Adobe Creative Cloud

I knew I’d have to do it sooner or later as long as I continue to teach. And, oh, wow, look at my Dock:

CC icons in dock

That’s a lot of Adobe software, folks.

I joined Adobe Creative Cloud the other day. I downloaded everything! It took a long time, and my computer was burning hot when it was over.

I don’t know what half of these programs do. I must spend some time mining the video tutorials on the Adobe site to learn about all the fantastic new stuff I can now do. Jeepers, maybe I’ll be able to export SVG from Illustrator soon.

One piece of good news. The Extensions Manager version I had before CC crashed each time I tried to use it. The new one works. I have two extensions managers now, one for CS6 which works on Fireworks CS6, and one for CC, which works on everything else.

The biggest piece of news is that I completely misunderstood what Adobe Creative Cloud was all about and how it was going to work when I first wrote about it. So here’s the deal for those of you who are confused like I was.

When you purchase a plan, you can download any or all the software you paid for access to. It will automatically be updated (which I sincerely hope happens faster than the initial downloads). You can keep files on your own computer, you can back them up to the cloud, you can share them with collaborators – or not. You can install on more than one computer, too.

You see that curvy looking icon at the far left in the image of my Dock at the top? That’s the CC icon, and it works like going to the app store for updates (well, until iOS 7 kicks in). You see what you have downloaded, what’s available for download, and what’s ready to update in a handy little interface.

You don’t have to be connected to the Internet to use the software.

Changes at Flickr

For all the people who don’t trust Yahoo to take on Tumblr without screwing it up, may I suggest you take a look at what happened to Flickr yesterday? I find that a huge improvement in appearance, however there may be ads now, although the announcement of the changes doesn’t mention this.

Your Flickr Account

Going beyond the announcement to search through the FAQ, you find that the $25 Pro account (which I have had for years) is no longer available. People with the Pro account still get ad-free browsing and sharing and unlimited uploading, but the account type and $25 price point are fading away. Flickr promises, “Recurring Pro members currently have the ability to continue renewing at the same price.”

Notice that word currently.

Going forward, there will be 3 account types.

  • Free, with 1 Terabyte of photo and video storage, but sporting ads
  • Ad-free, for $49.99 per year which is similar to the free account, but with no ads
  • Doublr, with 2 Terabytes of photo and video space for $499.99 per year

To Make Sure Your Pro Membership Continues

The FAQ page also explains how to make sure your Pro membership is renewed. You can go to your account information to see if you are set up with a renewing subscription already. If not, you may want to sign up for automatic renewals.

Here are Flickr’s instructions, which are less helpful than going straight to your account settings.

  • Anyone who was Pro at 12:00 am (midnight) GMT on May 20, 2013, may be eligible to sign up for recurring Pro in order to extend their Pro membership beyond its expiration date.
  • This applies to:
    • those whose one-time or gift Pro memberships expired after 12:00 am GMT.
    • those who are on a gifted Pro account.
    • those who have purchased one-off Pro and are set to expire in the future.
  • To keep your Pro status by signing up for a recurring Pro subscription, visit the account order page.

Is it Yahoo VS. Google now?

Yahoo is making big moves with the purchase of Tumblr and the changes at Flickr. Does this mean Yahoo is back in the running as competition for Google? Since Google seems to be taking over the world, I think a little competition may be a good thing.

Google Reader: Oh, the Pain

Note: Here are some excerpts from the post I wrote for BlogHer today about alternatives to Google Reader.

Yesterday Google Announced that Google Reader would be retired on July 1. A howl went up from people like me who have a regular blog reading list and a happy relationship with Google Reader. An effort began to urge Google to reconsider, but mostly people began looking around for alternatives to the popular RSS reader.

google reader retires
Scream by soundfromwayout via Flickr with Google Reader Logo

Before I get into the alternatives, I want to point out the directions for getting all your Google Reader subscriptions transferred into some other RSS reader. Google provides an exporting tool called Google Takeout that promises a file of all your Reader data, which can then be imported into another reader.

Now for alternatives. Some are cloud based, some are mobile apps, some are browser plugins, some sync to all your devices from mobile to web.

RSS Readers that Work In All Devices

A cloud based option, Netvibes goes from browser to mobile device. Here are the directions for migrating from Google Reader to Netvibes.

Feedly is a browser based add-on for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. It’s also an iOS and Android app. Lots or reports are saying to stay away from Feedly because it uses a Google Reader based backend, but Feedly announced that they have another backend ready to go and are prepared for the transition.

Newsblur is a works-everywhere choice. The free version is limited to a mere 64 feeds, but the paid version is only $1 a month. It has a Google Reader import function.

Taptu even works on Nook, as well as the usual app platforms. If you’re a tablet person, this might be your fav.

Mobile Apps that Read RSS Feeds

Google Currents is a very slick mobile app that makes reading some of the slow loading sites like Huffington Post really fast. However, I don’t know if it uses Google as a backend, so I’m not sure what its fate will be going forward.

For iOS and Mac only, Reeder is another app with a transition plan in place, according to a tweet from the developer yesterday.

FlipBoard is available for both iOS and Android. You log in via either Twitter or Facebook, and it sounds pretty image oriented like Google+, but it does read RSS feeds.

Pulse has a lot of rave reviews, including one from Steve Jobs, on its website. It works in iOS and Android.

Browser Only RSS Reader

The Old Reader promises to be like the old Google Reader, but has a tool for importing your subscription data from Google Reader.

The Word on the Street

Okay, not on the street. How about the word from the frantic blog consumers at BlogHer who are trying to find their favorite alternatives to Google Reader? So far there have been several good comments about Netvibes, particularly since it is cloud-based and not device dependent. People liked how NetVibes looks and how easy it is to transition, but had complaint that updates are slow. (Every alternative RSS reader site is dealing with heavy traffic right now and getting things going may take some patience.) Feedly got a couple of good comments among BlogHer adopters.

6 Cloud Computing Videos to Explain Everything You Need to Know

When the cloud is involved in something, it is just bound to become a sticky situation. There is a lot of technology and a lot of data involved whenever the cloud comes into play. And not only can it lead to all sorts of different technological issues, but private information of countless individuals can be at stake when something happens with the cloud. But on the plus side, the cloud has also got a lot of good points about it. The following videos will explain a lot of important information that might not be obvious to you.

6. Marcus J. Ranum on Cloud Computing Security

This video is important and educational – not because it is actually going to teach you anything about cloud computing, but because it is a great example of how not to sound when someone asks you a question about the topic. Cloud computing does not go through the regular mail, and there are no foggy clouds. And if you want to know the level of expertise a person carries with regard to cloud computing, have them watch this video and study their reactions. The harder they laugh, the more they actually know about the subject.

5. Cloud Computing Explained

Do you actually know what cloud computing is? If you are like a lot of people, the answer is no. If you would like to know the basics of cloud infrastructure and hosting, this video breaks it down for you. If you watch the videos that come after this one on the list first, you might find yourself lost.

4. Cloud Computing Security

This is a basic discussion of how security differs on public versus private networks. If you have been considering both possibilities for your business, this is a very valuable video to watch. It is short, concise and will help you make a responsibly informed decision.

3. Security Concerns in Cloud Computing and SaaS

This might be the scariest video out of the entire lot. While every video here will help you to see how vulnerable you really are, this man admits outright that most major companies are not very secure with their data, which might be your data, too.

2. Chris Richter on Cloud Computing Security and Compliance

Mr. Richter lays it right out – this is the start of a long thought process for you. There are compliance auditors, who are out to make sure outsourcing is being done reliably. He also makes a great point about making sure that the data centers you outsource to can essentially field strip their own server architecture. “Know thyself” has never been more true.

1. Evolving Role of the Data Center (in the Cloud)

The data center of the past is an endangered species. The more the cloud comes into prominence, the less people should be necessary to maintain the data center.

Some of the info contained herein is a bit radical. Most will get you thinking a lot about how safe your data really is. But in the end, these videos will take you a good way down the path to a higher level of outsourced data handling understanding.

Guest Author: Jessy is the creative writer for, Miami FL self storage aggregation tool owned by Self Storage Co, LLC, and founded in 2010.