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Mobilizing Adobe Creative Suite
Tom Neilly

 One of my classes this semester is Digital Graphic Design. Throughout the course of this class we will be using Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. Being a CIST major, and not being very artistic, especially with my hands, I decided this would be a good class to scratch off three of the necessary nine art credits I’ll need to complete my bachelor’s degree. More importantly, learning how to use Photoshop is a valuable skill – a skill that I feel confident can apply to my interest in Web design.  

While several of the lab computers on campus have the Adobe Suite installed, I decided to look into getting a subscription to the Adobe Creative Suite. For students, the subscription cost is $19.99 a month (plus tax) for a 1 year obligation and covers two devices. This gives total access to the Adobe Creative Suite which includes 27 different programs. Since my books cost much less this semester than I anticipated, I figured I could justify spending the money. So I gave it a shot.  

With the Pro2 being full Windows, I could not see any reason not to install Photoshop onto it. The install went seamlessly and within ten minutes Photoshop was up and running. However, between my rather large fingers and the Pro2 screen being considerably smaller than the 24” iMacs in the labs and the 21” monitor on my personal desktop, I was a little concerned at how practical it would be to actually use for projects.  

For those who have not used Photoshop, there is a lot going on on one screen. Here is a screenshot to give you a rough idea of the wide range of tools that photoshop has implemented.

Imagine this all on a 10.6” screen. Thankfully the stylus quickly put my fears to rest. Before beginning, I recalibrated the stylus which is a fast and simple process. I simply entered ‘calibrate’ into the Windows metro search function and quickly found the calibration settings. After tapping a few X and Y coordinates on the screen with the stylus, it was pointing with precision and ready to go.  

Within 20 minutes of tinkering around, I really started to enjoy using the stylus in place of the mouse. It all comes down to personal preference, but after comparing Photoshop to a mouse and a stylus, I actually prefer the stylus. Even in class I now prefer to use the Pro2 over the iMac. The screen size does not bother me, and being able to save my work straight to the machine that travels everywhere with me is much more convenient. The Pro2 is also considerably faster than the full sized iMac. The one downside is the battery drain, as Photoshop did seem to use a considerable amount of processing power resulting in the Pro2 getting pretty warm. But the good far outweighed the bad. Between speed, mobility, and ease of use – using Photoshop on the Pro2 is not only practical but fun and convenient.

I anticipate doing a good amount of my digital artwork with the Pro2. Using online cloud storage, I can start a project from home or from one of the labs, grab the Pro2, and pick right up where I left off - whether I’m in a car, the dining hall, or the classroom.