read pdfs. I have adobe reader, but I try to keep it from running. PDF as a format was in its early days the Adobe Illustrator file format and evolved. Sadly the “free” reader also evolved into a monster.

That’s why I’m still using Acrobat Reader 5.0.
I bet it’s tough to find nowadays, so if anyone wants a copy, let me know.

I’m not decrying PDF, just Adobe ;)

I’ve been pretty happy with Foxit myself, although I can second that getting rid of Adobe can be a nightmare. I think it is still “haunting” one of my machines even after I have uninstalled it twice…

I hate the pdf. Ranted about it on my own blog not so long ago – especially about that locking-up trick.

I was advised: Tools->Options->Content->Manage File Types… change PDF’s to Save To Disk rather than Lock-up Firefox; and that was good advice.

I have considered posting a smarmy analysis of content based on file type, but just can’t find the courage to say such hateful things about the folk that post PDF to the web as though it were HTMLpro.

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