Bad Adobe, Good Adobe

I can always tell when something is happening out in the wastelands of the tech world. NewsFire will be screaming at me with multitudes of new feed-matter. Tonight, NewsFire was definitely screaming, and Adobe figured prominently in two threads of thought and chatter.

The first was the Good News. Adobe released the first public beta of Lightroom 2.0. This is claimed to be 64-bit ready code, and chocked full of new features. I haven’t had a chance to load it yet — I wanna see if there’s any caveats about keeping a separate library, etc. You can bet I’ll be playing with it this weekend, and seeing what I can do with it. Currently, I only use Lightroom for DAM, and really don’t use it for quick touches, printing, web site building, and all that other good stuff it does well. Casey keeps nudging toward using it for more than just that. His site is mostly built with Lightroom, and it looks pretty dang good. That’s a pretty good endorsement.

And then came the Bad News. Adobe released some word on the Next Big Thing: Photoshop CS4. (And the crowd goes wild…) And it’ll be 64-bit…. (wait for it)… if you’re on Windows. Yep, the big ol’ Macs like mine will still have to contend with 4GB of memory for the beastliest images we can put together, with our Windows-based brethren able to address vast amounts of memory. From this interview, the guess is that the performance boost would be in the neighborhood of 10 percent, unless of course you’re loaded gigapixel sized images where, with enough memory, the 64-bit version could be 10 times faster!

One path to get around this is to dual boot the Octoputer, running 64-bit Vista (Adobe says that’ll be the supported platform). That would be just like a native Windows machine, but would require me to purchase a new Photoshop license. Currently, I don’t believe Adobe allows you to upgrade version and change platforms in the same fell swoop. The other path to get tasty 64-bit goodness would be to virtualize a 64-bit Vista environment through VMWare (Parallels doesn’t currently support this), and run CS4 in that environment. The big question there is whether you’d burn up the benefit of the 64-bit code by virtualizing it.

So in one day, Adobe delivers both Good stuff and Bad stuff. I’m not sure whether I should be happy or mad. Or both. Or neither.

Wait for it… and the crowd goes “boooooo”