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Adobe CS4 The Newest Kid on the Block - part 1 of 1 2

Published 01/04/2009

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CS4 The Newest Kid on the Block (Or the arrival of Photoshop 11)

First Photoshop box, version 1.0.0.

I remember looking at digital imagery before Photoshop was born, although back in the early 1980s, what we thought was amazing wouldn't get a blink now. But Photoshop was being born. The creators, the Knoll brothers, called it Display. It could convert file types and its key was the gamma correction tool.

Refinements and improvements evolved it into a commercial application called ImagePro. No one was interested except the slide scanner company BarneyScan. They offered to include it in a shortterm bundle of software called Photoshop as a bonus to their slide scanner buyers. In 1988 only 200 copies were shipped.

In September of 1988 Adobe, a postscript language company, became excited about it. Photoshop 1.0 entered the market in February 1990. It did not do much and was actually in a crowded field. It was one of the cheapest at just under $1,000. Hmm 'wonder what that would relate to in 2008 bucks. ($1,667.87 for those curious.)

With each new release we knew what upgrades we desperately needed and would get a few of them. It was a Mac-only product. Our imaginations bumped hard against computer power (watches now have more RAM than Mac hard drives did then) and software ability. Now, 18 years later, the latest Photoshop arrives; bundled again. For those counting it's actually Photoshop 11. But you'll probably know it better as CS4.


There are some cosmetic changes, some of which will annoy power users. There are some under-the-hood changes, stability and speed. You will find some up to Lightroom speed changes and some cool stuff. The thing that thrills me is the new stability. My CS3 Photoshop and Bridge often lock up so that is big for me. When Dan Margulis visited he confirmed the buzz; they got it right. Dan not so much road tests software as road kills it if it's got a weak point. That will be worth the price of the upgrade alone. Speed is up too. Not sure if it's leaner (probably not), better configured or taking advantage of newer hardware. It's faster so that's better.

The PC version is 64 bit and OpenGL accelerated, not so the Mac yet. Not sure if that will come as a next version upgrade or as a patch along the way. This came about because Apple dropped its 64-bit Carbon API before Leopard shipped. So when Apple releases its own API it will probably be corrected.

CS4 takes full advantage of the faster video cards. They redesigned CS4 from the ground up to fully dance with the best graphics systems so it's very responsive, doing some fancy dance steps.


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1st Published 01/04/2009
last update 01/08/2018 14:48:25

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