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dcr

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  1. Two things I hate about a lot of modern software: Internet activation and subscriptions. Affinity v1 had neither. Affinity v2 had Internet activation but, after learning of the business licensing options in another thread, I thought that issue was possibly resolved (if you buy business licenses) and I was ready to hop back on the Affinity bandwagon. Then I saw the thread on the Canva buying them. Oy. At this point, we have no idea whether future Affinity releases will be subscription-based. But . . . I work in the printing industry. We print things. In the past, I have been happy to recommend customers buy Affinity products instead of Adobe subscriptions. But now . . . Canva offers printing services. That makes them a competitor. Why then would I want to (a) recommend customers buy a product from a competitor or (b) buy software and thus financially support a competitor? Why would anyone in the printing industry want to recommend Affinity products now? I guess it's back to Adobe or Quark. Ugh. They are both fairly bad these days but at least I wouldn't be supporting a competitor.
  2. How do those business licenses work? Do they work like the V1 versions where you entered your serial number and you were good to go? Or do they require access to a device with an Internet connection so an activation code can be generated?
  3. As a matter of disclaimer, I am primarily a Mac user. I also use Windows (ugh) and Linux. I keep an eye on Linux for a possible future switch to making it my primary system because I don't like the way Apple and Microsoft have been trending with taking away more and more control of your own computer and requiring accounts, or at least making it difficult to install an operating system without having an account on their system and whatnot. Plus, as a Mac user since System 7, I have seen the Mac user experience decline over the years. It is no longer the intuitive and easy to use operating system it used to be. And Windows still stinks. So, despite whatever shortcomings it may have, at the moment, Linux appears to be the only viable alternative to the Mac OS and Windows. I think the key is control, not necessarily ownership. If I have a license to use a particular application, I should be able to use it for as long as I have a compatible system that can run that software. I used to not like open source software and actively avoided it. Now, I lean towards it, not because it is typically free but because I know that, if I can install it on my system today, I will be able to install it on a similar system five, ten or even twenty years from now. Will I need it twenty years from now? Who knows? I might, especially if there are no other applications available in twenty years that can open its files. I have both the Affinity version 1 and version 2 application suites. I only use version 1. Why? Because of version 1's licensing process, no Internet activation is required to install and use the software. With version 2, there's an Internet activation scheme because they apparently need it for the iOS versions I don't have, use or care about. So, while I will be able to install version 1 on a compatible system in five, ten or twenty years, there is no guarantee I will be able to do the same with version 2 because who knows if Serif will still be around or their servers active or whatever. Bottom line is that I have a paid license with no guarantee I'll be able to activate it in the future. Just like Adobe, which I switched from because of their subscriptions and Internet activation nonsense. Given that, were Serif to release a Linux version of the application suite, I would not buy it if they required Internet activation. What percentage of Linux users would feel the same, I don't know. I don't mind paying for software and most of the software I use is commercial software, but I am opposed to paying for software that then limits whether or not I will actually be able to install and use the software based on whether or not the company keeps their servers active.
  4. For Mac users, I'll second Typeface. I have Suitcase Fusion on my older Macs, but dropped them for newer Macs when they went full evil, er, I mean, subscription, though I did partially enjoy their humorous eMails trying to explain why paying them a subscription benefits my budget somehow. After that, I switched to another font manager which I didn't find worked as well and ended up with Font Explorer X which wasn't bad but is no longer available. So, now it's the Typeface App for me. I'm not really weeding out any Postscript fonts but rather searching for their TT versions if available and switching.
  5. Ease or cost-effectiveness of upgrading is not an issue. Being able to access files is. If I create something in V1, I know that I will be able to open and use that file a year from now or five years from now or even ten or more years from now. As long as I have a computer capable of running V1, I will be able to open V1 files because I know I can install and activate V1 as long as I don't lose my offline activation codes. With V2, I have no such assurance. In a year, five years or ten years or more, Serif could have shut down their license servers, they could have gone out of business, they could have been bought out or a sinkhole could have opened up and swallowed their server farm. Who knows? In any event, there is no guarantee that I will be able to activate and use V2 in the future. And, since I can't downsave a file to V1 and since export options are limited, V2 is a no-go for me and, possibly, others who don't wish to be Adobe'd.
  6. As ATP asked, have you tested this by actually moving it to another computer? And, did you do this on a Mac or Windows PC? That's how Adobe does it. At least as far as hardware. I don't think it went by OS version. At least CS3 didn't. If I remember right, when I upgraded from Mac OS X 10.4.x to Mac OS 10.6.x, I didn't have any problems with the Adobe activations. When the logic board had to be replaced, then I had to reactivate them. (And some I didn't reactivate because I forgot they weren't part of the Creative Suite and required separate activations so I effectively lost those apps.) So, logic board for sure. RAM? No idea. Hard drive? No idea. I don't know how Affinity does theirs. I thought the reasoning behind requiring Internet activation now was the iPad apps. If that's the case, their activation scheme might not be as restrictive as Adobe's. Still, some confirmation either way would be appreciated.
  7. Okay, but we're going to go the long way around . . . In my view, computers should save us time. So, let's say I create a poster. I do it in InDesign, Publisher, Illustrator, Designer, whatever. I keep the source file. Now, let's say in ten or twenty-five years, I want to change the poster a bit. Maybe I want to add an anniversary logo and make some other minor changes to modernize it. I should be able to open that source file and make whatever changes I need. I should not have to need to recreate the poster in something else all over again. Maybe a PDF could be edited. Kind of depends on what tools were used in the creation of the poster and whether those tools remain accessible and/or usable in the PDF. Ideally, version 10 of the creation program should be able to open a version 1 file and retain the original editing capabilities. But, maybe it doesn't. But, if I have the file and the original program that created it, I should be able to open it in that. Maybe I need to get a hold of an old computer. Maybe I need to use an emulator. But, somehow, I should be able to open it in the original program. That means I need to be able to launch the original program. And, these days, that usually also means needing to activate it. If the company that made the program is out of business or has shut down their activation servers or has otherwise made it impossible to activate the program, that pretty much defeats the purpose of keeping the original source file. That means either recreating the original work in whole or in part. So, for those reasons, I avoid application programs that require any kind of Internet activation scheme. Which is why I don't use the Affinity v2 applications. All that above also requires being able to install an operating system that supports the program in question. Both Apple and Microsoft are trending toward locking down their operating systems. So, in ten or twenty-five years, would I be able to install an older operating system on either old hardware or in an emulator? If operating systems require user accounts and Internet activations or whatever, the answer is going to be probably not. So, I can foresee a strong possibility of needing to switch to a Linux distro that can be installed and "activated" from an offline installer to cover that eventuality. Of course, right now, with Affinity requiring Internet activation, a Linux version that follows the same scheme would not be viable for me. But, were it to support Linux and use a good old-fashioned license activation (like v1), then it would be. But, again, neither is likely to happen. As for AI, it depends on what kind of "AI" you're talking about. If you're talking about tools that make it easier to remove backgrounds or seamlessly remove unwanted portions of an image, that's fine. Or, if you're talking about filters that make a photograph look like a cartoon or that remove motion blur or add motion blur or stuff like that, fine. Where you're talking about tools that allow you to manipulate an existing image, that's mostly fine. But, for generative AI, no. For one, the copyright issues (at least in the U.S.) are still unsettled. If I draw something or photograph something, the resulting image is clearly mine. I have exclusive rights to it. No one else can use or sell that same image without my permission. If I pay someone to draw something or photograph something, I can have exclusive rights to it with the proper agreement or contract. With AI generated "art", who owns it? If I ask for an astronaut horse standing on the moon, do I have full rights to it? Or can I simply use it on a non-exclusive basis? If you later ask for an astronaut horse standing on the moon and the resulting image is substantially similar to the one AI generated for me, can I sue you for infringement? Or do we both have non-exclusive rights to the images generated for us? Or, what if it is deemed that no one owns the copyright on the image and it's effectively public domain that anyone can use? Why would I want to pay to use an AI tool to create an image I don't have exclusive rights to? I could just as easily use an image search engine to search for an AI-generated image of an astronaut horse standing on the moon and use it. Maybe it's yours. So, you paid to use an AI tool to generate that image which I can now download, print on a t-shirt and sell. So, hey, thanks! But, what if someone else had painted an astronaut horse and that image was used in the "training" of the AI? Then, you and I request our astronaut horse on the moon image and then the AI spits out an image substantially similar to that original creation? And then we sell "our" images on t-shirts. Can the original painter sue us for copyright infringement? Will the Affinity AI TOU indemnify us against such claims? Can the painter sue Serif? All of us? There are too many unknowns. Too much is unsettled. That makes generative AI something I would not touch with a ten foot pole.
  8. On any roadmap or backlog, I would place tagged/accessible PDF capabilities way ahead of AI. Tagged/accessible PDFs are a legal/regulatory necessity in many places. AI is not. And, if you're assigning people or teams to different items on the list, I would again place AI at the bottom of that list. I would even place a Linux version, which we know isn't going to happen, ahead of AI. So, yeah, sure, different people or teams can be working on different things. Generative AI does not need to be one of those things.
  9. No subscriptions? No Internet activation? Whoops. Serif went the wrong way on that second one. Can Publisher v2 export to .IDML? Can Publisher v2 export to Publisher v1? Can Publisher v2 export tagged/accessible PDFs? Can Designer v2 open .AI files and not just the PDF stream? Can Designer v2 export to .AI files? There are a ton of areas where Serif is either losing ground or never established a foothold in the first place. It'd be nice if they'd get some of that stuff done before worrying about AI.
  10. Then Serif might as well close up shop now because no one will need Photo, Designer or Publisher anymore. What for? Just tell the AI to spit out a PDF of a marketing flyer with your logo and an image of the product and a sales pitch for it and, boom!, it spits out a print-ready PDF. Of course, you probably won't need flyers anymore. Or mailers. Or catalogs. Probably won't need advertising. Your home AI will determine what you need and don't need. AI will do everything for you. Until it determines that, since you don't do anything and aren't necessary for anything, your existence is no longer necessary.
  11. Where do you draw the line? (No pun intended.) Let's say I draw a bird on a perch in a cage with an open door. Then, I ask the "AI" tool to make the feathering on the bird more realistic. Is that okay? If I ask the tool to make the bird's eyes sparkle more, is that okay? If I ask the tool to make the perch less artificial and man-made and more like a tree branch that was cut and put inside the cage, is that okay? If I ask the tool to make the cage less modern and more Victorian, is that okay? At what point is it becoming less improving on your own image and more generating something that's not yours? If the end result of the above is the same as telling the tool to generate an image of a bird on a tree branch perch in a Victorian cage, where is the difference? Or, would it be more acceptable if the AI was limited to only utilizing images that you created? That is, you sketch a bird. Then you point the "AI" tool to a folder containing all the images of birds you've either drawn or photographed and ask it to make the feathering more realistic. And then the tool relies only on work you yourself have created in order to add realistic feathering to the bird you sketched. Likewise for the perch and cage and whatever else. That way, the only "learning" it does is based on your own work.
  12. I don't know the numbers, but I suspect a significant percentage of Affinity users are former Adobe users who did not want to pay monthly fees to use software tools. And now people want Serif to incorporate AI tools that require a subscription into their software?
  13. On top of that, it was an Adobe tool and, I don't know about others here, but as far as I am concerned, Adobe can burn in the deepest, hottest, fieriest pits of Tartarus.
  14. My CS3 applications were purchased directly from Adobe and registered and I did not receive any notifications. I did receive plenty of sales pitches for Creative Cloud.
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