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  1. #1
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    Choosing a Software package question....

    I have two questions that I'm going to post here and possibly in another forum on sitepoint. I have designed a couple of web sites using Frontpage 2003 and Photodraw and now I'm getting some requests from people wanting me to design a site for them, but they want sites with flash and nicer designs than what I can produce with the software that I have. I plan on using, at times, some premade websites that contain the following files that I will need software to edit:

    .PSD;
    .HTML;
    .FLA;
    .SWF;

    The company which sales these premade sites recommend the following softwre:

    SOFTWARE REQUIRED:
    Adobe Photoshop 6+;
    Macromedia Dreamweaver, Adobe GoLive or Microsoft Frontpage;
    Macromedia Flash MX+;


    I was recommended to two programs:
    Adobe Photoshop and
    Studio MX 2004 with Flash Professional

    Which one of these two software programs would be a better purchase or is there another package that would better better than the two mentioned ?

    The second question I have is after doing some research online for prices, I came across a web site selling Studio MX 2004 with Flash Professional
    for $99.00

    and The Adobe® Creative Suite Premium edition for $199.99

    This is what is posted by the products:
    (Please Read)
    This is a CD only sale. All CD's are brand new still in the fctory seal. This is the full version not a limited or trial version. As bundled software it qualifies for all online updates but does not qualify for technical support registration frThis is the Windows version only, sorry not for Mac.
    I usually don't read the books that come with software anyway and there are more than enough forums and help sites to show me the ropes on how to use this software, so do you think it is worth spending the money for the CD only?

    Thanks for any input.

    Jeff

  2. #2
    SitePoint Evangelist comfixit's Avatar
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    Dreamweaver and Photoshop are the way to go bar none.

    If your on a budget be carefull of websites selling software at really low too good to be true prices. Photoshop and Dreamweaver MX can cost you over $1000 for full retail versions.

    I suggest you consider purchasing legit copies used. Try to be current on Dreamweaver but you can get away with anything above version 5.5 for photoshop in my opinion.

    For Flash you will need to either purchase Flash or one of the many programs that allow you to produce flash swf's such as SWISH. These might be cheaper and easier to use but lack the power of the full fledged package.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard LiquidReflex's Avatar
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    Do not buy the "CD only" packages as most of them are not legit. Many are just sites that burn copies of the same disk and sell them. By them posting the fact that you are not able to register your copy means that you will not have a unique serial number. Instead they are selling multiple copies of that serial to people. This is not legal and I would not risk running a business on pirated/illegal software. Some apps (like Microsoft, Flash and, I believe, Photoshop) now even have a system built-in which will connect to their servers and check serials and information.

    If you are planning on getting a copy of the software, I would get a full copy from a respectible source. Sometimes you can get a deal on previous versions (ie. Photoshop 7 instead of CS). It will cost you more than the $199, but at least you know you aren't breaking the law and wasting that money you could have put toward a real copy.
    Kevin Hauge : Modern Leaf Design : Follow Us on Facebook
    Client Axis v.08 - client / project management script

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiquidReflex
    Do not buy the "CD only" packages as most of them are not legit. Many are just sites that burn copies of the same disk and sell them. By them posting the fact that you are not able to register your copy means that you will not have a unique serial number. Instead they are selling multiple copies of that serial to people. This is not legal and I would not risk running a business on pirated/illegal software. Some apps (like Microsoft, Flash and, I believe, Photoshop) now even have a system built-in which will connect to their servers and check serials and information.

    If you are planning on getting a copy of the software, I would get a full copy from a respectible source. Sometimes you can get a deal on previous versions (ie. Photoshop 7 instead of CS). It will cost you more than the $199, but at least you know you aren't breaking the law and wasting that money you could have put toward a real copy.
    Thanks for the input LiquidReflex and comfixit, I understand the concern about possibly using pirated/illegal software. I did not state that you couldn't register the software. they have three phone numbers, two of which are for customer support and one is for activating the software once you have it so you can receive updates/upgrades from the respected manufactures of the companies. They stress that the software is still factory sealed with its own serial number. They even go as far as to say that they will not take any software back if the factory seal has been broken.
    I did state that is doesn't qualify for tech support since it is bundled software. It's the same as me buying the parts to make the computer I'm using and with the mother board came the bundled software PC Cillian from Trend Micro. It was the full version but I wasn't qualified for tech support since I didn't go to the store for the full retailed packaged version.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by comfixit
    Dreamweaver and Photoshop are the way to go bar none.

    If your on a budget be carefull of websites selling software at really low too good to be true prices. Photoshop and Dreamweaver MX can cost you over $1000 for full retail versions.

    I suggest you consider purchasing legit copies used. Try to be current on Dreamweaver but you can get away with anything above version 5.5 for photoshop in my opinion.

    For Flash you will need to either purchase Flash or one of the many programs that allow you to produce flash swf's such as SWISH. These might be cheaper and easier to use but lack the power of the full fledged package.
    comfixit,

    Are you saying that I can edit PSD files in Dreamweaver instead of using Photoshop?
    So If I purchase the Maromedia Studio MX 2004 with flash professional I can edit the following source files and not have to purchase Photoshop or another program?
    .PSD;
    .HTML;
    .FLA;
    .SWF;

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard LiquidReflex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dinfo
    Thanks for the input LiquidReflex and comfixit, I understand the concern about possibly using pirated/illegal software. I did not state that you couldn't register the software. they have three phone numbers, two of which are for customer support and one is for activating the software once you have it so you can receive updates/upgrades from the respected manufactures of the companies. They stress that the software is still factory sealed with its own serial number. They even go as far as to say that they will not take any software back if the factory seal has been broken.
    I did state that is doesn't qualify for tech support since it is bundled software. It's the same as me buying the parts to make the computer I'm using and with the mother board came the bundled software PC Cillian from Trend Micro. It was the full version but I wasn't qualified for tech support since I didn't go to the store for the full retailed packaged version.
    Ah, I read the "tech support registration" as the registration of the software (since all tech support for any software is usually handled by the company and not the company selling the software). I would still be weary of it though, as usually something like really cheap software that is too good to be true ... usually is. Maybe I'm more cautious than most, I'd just rather spend the extra money and ensure that I'm getting the right thing ... but maybe that's just me.
    Kevin Hauge : Modern Leaf Design : Follow Us on Facebook
    Client Axis v.08 - client / project management script

  7. #7
    Non-Member Egor's Avatar
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    You can open .PSD's in Fireworks, but (obviously) PhotoShop Layer Styles do not show up, unless they're flattened. And no, you can't edit .swf's in Flash - it's the output file.

    I use a combo of Photoshop 7, InDesign, and Flash MX 2004 (Student/Teacher edition). I don't see what's wrong with using a student version of Fkash, as I can claim I didn't charge for Flash specifically in a project.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstwntd
    You can open .PSD's in Fireworks, but (obviously) PhotoShop Layer Styles do not show up, unless they're flattened. And no, you can't edit .swf's in Flash - it's the output file.

    I use a combo of Photoshop 7, InDesign, and Flash MX 2004 (Student/Teacher edition). I don't see what's wrong with using a student version of Fkash, as I can claim I didn't charge for Flash specifically in a project.
    Thanks for the comment mstwntd,
    It may sound like I'm so ignorant on these issues and to a point I am because I have only worked with Frontpage and photodraw and now that I'm looking into getting involved with premade sites with Flash and PSD files, etc.... I want to make sure I buy the software for the job but not buy more than I need.

    So the .swf files is the output file and so the .fla is the source of the .swf?

    So in order to edit the .fla I could use Flash MX Professional?

    and lastely, if i did purchae the Studio MX 2004 with Flash Professional I would still need to purchase Photoshop for the PSD files?

  9. #9
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    molona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dinfo
    Thanks for the comment mstwntd,
    It may sound like I'm so ignorant on these issues and to a point I am because I have only worked with Frontpage and photodraw and now that I'm looking into getting involved with premade sites with Flash and PSD files, etc.... I want to make sure I buy the software for the job but not buy more than I need.

    So the .swf files is the output file and so the .fla is the source of the .swf?

    So in order to edit the .fla I could use Flash MX Professional?

    and lastely, if i did purchae the Studio MX 2004 with Flash Professional I would still need to purchase Photoshop for the PSD files?
    It really depends on how good you want to be with images, or the transformations you want to do. With jpg or bitmaps based images, there is nothing as powerful as Photoshop. That does not mean that you cannot do great things in Flash. Everything is down to how much you control your software plus the obvious artistic skills. But for effects on bitmaps, Photoshop is a winner.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy Nadia P's Avatar
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    I'd go with MM Studio. You get DW FWs and Flash. If you are going to use pre-made websites, then there are a few sites around that supply you with layouts created in FWs. I believe FWs would be easier to learn than PS, but that could be because I started with FWs and am finding it hard to come to grips with PS

    You shouldn't base your product decision on the fact that you will be buying premade designs that use those specifice, make your decision on what is best for you in the long term

    Do *not* purchase DW or any MM products other than from MM themselves or an authorised dealer. Those $99 packages are copies and you are going to have problems with registering them. I wouldn't pay any attention to what it says on their site. ... they want your money after all.

    Good Luck!

    Nadia


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