Adobe Dreamweaver CS4

Lime green box with Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 written at the top. In the centre are five squares, each a different shade of green. The letters 'Dw' are in the second from top square.
I always loved the packaging of Adobe CS4 as much as the software

I live in a small, two-bedroom terraced house in the East Neuk of Fife. It is enough for my requirements just now, but I have too many things.

Inspired somewhat by The Minimalists, I’m in the process of clearing out stuff. Objects, belongings, things… clutter that I have carried with me for (in some cases many) years but for which I no longer have a need. As Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus say:

Love people, use things: because the opposite never works

Tthe Minimalists

Today I was going through CD-ROMs. Most of my games I now access online via Steam or Origin. I’ve recycled what I can. “Thank it and discard it”, says Marie Kondo.

I then came to this lime green box (above), and paused.

Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 was released on 15 October 2008. Two and a half years after I left full-time parish ministry and took up a post as Assistant Information Architect/Web Manager at the University of St Andrews. I loved that job—it is the most fulfilled that I have ever been in a job. More than any other, it felt like I was being paid to be myself.

At the time Dreamweaver was considered the industry standard. It felt like, if you wanted to be regarded as a serious web developer then you needed a copy of Dreamweaver. Obviously, that wasn’t true, but such is the power of advertising.

I still have the invoice, ordered directly from Adobe. The software cost me £391.12 GBP (£335.00 + VAT @ 15% and shipping).

Inner box

After it arrived, I held the box and turned it over in my hands, admiring the design. The most expensive software I had ever bought. I slipped off the glossy lime green sleeve which revealed a rough, grey cardboard box with lid beneath. The letters ‘Dw’ were displayed through a square window on one edge. Inside, a standard DVD-style case containing two discs, plus some documentation.

Even the design felt like a status symbol. A prize. This was it—I felt like a real web developer now. This purchase had been symbolic. It represented a vote of confidence in myself. This was a milestone in admitting to myself that this is what I wanted to do now—I wanted to work with the web, and with people, and with people who work with the web.

Of course, less than four months later, I jumped ship from the bulky, feature-heavy Dreamweaver CS4 to WeBuilder. And a few years after that, I moved to the beautifully clean interface of Sublime Text, which is what I still use.

But this product, Dreamweaver CS4 remains for me representative of a milestone in my personal development. DW CS4 did spark joy—a lot of joy—about 14 years ago. But it’s time to send it to the recycling now.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Former Scrum master at Safeguard Global, Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

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