RAID Problem Exposes Adobes Achilles Heel

Adobe's activation system conflicts with a few RAID controllers, causing hassles for some individual users. Such concerns should be just as important to the company as its big-picture enterprise goals.

Got RAID? If youre running Acrobat 7 with an array, and youre having activation issues, youre not alone.

The blogospheres jumping, and an Acrobat customer e-mailed us about the problem, in which Adobes activation scheme mistook his Level 1 RAID system—a scheme in which a system stores data on multiple hard drives simultaneously for backup or increased speed—as an attempt to install Acrobat on multiple computers.

An Adobe customer-service representative told the customer that hed have to get a volume license for Acrobat Pro. After a visit to the Adobe Web site, he did the math: The change would entail at minimum one of the following: 10 Acrobat 7 Pro upgrade licenses; four new Acrobat 7 Pro single-user boxes; or 15 Acrobat 7 Standard upgrade licenses to meet the minimum of 1,500 points required.

In the least-cost scheme, this represented an outlay of $1,200 to $1,500—just to enable him to use a single copy of Acrobat 7 on his machine.

This customer could lay out the dough, or he could call Adobe for a new activation number every time he rebooted his computer, which is exactly what he did for a two-week period in February before crying "uncle." At that point, he contemplated switching to competing software for his business and ceasing using Adobe software—just as his business was about to upgrade old versions of Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator to CS versions.

To its credit, Adobe dealt with the situation immediately after we inquired about the problem, providing the customer with a copy of Acrobat 7 that doesnt require activation.

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