My dad has used Photoshop since 1.0. Twenty-odd years ago, he was a forward-thinking graphic-design upstart unafraid to use a computer instead of an X-ACTO knife. It turns out he made the right bet. These days, Photoshop is the only way to do his job. There's no X-ACTO fallback, and no viable "modern" alternative for this generation’s upstarts. And yet, today my dad feels like a hostage.

"I love and hate Adobe," he said when we first discussed this piece. See, Adobe doesn't build Photoshop for my dad. Adobe just builds Photoshop, and Photoshop is an insane mess. Every couple years brings a new version, costing hundreds of dollars, chock full of new features he doesn't need, and lacking the improvements he wants. Later, he downgraded his original sentiment: "I hate Adobe."