Models of consuming (or not)

Physiologically, man in the normal use of technology (or his variously extended body) is perpetually modified by it and in turn finds ever new ways of modifying his technology.

– Understanding Media,  Marshall McLuhan

The computer/consumer landscape just keeps changing this year, and I think I need to adjust my course.

First the whole Reader thing, and now Adobe has announced that they will discontinue sales of their Creative Suite products, and switch to a new subscription model.  Obviously Adobe, like so many software companies, has a long history of introducing new DRM systems, and subsequently having those systems broken.

And maybe their revenue from legitimate customers is what allows them to make a top-of-the-line set of tools and this is a good way for them to protect their position.  Or maybe people will find workarounds to this just as they do with everything else.   But as a consumer, I just don’t want to perpetually pay for a tool (and seemingly having no control over how and when it updates itself) instead of the lump sum upgrade every couple of years.

Ironically, the investment I’ve already made in software packages like Adobe CS (at a hefty student discount) has been the only thing keeping me tied to the Windows OS, since they don’t play nice with Linux.  I can imagine the potential selling point for subscriptions that they can work across different systems, with a singe license.  But I think I’d rather check out the plethora of open source alternatives around.

“Make your own Tools!”

– Bruce Mau (via swissmiss)

Because maybe if we all jump ship, we can make a better ship.


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