Saturday, April 16, 2016

Corel Draw 12 - Last Great Version

I had been upgraded all the way to X7. I have to say there are a lot of small things about X7 that I like. I never really got attached to the idea of software as a service.

I think it's too much to charge exactly the same amount for renting the software for a year as I would have paid by buying and paying two years worth of rent. Have just looked again. I see the rent is about the same, but full price is over 600. So I can pay 3 years rent, for a product that traditionally has a 2 year life cycle. I expect X9 will release in about 18 Months based on past experience.

But that's not what's really interesting*. I found my 12 install and key. Now one of the reasons I stopped using X5 was because after 5 re-installs, I wasn't able to use my key. So I could pay to unlock the software I "owned" or just upgrade. X7 had just come out, I could get a one year subscription rate for just less than half. Seemed like a good idea at the time. For one thing, now that X8 is out, I can just get that instead. Except now I have to buy another year. And then the one after that. And so on.

12, on the other hand, just installed. In between I've tried to explore "free" options. This is software I use for hobby work, so the less I pay the better. Free (or open source, in this case) isn't even close. I find this disappointing because I use Open Office for office work all the time. And although the Open Office word processor is not as refined as Word, it is very competent. Their vector drawing is rudimentary.

Now back to 12. I know this will come as a surprise, but other than how it interacts with the desktop environment, the main tool box of Corel Draw hasn't really changed that much from 3. Yes there are more tools, and some specific versions come bundled with things you'll never use. 7 or 9 came with a 3d modeling suite. Blender is open source, free and much more complete. For vector drawing, any version that works with your version of OS is probably not that much different than 3. 3 was released around Windows 3.1, so there's a very good chance it won't like Windows 10.

12, on the other hand, was released in the era of Windows XP. The only real drawback with 12 over X3 on is that there was no 64 bit version. I also remember it being unstable on Windows 7 and 8, which I believe may have been my primary motivation for moving to X3.

The real downside is all of my most recent work is now only X7 compatible. It's locked away from me. I suppose, logically this isn't different than paying for my electric bill. I pay that every month and the power keeps flowing. I stop paying and my house descends into the dark ages. On the other hand I don't see software like electricity or water. I don't consume it. It's a tool. Like a hammer, I expect it will be in my toolbox later today, tomorrow or next week. I don't like the idea of having to pay for my hammer every few months so I can keep using it.

On the other hand, if the price was more palatable, you might convince me. Netflix has.

*Of course, if you're not into the nuances of software marketing or how expensive productivity software is, it's really not very interesting at all.

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