Adobe Reader & the Internet (Mac OS X)

I use Adobe Reader 8.1.0 (on a Mac running Mac OS X 10.4.10) to print custom designed character sheets for tabletop roleplaying games (you know, the old-fashioned kind that use dice and paper instead of a computer G). I previously used Preview to handle PDFs, but for some reason Preview does not properly display the fonts in these documents – it wants to substitute some font that looks suspiciously like Impact in place of the nice font the documents actually use. Switching to Adobe Reader got me the correct fonts.

Until yesterday evening, Adobe Reader worked flawlessly. Then my Internet connection went down around 7:15 PM, and suddenly Adobe Reader started to behave like a spider trying to walk across the sticky side of a piece of duct tape. The software became all but useless, as literally every action I tried to perform produced a spinning beach ball that would persist for 3-4 minutes before the software would do what I wanted.

This morning my Internet connection is back up, and suddenly Adobe Reader is performing like a champ again.

What the heck was going on? Is Adobe Reader sending information to somebody regarding my use habits, and getting stymied by the lack of an Internet connection? I’ve never seen anything like this before, and now I’m a little paranoid about using this software.

Reader spends an inordinate amount of time checking for updates.

But when it checks for updates, there’s always a separate application that pops up to do the checking. That app never even launched in this case.