Happy Birthday, Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop turns 25 years old this week, which you have to admit, is pretty impressive for a software program. Other than Microsoft Office, no other application is as widely used and for so long. Most applications don’t have that kind of staying power.

For example, when I started in graphic design–jesus, longer ago than I’d care to admit… let’s just say the 90s–we used Photoshop and a crappy layout app called Aldus Pagemaker.

Aldus Pagemaker, which went on to become Adobe Pagemaker, then, nothing. (technologizer.com)
Aldus Pagemaker went on to become Adobe Pagemaker, then, nothing.

Then came Quark Xpress, which was a thoroughly cumbersome pain in the ass layout app. We had to have both layered Photoshop files, and either tiffs or jpgs, because Quark wouldn’t print from layered files. Do you have any idea how many times I accidentally flattened a file just so I could put it on a page? I shudder to think.

Quark Xpress. I still have a copy of this app, because people still use it. (macworld.com)
Quark Xpress. I still have a copy of this app, because people still use it.

And, now, we use the lightweight and very forgiving InDesign, which is also part of the Adobe Creative Suite. It prints from layered Photoshop files. It rarely crashes, and when it does, it auto-recovers. InDesign and Illustrator are the best applications in the Creative Suite.

I heart InDesign. (My desktop)
I heart InDesign.
(My desktop)

And through all of this, there was you, Photoshop. When I started using you, I think it was around version 2.5 or so.

Awwww. (emaculation.com)

I remember how awesome the paintbrush was. I spent hours messing with various options. In the first few versions I used, you couldn’t even type directly on your image. When you added text, it came up in a pop up window.

This is how we did text back in the day. (creativebits.org)
This is how we did text back in the day.

Crazy, huh? You couldn’t even see how it looked until you added all the options! I believe that lasted all the way to Photoshop 6. To be fair, you were originally designed for image manipulation, not text.

And now, here we are in 2015, having grown up together. I have several versions of you on this computer: CS3, CS5 and CS6. Why do I have so many Photoshops you may ask?

Well, because you suck. Some files work fine in CS5 or CS6, while others will only open in CS3. My favorite is when you crash while I’m trying to save. That’s ever so productive. Do you have any idea how many hours of work you’ve destroyed on me over the years? At this point, it’s got to be months of work that you’ve lost.

Illustrator, Bridge, and Acrobat never crash. InDesign has an auto-recovery function. But, no, not you, Photoshop. You keep on bucking the trends of your brothers and sisters in the Creative Suite. You, dear Photoshop, continue eating my work. You crash when I open a file. You crash when I make a tiny change. You crash while I’m trying to save and you have no auto-save or auto-recovery functions. Once you eat my work, it’s gone forever.

I have tolerated your crap for decades. Please, for the love of goats, stop crashing while I’m saving. You’re 25 years old; you can stop sucking now.

Still, I suppose you’re better than the alternatives. Happy birthday.