The fact that it is impossible to activate a legitimate license for CS3 in 2022 is more than unfortunate - it reflects badly on a company that has always made it more difficult than it should be to simply install (and then finally use) its software.
Why is this? Why does Adobe cut off its nose to spite its face?
By spending a few bucks to continue to maintain activation servers -- or even better, by continuing to offer activation-free older software -- the long-term good will the company would engender would be significant.
But long-term use/long-term loyalty is obviously not a concept with which Adobe is familiar, even if it is one that many users such as myself *value* immensely.
I still have the ability to 'make' ancient software such as PS CS3 operate succesfully; CS3 will still work on macOS Mojave, at least.
On Mojave (macOS 10.14.6) I could boot from an old system image to run working versions of CS3 PS and Acrobat, on a specific computer (if I really wanted); but instead, I wanted to move a valid license to a spare (also Mojave) computer that specializes in running older software.
Good news is that the software can be made operational with a number of workarounds that I have legimately downloaded in the past. The bad news is that -- as everyone here knows -- CS3 cannot be activated by any legal means that I know of in 2022.
What a shame. There is still a workaround, but it involves repeating a re-licensing process every 30 days, and that is ridiculous.
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Please don't tell me I should use modern software, when the interface and feature set of PS CS3 is perfect. The best alternative is GIMP, imho - close enough to PS functionality, if performance on an older Mac isn't always great.
But GIMP software has integrity; it is very useable; and you won't run into ridiculous licensing issues - it's free for everyone on multiple platforms to use!
Have used Photoshop since the beginning of time. Even though I was never a fan of Adobe interfaces, PS CS3 had the core elements to get the job done - and it had a useable interface.
I wouldn't use today's PS because I simply don't like the interface (and I will not use subscription licensing).
Please don't use the argument that 'old' PS doesn't support modern web standards. Who cares? I was a web developer/programmer for many years, and I have always been able to create what was needed. PS CS3 still has the means to get it done, even if some of the icons on tools palette don't work without approaching them in particular ways via the interface, in 2022.
So 2007 software still works in 2022. It's just Adobe doesn't 'work' as it should, in 2022. I don't care what the EULA says - nobody has the time, ability, or inclination to wade through that legal mumbo jumbo: what should happen is that one-time licensing continues to work as long as the software and the computer OS supporting it still works. The fact that this doesn't occur is solely because of Adobe.
We end users are doing just fine: some of us can still make older Adobe software work, even if activation is not possible. And as necessary, I can and will find a home with GIMP or whatever image editor I am forced to use, and I will likely never spend a cent on Adobe software again.
But PS 2007 is still in my bones - I know it by heart, 15 years later, as a result of having used it so much. There is no reason whatsoever that a lifetime's experience should be thrown out the door.
This issue is on Adobe, period; and I know by now that I am by no means alone in this perception.
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Adobe can't set the world's clock back to 2007. Nothing stays the same forever, least of all computers and software. CS3 is 15 year old software that's discontinued, unsupported and End of Life. And the aged out activation servers stopped working 10 years ago. They don't exist anymore.
Previous installations might still work on old equipment and old operating systems that can support it. But new computers running 64-bit architecture are not compatible with legacy 32-bit apps. Time to buy modern software.
Photoshop Elements or Premiere Elements (under $100, no subscription needed).
Creative Cloud Photography Plan (approx $10/month for 12 months). Includes the following:
Adobe Express Premium ($10/month).
Creative Cloud All Apps (51 + apps & services) and Single Apps Plans