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posted by martyb on Sunday December 06 2015, @01:55AM   Printer-friendly
from the rethinking-closed-source-software dept.

Akkana reports via the Shallow Thoughts blog

I went to a night sky photography talk on Tuesday. The presenter talked a bit about tips on camera lenses, exposures; then showed a raw image and prepared to demonstrate how to process it to bring out the details.

His slides disappeared, the screen went blank, and then ... nothing. He wrestled with his laptop for a while. Finally he said "Looks like I'm going to need a network connection", left the podium, and headed out the door to find someone to help him with that.

I'm not sure what the networking issue was: the nature center has open wi-fi, but you know how it is during talks: if anything can possibly go wrong with networking, it will, which is why a good speaker tries not to rely on it. And I'm not blaming this speaker, who had clearly done plenty of preparation and thought he had everything lined up.

Eventually they got the network connection, and he connected to Adobe. It turns out the problem was that Adobe Photoshop is now cloud-based. Even if you have a local copy of the software, it insists on checking in with Adobe at least every 30 days. At least, that's the theory. But he had used the software on that laptop earlier that same day, and thought he was safe. But that wasn't good enough, and Photoshop picked the worst possible time--a talk in front of a large audience--to decide it needed to check in before letting him do anything.

Someone sitting near me muttered "I'd been thinking about buying that, but now I don't think I will." Someone else told me afterward that all Photoshop is now cloud-based; older versions still work, but if you buy Photoshop now, your only option is this cloud version that may decide ... at the least opportune moment ... that you can't use your software any more.

[...] I talked to the club president afterward and offered to give a GIMP talk to the club some time soon, when their schedule allows.


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 06 2015, @02:31AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 06 2015, @02:31AM (#272333)

    Cloud based was the problem.

    While you wont have licencing issues with free cloud based software, it can still burn you when you lose connection. The key here is that regardless if you buy it or not, make sure it doesn't rely on anything other than the locally installed files.

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  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Sunday December 06 2015, @03:01AM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday December 06 2015, @03:01AM (#272345) Homepage Journal

    But, CLOUD man! Having everything in the cloud means that I can buy they cheapest, shittiest computer in existence, and rely on someone else's computers to carry the load. So long as I've got WIFI I can rely on my 1/2 Ghz single core CPU with crap memory and slow 33 htz busses. I don't have to invest in one of those outrageous 3.5 Ghz 8 core computers, I don't have to have 8 or 16 gig of memory. CLOUD! Let the corporate computers carry the load!

    --
    Our first six presidents were educated men. Then, along came a Democrat.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 06 2015, @10:49AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 06 2015, @10:49AM (#272449)

      Yeah, that's not how it works.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by mhajicek on Sunday December 06 2015, @09:07AM

    by mhajicek (51) on Sunday December 06 2015, @09:07AM (#272434)

    Hmm, who would have thought, clouds are bad for night sky photography!

    --
    The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 08 2015, @03:44PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 08 2015, @03:44PM (#273421)

    It is both the 'proprietary' and the 'cloud' portions that are issues.

    Proprietary is an issue since you are at the mercy of your software's overlord when (not if) you need to upgrade. If they discontinue your standalone version, that is it. You might be able to last there for a while, but plugins, bugfixes, etc will move on, and eventually you will either need to change programs, or more likely (as the software monoculture continues to sink in) you will be forced to give up your standalone software and move to the cloud based successor.

    The cloud becomes an issue for a variety of issues, but the primary reason under most circumstances is 'reliance on network connectivity at all times'. This wasn't practical or true when the cloud became a buzzword, and while we are closer to it today, there are still plenty of places where it fails, and locations where you stargaze are but one of many.