Why Is Adobe Named Adobe?

In this video you’ll learn about one of the founders of Adobe being taken hostage for $600,000 ransom, and how Steve Jobs once owned 19% of the company before they opened the flood gates to cater for Windows and the mass market of the time.

You can either love Adobe for what they’ve developed over the years for creative professionals, or you can hate them for the SaaS subscription we all have to pay for now. Whatever you feel about the software, I don’t believe photography as a profession, never mind the idea of digitizing images, would be what it is today if it wasn’t for this incredible development in graphic-orientated software that revolutionized print and the photographic industry as we know it.

It does seem as though Xerox was the place most people developed or stole ideas from at the time, but these two presented their idea to the company and got shot down. They then decided to go on their own, and the post-script printing technology is still the foundation of printing today.

Computers as a tool today is one thing, but imagine not being able to see any images online. In a way that is what the net would’ve been if it wasn’t for these two founders who saw potential.

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Olivier M. Mischon's picture

Enjoyed PS in the nineties. The SGI version was smooth. Mac was crashy. Still miss the bw map to 3d dfx plug-in made by John Knoll. Then turdshow. Now its 20 years with Gimp on Win. Stable, quick and opensource. Adobe is on par with Spectrum, Geico, Verizon, Fb, twittler hate.

Anthony Zullo's picture

Adobe products are way to expensive and it became boatware software heavy on system hardware resources. Just use Affinity Photos or GIMP has an alternative. Affinity Photos is way cheaper with a one time payment for a lifetime while they offer free updates. GIMP is fully free to use. Both alternative are lightweight on system resources and are easy to use.



stan logsdon's picture

Went to high school with Charles' son. Very down to earth family.
The kidnappers chose Charles because of an endowment he gave San Jose State University. They figured if he could give $ to a college he must have a lot of it. No good deed goes unpunished.
So glad he made it through safely though I can't imagine the effect.
Light Room and Photoshop are perfect for my needs and I consider $10/mo cheap for all that they do.

Karim Hosein's picture

«You can either love Adobe for what they’ve developed over the years for creative professionals, or you can hate them for the SaaS subscription we all have to pay for now.»

False dichotomy. I can dislike them for sitting on their laurels while all other imaging applications overtake them, and dislike them for renting software with abysmal support.

I used Adobe Ps a long time ago, until I found better alternatives a long time ago. (By better, I am not speaking of pricing, but capability & performance). I use to use Adobe Acrobat, until it became mostly pointless, as I can pretty much make a PDF from just about any document, from within the application, and Acrobat offers very little additional capability, —mostly not needed— for an outrageous price.

As for S(oftware)aaS, it is a very terrible way of offering S(upport)aaS, (particularly when the support sucks), something other software publishers have been doing for years, without holding one's data hostage. The S(upport)aaS model is simple; use the software for free, keep and access one's own data forever, and, if one decides they want/need support, they can purchase an annual support contract and pay monthly for it.

«…I don’t believe photography as a profession,… would be what it is today….»
You do know that digital photography is absolutely no different in any way, shape, or form, from what it used to be?† I was a professional photographer long before digital photography, and my workflow has hardly changed; it simply moved from the chemical darkroom to the digital darkroom, like every other computerised industry.

«…if it wasn’t for this incredible development in graphic-orientated software….»
True, to the extent that it would not be digital today, but still in a chemical darkroom. Yet, it would still have happened. The computer industry had been, from the seventies, pursuing different ways to apply machine computation to solve what seems like non-mathematical problems, including image interpretation and manipulation. Photos from the moon landing were highly processed and analysed by computers for years before “Photoshop”. Even Media Cybernetics, who has been around since 1981, was not the first. The seventies. This is not hyperbole.

It was inevitable.

«…but imagine not being able to see any images online. In a way that is what the net would’ve been if it wasn’t for these two founders who saw potential.»

The electronic transmission of images for distant viewing was around long before those two founders. The International press had long come up with standards to do so, even before the Internet was developed. The first digital images borrowed heavily from that work. Computers did not develop anything new; they just applied themselves to what already existed.

†Yes, there are about six modules in my digital software suite which does its magic via mathematical manipulation of the digital data, (such as Fourier transforms), which was impossible in the chemical world, (but I rarely ever touch such modules), and certain retouching tools which utilise mathematical computations, to do differently, what was still possible without a pure digital method.

Still, the remaining 40+ modules are all just a digital re-tooling of the old analogue methods. Ever wonder why the “sharpening” module is called the “un-sharp mask”? Because we used an un-sharp transparency, overlaid above the paper, to create a sharpening effect. The two sliders in the un-sharp mask? We had those too, in the old analogue days. Same for just about everything else, like “cut & paste”. We literally cut & pasted. Overlay → additive/subtract/screened/…. Yep! We literally did that; added two exposures, double exposed a negative & positive image, screened one exposure with another,….