My Brain Hurts…

*** Warning *** This is a long post.  Skip to the end for the tl;dr* notes.

Imagine a box of cookies (or whatever your indulgence is), now put it in the pantry and try to pretend it’s not there.

That’s pretty much what I’ve been doing for the last 4 days.  Only the box of cookies is all of my Adobe workflow programs, and the pantry is a Windows partition.  Why you ask?

Well… I’ve debated about how or if I should even talk about what I’ve been going through and feeling this week.  I’ve written many posts in my head but this is the first time I’ve actually sat at the keyboard to try to write my feelings down.

First and foremost I guess you could say that my mind has been full of erratic energy.  I have been easily frustrated, overwhelmed, and angry, mostly at myself and sometimes at the software in front of me.  And then I feel ecstatic, proud, and ready to take on the world.  Maybe this post is just for me, some kind of cathartic exercise to get it out and to really deal with it.


Last Saturday, I wrote a post about wanting to start using GIMP and Raw Therapee and writing tutorials for those pieces of software.  This idea came to me after a bit of a discussion on my Tuesday’s post, where I wrote a tutorial for Photoshop and then I made suggestions in the comments to those who didn’t have Photoshop to try GIMP.

I started thinking about how I might be able to reach more people (and get more readers) if I branched out to software that was available in all platforms (Linux, Mac, and Windows).  My plan was to do a tutorial in Photoshop and then another in GIMP.  Realizing that GIMP doesn’t work with raw files, I would also learn Raw Therapee and possibly write tutorials on that as well.

The problem came when I mentioned that I had the academic version of Photoshop and a commenter told me that I was in breach of the license by selling my images processed in that software…

*** Imagine you are driving down the highway, going with the flow of traffic.  Your favorite song comes on the radio, you turn it up and forget your surroundings.  All of a sudden you notice that everyone around you has suddenly slowed down and now you are in front.  Before you have a chance to look at your speedometer you see the lights flashing in your rear view mirror.  You feel your body go cold, your stomach kinda hurts, and you feel a little shaky.  Oh crap, was I speeding? ***

That’s how I felt when I read that comment.  Wait, what?  Oh crap, everything in my store has to come down.  I think I went through the 5 stages of loss in less than 24 hours (which kinda hurt).

Denial, Anger

I skipped right past denial, I knew she was right when I read it.  The concept of academic software licenses is not new to me.  I jumped right into anger and stayed there for hours.  How could I have forgotten to change my license back when CS6 was still available?  I put all that energy into creating the store on Smugmug, thinking of prices, culling my photos.  Printing out my photos, living with them.  Ordering my photos from Smugmug to make sure they looked like my prints. Creating a logo.  Ugh, I didn’t change my software license?  Crap.

I have my blog set to require all comments get monitored before I allow them, and I have WordPress send me an email when I get a comment.  Let me tell you, checking your email just before bed, especially when you stayed up too late (midnight) is the WRONG time to check your email.  After feeling like I was kicked in the stomach, I immediately removed all the buy buttons in my store.  I removed my price list page.  I removed any mention of the store from my about page on my blog.  I changed the wording on my sidebar to have Smugmug as a glorified gallery of my images.

I tried to take solace in the fact that even though my store had been up for a little over a year, I had not had any customers.  While great if I am taken to court, it really does nothing for your ego to admit that you haven’t sold any of your images.

I tried to go to sleep thinking I would reply to the comment in the morning.  I laid in bed for about a half an hour, my mind was racing, I couldn’t sleep.  I decided I would reply and then get some sleep.  I spent some time on my reply and was going around getting urls to add links to my reply when I accidentally opened the url in the tab I was in and lost my reply.  I had to rewrite it, I finished around 4am.  I tried to sleep, again about a half an hour later I gave up.


Around 4:30am, I closed the door to the bedroom so as to not disturb my husband and dog, then I went into the kitchen and started washing dishes by hand.  Afterwards, I started a pot of water to make spaghetti noodles, and started chopping vegetables to make a soup.  I ran the dishwasher and started a load of laundry.  I was angry at myself, I was frustrated, I wanted to cry – everything in my store … gone.

I finally finished up around 6:30am.  I went back into the bedroom and my dog was wagging and ready to start her day – she wanted to go out.  So I got dressed (yes I did all that in my PJs) and took her for a short walk.  I got back and decided that I needed to backup my laptop – I was going to ask my husband to upgrade my Linux partition (I was running Fedora 19 and support for it had just ended… the current version is 21), but I wanted to make sure I had all my data on an external harddrive first.

I had made a decision.  I was going to put Adobe in the pantry and try to forget it was there.  I was going to use Linux and learn Raw Therapee, and relearn GIMP.  I was going to reprocess all my photos so that I could put them back in the store.

You may be wondering why I don’t just get the professional license for Photoshop CC (and I’ve stated my reasons in the comment section here).

I finally crashed (literally) around 7:30am.  I slept until noon when my husband accidentally woke me up when my dog was requesting lunch.  I spent Sunday in an angry haze.  I tried not to take it out on anyone, but I’m sure my mood was pretty erratic, plus I was exhausted.


I think anger and bargaining started to merge… I could just pay Photoshop the $120 yearly fee but not actually use the software (use my CS6 instead), so that if I was to have to show proof of payment for the pro license I had it. (Again my reasons against CC are explained here).  But I might be in a gray area since I didn’t actually sell anything.

So I saw that I had two choices… continue as I have been but have this weird pseudo not really installed software but use what I already have thing, or just switch entirely.  Anger was dominant, I decided to switch entirely.  I figure that box of cookies is there waiting for me if I have to throw up my arms and beg for mercy.  It’s not going anywhere, in fact, it wants me to fail.


Sunday afternoon I pretty much stayed away from the computer.  I had my husband give me a fresh install of Fedora 21 (while keeping my Windows partition intact).  He installed Raw Therapee and GIMP… as well as any other photo processing software he thought I might like to try out.

By Sunday evening, I was off and running with my fresh install of Linux.  I started to create my image for this post.

Monday morning, I wrote the tutorial.  I had to learn how to do screenshots in Linux and how to do red squares around key items in GIMP.  I learned a ton, and I was exhausted.  But I was proud of what I had accomplished.  Skipping right over depression and finding acceptance.

Tuesday, I did a Share Your World post and had to learn Raw Therapee for the image I used because it was a raw file.  And I spent the day trying to learn all the new software in front of me… the internet is full of really good information.

My Brain Hurts

I’m having strange dreams (nightmares mostly), and I’m utterly exhausted and overwhelmed with the task at hand.  But my brain won’t stop.  I have a push to learn the new software so that I can put my store back together.


  1. I forgot that my software license won’t let me sell my images
  2. I had to take down all of my images from my store
  3. I experienced the 5 stages of loss in less than 20 hours
  4. I decided to stick it to the man and use Open Source software
  5. Learning a bunch of pieces of software at once is exhausting and frustrating
  6. My brain hurts


I can’t even tell you how happy it has made me that people are liking my latest image, it helps me to keep going.  And because I’m sure in my erratic behavior I didn’t get to it, I want to thank my commenter for reminding me of the software license policy.  You may have saved me from something really awful.

Until next time…

* tl;dr = too long; didn’t read

6 thoughts on “My Brain Hurts…

  1. Ummm Adobe changed the rules BACK again a couple of years ago, you CAN use academic versions for commercial use now

    Here is the relevant bit:

    Since Creative Suite 5, all Student and Teacher Editions can be utilized for personal as well as commercial use, for all academic customers worldwide. So yes, you can sell your services or anything you create, or use these products in developing a side business or online venture. And after graduation or completion of coursework, you can continue to use any perpetual software on your personal systems; there is no usage expiration and those tools will continue to work.

      • Np it was one of the reasons I did invest in the academic version when I qualified for it, major saving of money.

        That used to be the rule, commercial use of academic license was ok but then thy changed it and it was like that for a while so easy to miss when they changed it back.

        I work in IT and attended an Adobe presentation where they announced this and I got confirmation so that was how I knew 😀

        • Wow, I’ve been reading over the link you sent, plus the faq section mentioned in that article… that really is great news. In general, academic licenses don’t allow you to sell your stuff, so it made since that Adobe wouldn’t either. It would be so great not to have to redo all my work that I had up in my store (over two years of work)… it was such an overwhelming prospect.

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