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Acrobat-ic nightmares

It's the message I always dread seeing on my computer screen: "the Adobe Update Manager requires your attention".Ongoing software patching is a fact of life these days, but I don't know of many products that make such a pig's ear of the process as Adobe's near-ubiquitous Acrobat.
Written by Angus Kidman, Contributor

It's the message I always dread seeing on my computer screen: "the Adobe Update Manager requires your attention".

Ongoing software patching is a fact of life these days, but I don't know of many products that make such a pig's ear of the process as Adobe's near-ubiquitous Acrobat.

Maybe it's a revenge strategy to make up for the fact that so few people upgrade from the free Reader product to the full-blown Acrobat system.

My first beef with Acrobat is the size of the patches. The one that rolled in over the weekend was a relatively scant 8MB or so, but previous updates have been 20MB or more.

The biggest whinge I have, though, is the endlessly time-consuming nature of the process.

First, Acrobat pops up the aforementioned annoying message. Then it starts installation. Then it demands that you reboot your machine. This is an annoying enough requirement at the best of times but the most recent patch outdoes itself by requiring you to reboot twice -- something even Microsoft hasn't tried on for a while outside of basic OS installation.

And I have to go through all this palaver for a product that is a souped-up document viewer built on the premise that the way a document looks is more important than the information it contains.

When I asked Adobe officials last year about the hopeless nature of the product's upgrade processes, they assured me that they tested all upgrades extensively.

One presumes the testers had plenty of spare time on their hands.

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