Thursday, January 18, 2007

Adobe is doomed: Adobe Download Manager

Adobe uses the adobe download manager to install and update its software. It hasn't worked on the last two XP machines I have. It tries to update or download, produces a meaningless error message (server is unavailable, the file has moved etc) and tries again. Eventually I kill it.

I used to be able to get the full installs when updates were needed and by pass this dysfunctional software, but that's no longer possible.

Ok, I think to myself, I'll just download a new version of Adobe Download Manager. Except, you can't.

Adobe has created a loop. A broken install of ADM means you can't update or replace ADM. Despite Adobe's claims that I can remove it, I can't do that. (I suspect our corporate distribution of Adobe Acrobat Pro broke it on both machines.)

Acrobat is a strategic product for Adobe. [1]. If they can't get the updater right they can't get anything right. Adobe is not doing well.

[1] I removed Adobe Reader from my Mac for other reasons -- it was annoying and badly behaved. ADM on the Mac did work, though it had oddities too I believe. Adobe has never been able to figure our permissions on OS X, which does not bode well for Vista.

9/25/08: The solution in a later post might be worth applying in this setting. I haven't missed Adobe Reader/Mac since I removed it, so I can't test. Adobe's OS X software is pretty much an insult.


Anonymous said...

Just found a potential solution. If you can get a hold of the URL that the downloader uses you can just paste it into your browser. For example, I'm currently using: in my URL bar and all seems to be going nice and fast.

JGF said...

Great tip. Incidentally, since I wrote this Adobe has publicly admitted that their updaters/downlaoders/installers are basically junk.

Their share price is also in the toilet, though I doubt Acrobat has much to do with that. On the other hand their egregious quality issues are probably related.

One of my more prescient posts I guess.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just came across your blog here amidst my deep frustration with the whole Adobe download manager issue. After much searching, coming close to tears and a bit of screaming at the computer (LOL) it finally worked. I had to install java and turn my firewall off and after the window that pops up sat and did nothing for about 10 minutes (leaving me to think my attempts were fruitless) then it finally started. I agree, Adobe NEEDS to find a better way. Why does it have to be so complicated just to download a free trial? I feel especially bad for those who have already paid for software and are trying to figure it out!