Some Good Reasons to Avoid Adobe CC

When Adobe CC (aka. Adobe Creative Cloud) first came out I was intrigued. As someone in software design myself, I am not inherently opposed to a monthly/yearly licensing system, although I believe it needs to be done right and it has to be an option provided alongside the traditional “buy this software once, own it forever” style licensing. While the CC service isn’t right for my personal use (I have a commercial-use CS5 Master Suite that suits my needs), I signed up my company for the Creative Cloud for Teams version. Although there were undeniably some advantages to the CC suite (being able to use the software on any computer made it easy for me to work from home), the overall negatives are so bad that I absolutely do not recommend it.

1. One plan does NOT fit all

Despite numerous complaints about the lack of plan customizability, Adobe seems to have no interest in offering their customers options on what software and how much cloud space they want. After using CC for a few months, I realized that the price (7,000 yen–approximately 70USD–per month, per license) was extremely high given that Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign were the only software we were using. The 2GB cloud space was also not used, nor was there any need for it in the foreseeable future. Ultimately, I realized that I had set myself up to waste a lot of money I couldn’t afford to spend because of the rigid pricing plan setup.

2. An untenable contract

When I was signing up I didn’t think much about the “required one year” contract (to be absolutely clear: the one year contract was mandatory for the type of service I signed up for; there was no “month-to-month” option). Continue reading

On slut-shaming, deleting comments, and respectful discourse

ETA 2011/03/06: It turns out that my comments were marked as spam, not deleted; they have now been published. For some reason Blogspot, unlike WordPress (which most of my experience is with), displays your comment as properly posted after you hit the “post comment” button, even when it’s been marked as spam. I’m leaving the post up, but most of what I was talking about no longer applies to this specific situation.

ETA 2011/04/24: I am closing comments because at this point I don’t think there is any more productive discussion to be had on the subject. The last 2 or 3 comments, which have not made it past moderation because they have been in blatant violation of several of this blog’s discussion rules, have been nothing but abuse of me that ignores the fact that 1) I’ve made the above retraction, and 2) that Wundergeek and I have resolved the situation amicably and with no hard feelings. This post will remain because I take responsibility for my words, even when I have said things that later turn out to be wrong, but as of now the subject is closed for discussion.

Go Make Me a Sandwich is a blog by an artist and gamer called Wundergeek that’s starting to gain some readership and respect within the online feminist gamer community. I write this post because I feel that if I do not make a public record then many people in that community — a community I care very much about — may never be aware of the kinds of lines Wundergeek draws when it comes to what she does, and does not, allow in her space.

This all began as me grumping on twitter about feminists who slut-shame (inspired in part because of how often I noticed while reading Go Make Me a Sandwich, which had made it to my “Read Sometimes” list, Wundergeek calling scantily clad female characters sluts/slutty/etc) and progressed into an internet discussion/argument on slut-shaming language. I had been debating writing a comment calling Wundergeek out on her slut-shaming. I have very little time to waste on futile efforts and while a feminist should understand how to gracefully take being called out, in my experience a lot of feminists just shut down and stick their fingers in their ears. After reading one of the posts I linked, Maverynthia decided to call Wundergeek out. The argument spilled over to a different post and because I had respect for Wundergeek’s deconstructions of the depictions of female characters, figured (wrongly) that it was worth my time to try explaining the problem. Continue reading

I don't like being an educator, really….

If you’re wondering where my internet- and writing-oriented energies have been going lately, that would be into fleshing out the Finally, A Feminism 101 Blog FAQ:

The truth is, I really don’t like being an educator. It’s a lot more comfortable for me to be able to reach out to other feminists and work with helping clarify issues and give them the tools to improve their situations. But one of the things I’ve come to realize when engaging with commenters, and later doing the research for the above FAQ entries, is that if I don’t do these things, there’s no guarantee that someone else will.

And I think that it’s more effective to point people to these articles — which I’ve been able to spend hours researching and writing — than it is to try to argue the same points in a comment, sans references and the time needed to fully explain the argument.

I believe in the Feminism 101 blog, and I think that it’s helped to enrich the way that feminists communicate with each other, as well as the way that they communicate with their commenters. And I think that’s why I’ve been working hard at contributing there even though I don’t like educating (and am far from convinced that I’m the best one to be doing it).

Tekanji the video game design student

Yesterday I took my entrance exams for HAL, a famous technical school in Japan, and got in. Starting April I will officially be studying video game design and planning for the next four years.

I took a tour yesterday and the school looks really, really awesome and the guy who’s in charge of coordinating the international students was really, really nice and I’m so happy that I got in that I could die.

So, anyway, yeah, that’s one huge worry lifted of my shoulders. Now I get to worry about finding an apartment, changing my visa over, and getting all my ducks in a row.

ETA: I’ve put up a blog on Iris where I’ll be talking more about this: The Life and Times of a Video Game Design Student

Luxury of Travel: Ariel's Trips to Canada & Nicaragua

I’m in Nicaragua right now and taking advantage of my American right to travel. I can move fairly freely in a country impoverished by my nation’s doing–and by extent my own. I certainly benefit from globalization and the United State’s imperialism, do too little enough to actively resist it.

Continue reading

Voices from the past

Or, in this case, my voice from the past. When looking up stuff on cyberstalking for someone, I came across an article that I wrote in 2006: The virtues of being mouthy, talking back, etc…

Being mouthy is both liberating and infuriating. I say what I feel, how I feel it, but because it’s threatening — especially coming from a woman — it also means that, regardless of how right or wrong I am on an issue, I get hatred poured on me. There are times when I think it’s a virtue, there are times when I think it’s a curse, but, ultimately it’s just me.

This is who I am. I can no more change this about myself than I could stop breathing. And, furthermore, I’m proud of who I am. Even when it causes me pain to deal with the harassment I get, even when it causes me pain that I get called a facist because I don’t let people vomit all over my blog with their bile, even when I think to myself that this is what my life will be: an endless round of being smacked down by people who don’t like what I say and how I say it. Even then, I know myself. I know that I have to do what I think is right. And I know that it isn’t all about the bad.

Switching to moderation has actually curbed a lot of that. Most of the comments that don’t make it through moderation these days are for breaking other discussion rules, and I haven’t been called a “bitch” or worse in a good while. And the attempts to silence me come in different, often more covert, ways.

But it makes me think about the next part of what I wrote:

Maybe they’re stronger than me. Maybe they’re not. But if I didn’t fight, then how could I come to know these wonderful people? Blogging has brought me some of my best friends, it has brought me together with people who believe in doing what they believe is right. We’re all mouthy in our own ways. We don’t always agree. But this is a community we’re building. A solitary mouthy person is just one voice against the crushing tide of people who want to silence voices they don’t like, but a community of us is not so easily silenced.

And that, I think, is where the virtue lies. Call me what you like — mouthy, bitch, man-hater, etc. — but know that there’s nothing you can say to me to change who I am. I’m an outspoken feminist who believes in advocating for what she sees right. And I’m not the only one.

Since that time, my blogging community has grown and changed. I have founded the Iris Gaming Network, had to read sexual threats made about my friend because she was nice enough to pose for the cover of the first issue of Cerise (the world’s second gaming magazine aimed at women). I have gone to WisCon and met my internet friends in real life.

I have networked, formed a solid support network, gotten some cool co-bloggers, and have finally gotten myself a nice little bunch of regular commenters here. Just, of course, in time to take one of my “I’m on break (sorta)!” breaks. I have had to deal with the pressures of moderating (a burden made easier with the help of my co-bloggers) and the problem of knowing that my moderation of borderline cases isn’t consistent, and is far, far from objective.

I have come so far (yet with so much farther to go) and it’s all due to my being mouthy. I’ll admit when I’m wrong, argue when I’m not, but I will never give up one of the most important aspects of who I am: my ability to speak and be heard.

And, in the end, I think that reading my words from the past has reminded me why blogging is so important.

Although I’m still technically on break. This month is hell, as I have tons of homework to catch up on, two tests, the need to get my applications in for school… So, in short, brain is still on break! No intelligent posts for you!

Brain on Break

So, I’m behind on my homework, applications for various things (from the JLPT to the schools I want to go to) are in less than two weeks, and all I can think of is that I want to graduate some of my sims from college because they’ve been there waaay too long already.

So, in summary, I’m going on break. To those of you who have comments in moderation awaiting my attention, I’m sorry but you’ll have to wait. If I can find someone else to take them on, I’ll publish them and let them deal with it. But if you want an answer from me, you’ll have to wait until my brain isn’t screaming, “DEAR GODS NO! DON’T MAKE ME DO THE THINKING THING ANYMORE!”

ETA: Please enjoy this movie while you wait (breathlessly I’m sure) for me to resume my blogging ways:

Via ‘Cause Knowledge is Power (which has a fairly accurate transcript of the poem).