I've been having problems with the Adobe CS3 suite on my Mac over the past few months, particularly since I upgrade to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. My legally purchased copy periodically decides that it's unlicensed and therefore won't run. The ever-so-charming error mess claims that "The licensing subsystem has failed catastrophically". Invariably, this happens when I'm on some sort of deadline and absolutely have to have access to the programs. I've wasted hours and hours figuring this out, restoring support files, uninstalling and reinstalling the software, talking to Adobe support people in India (who were no help whatsoever), deleting absolutely everything related to Adobe from my computer and reinstalling and the like. Today, I found the same sort of thing happening with my legally purchased copy of Filemaker Pro 9.0. What these programs have in common is that they use something called FLEXnet to phone home and check activation status every time one of these programs run. What I've discovered is that if another user on the same machine is using another program in the suite, FLEXnet throws an activation error. My wife has Acrobat Professional configured as her default PDF reader. So if she has Acrobat Pro open and I try to open Photoshop, or InDesign, or now even Filemaker Pro, I get an activation error and can't use the software. It appears that whatever software I try to use can't write to the FLEXnet directory if another user has a FLEXnet-hobbled application open. Not necessarily the same application, but any application that's crippled this way. Just to reiterate, this is software I paid for. I'm a legal customer, not someone who downloads cracked warez from tha intarwebs.
I'm sick and tired of dealing with this. I really ought to bill Adobe for all the hours I've wasted figuring this out. I can guarantee that I won't be spending another penny with Adobe or Filemaker as long as they treat their paying customers like criminals. Enough is enough. I've been a paying user of Photoshop since version 3.0 (since version 1.0 if you count my use at work). I've been a paying customer of Filemaker since it was owned by Nashoba Systems. No more. Not one more thin dime will they get from me as long as they're shipping crippled software.