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Q: The Seattle Times reported that Adobe Systems is moving to a subscription-based model for Photoshop (May 7). Does this mean future Photoshop upgrades will not reside on my hard drive?

If yes, what does this mean to the hobbyists who (1) don’t want their photography computer touching the Internet, (2) use a laptop in a place with no Internet connection, (3) have a slow Internet connection, or (4) are infrequent users of Photoshop? Do we need to move on to different software to manage our photographs?

— Kay Theis, Seattle

A: I contacted Adobe about this and received this answer:

Creative Cloud desktop applications (such as Photoshop and Illustrator) are installed directly on your computer hard drive, so you won’t need an ongoing Internet connection to use them on a daily basis. You will need to be online when you install and license your software. If you have an annual membership, you’ll be asked to connect to the Web to validate your software licenses every 30 days. However, you’ll be able to use the products for 180 days even if you’re offline.

Adobe plans to sell Creative Suite 6 for use on supported platforms indefinitely. To learn more, visit The new CC versions of the desktop applications are available only through Creative Cloud offerings for individuals, teams and enterprise. Adobe does not have any current plans to release future CC tools outside Creative Cloud.

Q: My oldest grandson enters college this fall and I plan to purchase a laptop for his high-school graduation gift. I have seen both the Acer and Lenovo at the Microsoft stores, and I’m leaning toward the Lenovo.

I am an iMac user but not impressed with what I’ve seen from Apple, plus I like the Microsoft Office with OneNote, which is not available on a Mac. As a college student, does he really need an HDMI port, which the Lenovo lacks?

— Joe Superfisky

A: The main reason he might want an HDMI port is if he wants to stream video from the laptop to a television set. There are other ways to do it, but if the laptop has an HDMI port it’s straightforward and inexpensive.

I like OneNote, too, though I can’t for the life of me figure out why they haven’t built in a feature to automatically clean up pages of notes. Once you delete notes, the only way to get rid of the empty space is manually move notes. That’s nuts.

Also, if you make a note longer, it may run right over another note.

OK, I’ve had my rant.

Q: I have a PC with Windows 7. Recently, the items on my screen have become smaller. I don’t know what caused it. I can increase them to normal size by clicking on the white wheel in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, below the white “X” in the red box. A window opens with the notice “ZOOM (100%).”

I click on this and another box opens with a list of percentages. I click on 150% and the screen changes to what appears to be normal size. The problem is, I have to do this every time I change window pages.

How can I return Window items to their proper size?

— David Mack

A: Just go to the Control Panel and select the Display utility. When the utility pops up, you’ll see a selection of three sizes. If you want something other than those three sizes, you can click on “Set custom text size” and specify just what you want.

Q: I have a Dell desktop computer. I keep getting popups telling me to upgrade the Adobe Flash player. Do I need to do this? And if not, how do I stop the popup?

— Sandi Rousso

A: Adobe Flash player is a free application. I’m assuming you’re getting those messages because you have it installed and the software has determined that an update is available.

The only way I’m aware of to get rid of the popups is to uninstall Flash. But if you want to keep Flash installed, I recommend that you get the update.

Flash is a medium that is often used to convey malware, so you want to make sure to get updates for security reasons.

Questions for Patrick Marshall may be sent by email to or, or by mail at Q&A/Technology, The Seattle Times, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111. More columns at