Upgrading to Photoshop CC

Robert Frank in a fellowship application:  “The project I have in mind…will shape itself as it proceeds and is essentially elastic.” — Geoff Dyer “The Ongoing Moment”

Since Photoshop is my primary tool for photography (after capture), I thought it would be worth the $120 per year to move to CC and wanted to lock in the $9.99 subscription price which expired on Dec. 31 for the basic photography package. I usually upgrade for each revision, although not immediately.  Since the upgrades were typically $200, and I upgraded about every 3 years, I was spending about $65 a year cost averaged, so this doubled my costs, but $65 a year is not all that much for something I really enjoy.

I am actually very satisfied with PS CS6, but was thinking long term.  Some of the new features like improved sharpening and Upright were also attractive. So I signed up in December, but didn’t do anything about it until January, when I tried to start downloading the new CC version.

Surprise!  Photoshop CC runs only on Windows 7 and 8, I would need to upgrade my Vista operating system. (I have no idea what the situation is with iOS.) Cost just more than doubled with $139 for Windows 7. However, since my laptop was Windows 7, I wasn’t too upset, because, if there is a reason, having the same OS on both computers was probably a good idea.

While waiting for the software to arrive I googled “Vista to Windows 7” to see what I was facing.  There is an “advisor,” that reviews your entire system, and points out possible problems.  Happily, nothing significant.  Also did a complete back up of C:/ and D:/ drives to an external drive.  Let each one run overnight.  I even remembered to reset automatic sleep, so it wouldn’t shut down midway.

When I got the Windows package it said that this version of Windows should only be used on new computers.  Well obviously I was upgrading and the computer wasn’t new.  I checked to see if there was a different version on Amazon.  No, this was the only choice.  If I opened it, I couldn’t return it.  I dithered for a week or two and then opened it.  There were two choices, one to click on an automatic upgrade, so it wasn’t going to be a problem, but the packaging was sure misleading.  An entire afternoon was spent migrating to Windows 7, and then additional time updating various drivers.

Next step:  I definitely wanted to be able to go back to my Photoshop CS6 if they raised the CC price significantly, so I needed to deactivate Photoshop before uninstalling if I wanted to be able to re-install later without a problem.  No problem.  But where do I deactivate Lightroom?  Got on Adobe chat –  Lightroom doesn’t need deactivation, just uninstall and reinstall.

Next, the Adobe download site, which was very clear and indicated which programs were available for install.  I needed to download and install three programs:  Photoshop, Bridge and Lightroom.  Bridge was a separate program and didn’t download and install automatically with Photoshop.  There were some other programs available as part of the subscription, but they were for things I didn’t do like mobile programs.  The info button describing their function was actually very helpful.

Finally, opened Photoshop and made sure the preferences were set the way I like them.  I did move to a darker background.  I had stuck with the light gray when given an option in CS6.  Photoshop and Bridge are working fine; I haven’t opened Lightroom yet because I am running out of room on my desktop and purchased an NAS (Network Attached Storage) device which would work like a mini-server.  It comes with RAID software so it would simultaneously create a copy on a second drive, in other words, I bought 8 TB of drive space to get an effective 4 TB of storage and an immediate backup.  When everything is transferred, I will establish a new Lightroom catalog from scratch. That is why I am waiting on LR.  The NAS is connected to my router, so I can access it from desktop or laptop from anywhere in the house – I have my own cloud.

Next adventure, setting up, installing and migrating to the Synlogic DS214+.

PS (that’s postscript not photoshop): Adobe sends an email each month when they bill my credit card.