I had to install Adobe Acrobat 8 today on my XP partition. I had it on my Vista partition, but I can't use my legal copy of Vista anymore because I got a message from Vista last week that my legal copy wasn't legal. I have no idea how to fix this issue, but I can't access anything but Internet Explorer to buy a serial number. My inclination at this point is to simply blow away the Parallels partition because I hate Vista (using that word hate a lot I know, but it's the only appropriate word to capture just the level of enmity I feel toward this OS).
Anyway because Microsoft screwed me up the yin-yang, I was forced to install Acrobat 8, a seemingly simple task, except, oh yes, we are dealing with another BIG SOFTWARE COMPANY. After taking ages to install, then requiring a restart (where of course it locked up requiring me to shut down Parallels manually), I finally got Acrobat 8 up and running.
My task was simply to create a PDF with editing tools to send to a client. I tried do this using the wizard but got an error at the end of the process that it couldn't find an email program. I figured this was because I don't have a default local mail client in XP. I just use GMail. So I went looking for a small email client and found inscribe at MemCode Software. These guys are the polar opposites of BIG SOFTWARE. The program doesn't even use the registry. You can delete the folder when you are done. Imagine that.
Anyway, I got a message in my system tray that the ADOBE UPDATER, which installs and starts automatically each time I start Windows, had a new update, so I clicked OK to install it because I was hoping it would resolve the problem I was having with the Email Reviewing wizard. Adobe contacted the server and began downloading, and then it did something I really hate from BIG SOFTWARE COMPANIES, it asked me to insert my install disk. Why the heck do they need my install disk to download an update.
Then it was like a fresh install, only slower. After an eternity, my system restarted (to its credit, Adobe didn't break things so badly that it locked up this time during restart) and now maybe, just maybe I can create my PDF with reviewer tools. But wait, don't answer yet, when it restarted, the updater let me know there was an update. Yup you guessed, it version 8.1, which is what I thought I just installed. Naively, stupidly, I clicked install and the process started all over again. Sigh.
In the end, it turned out that the only email program Acrobat could communicate with was Outlook, of course its BIG SOFTWARE brethren at Microsoft. After I installed Outlook, the error message disappeared and I was able to send the file for review.
I've taken over an hour and a half to do something that should have taken a couple of minutes. Software and computers are supposed to simplify our lives, aren't they? Then why does it seem that they make the situation so much more complicated than it should be. Probably because we're dealing with BIG SOFTWARE.