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Acrobat reader on the Mac

Am I the only one who really dislikes Adobe (what happened to Acrobat?) Reader on the Mac?

First, it installs a plugin for Safari for showing PDFs inside the browser, which makes Safari really slow. You know the feeling where you clicked on a link not realizing it was to a PDF, and you curse yourself all the way through the unbearably long time that your computer is frozen while the Adobe plugin is loading? So you manually go delete the plugin afterwards.

Having deleted that, you launch it stand-alone, and it’s slooooow to start up. And to add insult to injury, one of the reasons it’s so slow to start is they go check if you’ve been naughty and deleted the plugin, and helpfully offers to “repair” your installation. No thanks!

And then a bit later, once you’ve closed it and sighed a sigh of relief that it’ll be another few months till you see its face, an application icon starts dancing saying you should upgrade to the latest point release. I go “sure, if that keeps you happy” and click install. But wait, I have to quit Safari first, so they can install the evil plugin again. That’s when I hit cancel. Arghh!

I’m sick of it, they so don’t get the Mac. Which is odd, given how Adobe really got started on the Mac. Hm, times change, probably a different team responsible for it today.

It all reminds me of Windows. Remember the file type turf wars? Where different programs are fighting for the same file types, so every time you launch an app, it checks and asks you if it should reclaim the ones its lost since the last time. Poor users—imagine your fridge and your freezer fighting over the pasta sauce. Enough already, just leave it where I put it!

But what to do about the Reader? Just say no to Adobe Reader!

5 comments

Vinod Kurup

Yup, I <a href="http://kurup.org/blog/one-entry?entry%5fid=17620">hate it too.</a> I do wish I could have PDFs rendered in my browser though...
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Jarkko Laine

Vinod: Safari comes with an in-built pdf plugin in Tiger. I think it's what was previously known as Schubert IT PDF plugin. It has it quirks, too, but at least it's a lot more inobtrusive than the Reader I too hate the new Reader but if it's any consolation, it's a lot worse on Windows crashing every other hour. What this reminds me of in the Windows world is the "helpful" remove-unused-icons-from-the-desktop wizard. It appears out of nowhere and in its all goodness doesn't even have a button to say "No thanks, I know what's on my desktop, let it be that way." So I just kill the window and everything's fine. For about a minute, until the same wizard springs alive again. Moreover, the wizard tries to solve a problem that pretty much doesn't exist.
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Vinod, Tiger does show PDFs inside the browser using Preview, so it's fast. And there's a convenient "Open in Preview" item on the context menu, for when you want that. Jarkko, Yead, that's a good one, don't get me started ;-)
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Vinod Kurup

Ahh.. yet more reasons to upgrade to Tiger. Thanks for the pointer to the Schubert plugin, Jarkko. I'll check that out
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Mark Aufflick

Yeah - me too. You guys think it's slow? Try using it on an original 400 Mhz Titanium Powerbook :(
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