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    Russell Viers is a Transition Expert in the publishing world. Since 1997 he has helped newspapers and magazines adapt to changes in the industry. Read more...

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  • Quark 8: Install Log Entry 1

    September 8th, 2008 by Russell Viers

    Okay, here I am loading yet another version of Quark XPress I may never use except for testing and evaluation. But I’m keeping an open mind.
    Here’s my plan: If Quark is saying this is new and exciting and the best software they’ve ever released, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. I’ll install it and give it a fair shot.
    My main objective here, of course, is to compare it’s functionality to that of InDesign and Creative Suite.
    Like so many users, I bailed from Quark a long time ago. I think I did it earlier than most — I converted the day InDesign was released in 1999.
    The question isn’t just “is this good software” when evaluating Quark…the question has to be “is this software good enough for me to switch back to Quark?”
    If you have yet to convert to InDesign and Creative Suite, maybe you have to ask yourself a different question: “Am I better upgrading to Quark 8 or converting to Creative Suite?”
    So we’ll see.
    In this article, I want to share my experience so far…and so far I’ve almost installed the software. We’ll talk about functionality in future articles.
    My phone experience with Quark customer service was delightful. Bobbie spoke English, knew all the answers to every question and took my order as I would expect. I ordered the Quark 8 upgrade and gave her my credit card information which is: 422…wait…maybe this isn’t a good idea. Just trust that I gave her my credit card information.
    The software arrived as promised and I eagerly opened the package. I must say, I like the new look of Quark, but then I’m partial to greens. It IS exciting and new and I think it looks good. Right off the bat it says “this is not your father’s Quark.”
    I was disappointed there wasn’t a manual this time. When I ordered Quark 7, I got a rather heavy box and was pleasantly surprised by a one inch thick manual in there, ready to answer my every question.
    What’s funny about it, though, is that I never opened it. Nope. Just like 90 percent of software buyers out there, the sight of it was a great relief, like a safety net under my dangerous work, there just in case.
    But I never looked at it.
    I guess, then, I have no reason to be disappointed that Quark 8 ships with a PDF of the manual I won’t read on the disk instead of a printed version — saves trees, shipping costs and shelf space, I guess.
    Now here is where it gets tricky. I purchased the software while in the U.S. this summer and didn’t want to carry anything more than what I absolutely need back, so I opened the box and exhumed only what I needed to take with me, which was a card with a disk attached and a sticker on the back. On the front of the card it read “See back of card for information required at installation.”
    Okay, that’s pretty clear…let me turn it over…it reads US68…wait…maybe this isn’t a good idea. Just trust that there is a long number on the back.
    After several attempts as entering various numbers, I decide to go to the Quark website,, and see if I need to download a NEW validation code. I only wonder because when I installed Quark 7, I was able to use old serial numbers and it worked fine. Times change.
    Keep in mind that we’re not talking about small numbers here. We’re talking about 47 digit codes that are straight from the CIA code book. I did the math: if every human on earth (based on an estimated world population of six billion) owned 492,534,069,091,280,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 copies of Quark, they would finally use all the combinations.
    Except, and this is too much math for my brain, add the combination of a unique serial number that goes with the with validation code and you can have even more computers.
    Wow…Quark is really planning on selling LOTS of copies…good for them.
    Back to my install…
    So I enter the number on the back of my card, which is all I’m going to need for installation, so they say, and I enter my arm’s length validation code and it begins the install…good.
    Now I’m cookin’.
    I watch it do its thing while I think of other things to do. When its done, it asks me to Activate it. No worries, let’s activate using the internet, which is the recommended method.
    No luck. I’m rejected. My serial number is no good.
    What does this mean? There is only one number in my possession. How can it be wrong. I check it again and, yes, I entered it correctly. What am I missing?
    Let’s go through it again: I entered the number on the card on the website and it gave me a validation code, I entered the number on the card and the validation code and it installed…but it won’t activate because I have the wrong serial number. Shouldn’t it have told me that when I entered it on the site instead of giving me a validation code?
    I think Bobbie misses me and just wants a reason for me to call her back. I hope my wife doesn’t find out.
    I am now running the software for 30 days in demo mode until I can get this resolved.

    2 Responses to “Quark 8: Install Log Entry 1”

    1. Lorna Reynolds Says:

      I’m on my second Quark 8 disk and still can’t get it even to load! Have tried it on three PCs and none of them will even recognise there’s a disk in the drive (just like the first, which I returned to Amazon who duly sent me the second). My friend’s laptop recognised there was a disk there but refused to do anything with it.
      Is there a bad batch of Quark 8 disks? Do I return this one to Amazon and hope it will be third time lucky? Has anyone else had this problem?

    2. admin Says:

      I would say ALL batches of Quark 8 disks are bad…but not because they don’t load. For me, what happens AFTER you load it gets even worse.

      Sorry, but I’ve been using Quark 8 a lot in the past several months, and using it in direct comparison with Creative Suite CS4, and I just don’t see myself ever being able to use Quark without major frustrations again.

      As for my experience actually loading the program from my disks, no problem. I did have a problem Activating, but I give Quark full credit for quickly and pleasantly responding to my needs.

      More comparisons to come in the near future and good luck on your getting the QuarkXPress loaded…or converting to InDesign.

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