Thursday, April 21, 2005


After a couple weeks off, I had to write something this week or my editor would have been slightly annoyed:) One reason I only got 12 hours of sleep the past four nights (Sunday 4 hrs, Monday 2hrs, Tuesday 2hrs, Wednesday 4hrs) is that I had to get out this article by Monday morning, and I had the toughest time thinking of a topic. Even though this was my shortest piece so far, I must have wasted about three hours thinking, writing, trashing, staring at the wall, writing,... Finally I settled on the recent Adobe acquisition of Macromedia, but it wasn't a piece I felt great about. Anyway, I couldn't fret over it since I had more important work to get done this week. I feel like there has been an overall decline in my articles after my first six (past three), so I definitely want to put in a better effort in my next column.

Dream a Little Dream ...
... Of an integrated future—where blogging, multimedia, and way-cool software combine—thanks to Adobe's Macromedia acquisition.

Adobe's recent purchase of Macromedia for $3.4 billion jarred more than a few memories for me—and raised some hopes as well. But first the memories: Mention of either company takes me back to my high school and college days when I used Aldus PageMaker and FreeHand for my work on various publications. I loved those programs and spent countless hours in front of my Mac creating layouts and documents. A few years later, when I graduated from college, I began using Adobe's GoLive for web publishing—again, countless hours spent.

During the mid 1990s, it seemed that software and hardware functionality, and the reach and power of the web grew exponentially every few months. When Adobe's PDF files became viewable in Netscape's browsers, I thought that was the coolest thing ever. Plug-ins? Cool! PDF plug-ins? Even cooler. I downloaded every interesting plug-in I could find. Security? Overloading my browser? Who cared—not me certainly. Then I encountered Peter Kang and Gene Na when they were starting out their cutting-edge web design firm Kioken. They used plug-ins and FutureSplash software (which eventually became Flash 1.0 when its maker was acquired by Macromedia) to design a website for a nonprofit that included live animation—which in 1996 was like reading Frank Miller's Dark Knight series or watching a clear TV transmission on a cellphone for the first time a few years ago. All of these things made this nongeek go geeky. (full article)

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