One of banes of a computer user’s life is installing software. In my Windows days building up a new machine was a complete nightmare with multiple reboots and update upon update.

Installing software on a Mac tends to be a less painful experience as a simple drag and drop of the application to the Applications folder is generally all that is required. However there are notable exceptions to this installation nirvana and the two application suites I find myself having to schedule the best part of a day to facilitate the installation of are Adobe’s Creative Suite and Apple’s Final Cut Studio.

Hence, you can imagine my dilemma when CS5 arrived. I wanted to install it straight away but the pain and duration of the CS4 installation process was still burnt into my consciousness. So time consuming was the CS4 installation that I hadn’t bothered installing it at all on my new (7 week old) iMac knowing CS5’s release was imminent. I couldn’t hold out much longer though!

My CS5 installation files were delivered via the Adobe Electronic Software Download servers which at least meant I didn’t have to suffer the seemingly interminable grinding of the SuperDrive to install from physical media.

So with a copious supply of tea and reading materials I settled down to install the behemoth that is Creative Suite 5 Master Collection.

I was installing twice, yes that’s permitted under the licensing agreement, first on my oldest iMac before moving on to my new iMac.

The first machine was a three and a half year old 24 inch iMac Core 2 Duo with 3GB RAM and 256MB graphics card. Installing CS4 had taken approximately 3.5 hours and the required post install software update another 1.5 hours, hence the tea and reading material 😉

However, once the serial number and associated information had been entered the installation of CS5 seemed to motor along hardly giving me enough time to start my tea. All 17 Creative Suite Master Collection applications and assorted extra utilities were installed in 32 minutes. Wow! If I thought that was fast the progress on my new 27 inch 2.8 Intel Core i7 iMac with 8GB RAM and 512MB graphics card was even faster. From start to finish the installation took only 16 minutes. Truly amazing. Even better was the fact that the installation didn’t require a reboot.

It’s all too easy to complain about issues with software that doesn’t seem to be fast enough, flexible enough or anything else enough but credit where it’s due. Well done to Adobe for listening to one of the major complaints about previous versions of Creative Suite and more importantly doing something about it to improve the situation beyond what I for one dared to even dream of … now if you could just see your way to fixing the Export Panel in Bridge … see the demands of users never end 😉