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HOW TO: GET THE MOST OUT OF ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD
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Posted on August 28th, 2012
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Windows XP

Adobe has introduced a brand new way of accessing its suite of applications for graphic, web and print design through the ‘Creative Cloud.’ Along with the release of CS6, Adobe now has cloud-based access to its entire Master Collection and a way of backing up files to a secure storage. Available with either an annual or monthly subscription, this new cloud service allows you to access the entire Adobe package in a way which is not prohibitively costly. This Adobe suite represents a new trend of platform-independent services whereby cloud services strive to have multiple licenses in order to hold a competitive advantage.

Before we kick off in to how to get the most out of this new tech, let’s stop for a moment to explain some of the fundamentals. First of all, what is cloud computing? In this sense, Adobe is offering access to all applications not in the cloud but as downloadable, interchangeable licenses. This means that the program can work on a Mac and a PC, just not at once! Programs with flexible formatting, from Adobe to email services, are becoming more of a trend in order to reach a wide range of users. With Adobe creative cloud, you can have two versions installed at any one time, but they cannot be used simultaneously. Luckily, deactivating is a simple matter of pointing and clicking.

The storage facility available through Creative Cloud is a bona fide example of cloud computing. Adobe owns or leases servers from operators such as Dell, and uses those remote computers to run their software. This software is useable ‘across the web’, and usually served up in a browser window (though Creative Cloud is also built in to the CS6 suite). What does this all mean? It means that rather than saving your data to your computer - which may go wrong - you can safely ‘back up’ your CS6 files to a central storage facility owned and managed by Adobe. They won’t creep in to access your files - to do so would violate data protection laws - but they will store them safely from intrusion. They’ll also keep multiple backups (known as RAID striping), so you won’t be in any danger of losing your files by accident.

There are a few steps you should take in order to get the most out of Adobe’s development. Firstly, check if you are eligible for discounts. If you are a registered student or educator, the regular monthly price of £46.88 (73.6 USD) for new customers (or £27.34 (42.9 USD) for existing customers) tumbles to £22.46 (35.25 USD) per month. The verification process is simple and served straight up through the Adobe store.

Next up, let’s think about using the storage facilities themselves. Adobe offers a way for people who don’t even have CS6 - or any Creative Suite apps, such as Photoshop - to view files online in their native format. Simply upload the document to Creative Cloud and send a link. It is also important to become familiar with the activation-deactivation process. A big draw of Creative Cloud is that it’s fully cross-platform: in the past, Mac users and PC users couldn’t purchase an edition of the Creative Suite that worked across both Operating Systems. Creative Cloud is platform-independent, which means one subscription will work across both. When you install a single app, you ‘bind’ your Creative Cloud membership to whichever computer you have installed the app to. You can ‘bind’ your Creative Cloud membership to another computer, but Adobe will check monthly whether or not you’ve used the two simultaneously (with unmentioned penalties for doings o, one supposes). However, if you only use one computer at a time, you can ‘deactivate’ your membership by deactivating each individual app. It’s under the ‘Help’ menu, and it only takes a tick.

Another example of the cross-platform trend is the ease with which exchange server services for email, data storage and calendaring can be used across Mac and PC platforms. In this case it is not just photoshop processes which can be streamlined and protected, but also the synchronization of email, contacts and tasks. The flexibility of these programs is seen as a priority, as cloud computing programs are less useful when they are tied to specific platforms. Cloud computing is a relatively new phenomenon, but it’s totally changing the way we work and play. With a bit of savvy and advice, you can make sure you’re getting the best that the new technology has to offer.

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