HardHack 101

Photoshop CS6 Superstition
Photoshop CS6 Superstition (Photo credit: Mikmac)

So I’m, taking a  web design course at Camosun College. After the first class, we’re sent home to do a 30-day trial download and install of Photoshop CS6. Which I do. And getting to the part where I finally get to do my homework – using various tools in Photoshop to manipulate images – was one heck of a hardhack!

First I have to navigate the Adobe site that wants me to join the Creative Cloud to download Photoshop CS6. I do that – glancing at the various software on offer in the cloud, and to my delight see inDesign, and think “oh boy! I can make some books!”- but am far too focussed on getting Photoshop installed to spend any quality time studying the goods.

So of course I join the Creative Cloud and download a trial version of the software, but when I go to install and run it, an error message pops up saying that it won’t run on ‘this type of Mac’. I throw my hands in the air and groan.

Conroe die
Die of Intel Core 2 Duo processor codename ‘Conroe’.Conroe die (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“What do you mean?! “Won’t work on this type of Mac!?” I explode.


Google searches.



Finally I find this:

Adobe Drops 32 Bit Mac Support with Photoshop CS6.

A bit dated, published March 26, 2012, I read it and weep.  And am enraged.  My feelings and thoughts are indescribable. I am disappointed by my own ignorance, but more so, enraged by Adobe’s attitude. It makes this a story that touches on one of those topics I don’t like to write about, none the less, a topic that drives my life and crashes headlong with my core values.

I am disgusted that Adobe would say there aren’t enough customers working on 32bit Macs for it to be worth their while to provide support. This is what I call beating down those on a lower rung of the technological ladder, and locking out a sector of the population as they do. I wasn’t the only student in the class faced with this problem. We are, after all, students on a government sponsored Employment Skills Access Program.  The government pays the tuition, and buys the software; being able to run Adobe Photoshop CS6 on a home computer is a requirement of the program.

Most people would have given up at this point, found some cash and bought a new PC laptop.  But not I.  Nah.  I’m up for a hardhack.  And once I get over my initial bafflement as to how I’m going to get over this hurdle,  I start listening to a little voice that’s been nagging in my brain ever since the problem first arose: “Bet it’ll run on your old MacBook.”

So the old MacBook is studied and yes, lo and behold, it’s one year younger and has the required core goods to run the élite Photoshop CS6. Its Intel Core2Duo is just that bit newer than the Intel Core Duo in the iMac.  In all other ways, the guts are almost identical. A quick search, and I discover that the Core2Duo will run 64bit, whereas the CoreDuo won’t, so I start some serious hardhacking.

The 2×1 gig ram chips are taken out of the iMac and swapped with the smaller ram in the MacBook (can you believe it! even less ram!), then the MacBook is updated to OS 10.6. Only problem the DVD drive keeps spitting out the boot disk, so I put it in an external DVD drive, run it through the iMac (which also spits out the disc), and make a boot drive on a usb stick, then install it on the MacBook, download all the updates, download and install Photoshop and all its updates – and yes it runs.  And I get my homework done, and even get some sleep!

I’m left with a beautiful 6-year old, 20-inch iMac that won’t run Photoshop CS6, but in all other ways is a superb machine; and a 13-inch, 5-year-old MacBook that will run it!   I buy 2×2 gig ram chips for the MacBook, swap the 2×1 gigs back to the iMac, and I’m in business…

…running the latest Adobe Creative Suite on a beaten up, 13″ MacBook that’s travelled with me through 54 addresses in 5.5 years, has a busted audio jack, a bitchy DVD drive, and a blue line down the left-hand side of the screen. But it runs. And with that 4 gig of ram, one could say it almost screams – if it weren’t for the “it runs hot” problem…

Though I gotta say, in spite of the MacBook’s shortcomings, it still works and gets the job done.  Even with all it’s been through.  Just like me.

I’m delighted I solved the problem, and did all the work myself.  I’m just appalled that I had to do it.

Why should a perfectly good machine be put out to the recycle bin because the technology – in just 6 short years – has out-paced it, especially when the makers of the software could provide support, and have chosen not to because the few customers, who are still running 32-bit Macs, aren’t worth the trouble?  We’re talking ‘not worth the trouble’ profit-wise; but Adobe, maybe you should reconsider your policy?   

5 thoughts on “HardHack 101

Add yours

    1. No need to ask! 🙂 Just the tip of the problem. Though I have to wonder about a business philosophy that makes perfectly good technology obsolete. It certainly does create a technology ladder – as if a housing ladder wasn’t enough! It also adds unnecessarily to technological waste. The whole way of doing business does not sit well with my values.

  1. You’re such a fighter! So determined. You make me want to take a computer class. Maybe I will when we get where we’re going. That’s a good idea. You always inspire me! Thanks for visiting my page. I had no idea about freezing the diapers! How brilliant! And chewy tofu? Hmm. Might just try that! 🙂
    Have a good one!

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