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Archive for the Planet PDF Weblog 2002-2003
Links to daily newsbit chronicles on Adobe Acrobat PDF topics
NOTE: The current week's Weblog is always available from the Planet PDF Weblog homepage.
- Week beginning April 8
- MONDAY: "Planet of the ACEs?"
- One of the five (actually, we ended up with six) winners in our recent promotional contest to win a free opportunity to take the Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) for Acrobat has already taken -- and passed -- the test. Of course, many of us already knew Pattie Belle Hastings was an Acrobat whiz, and are looking forward to the upcoming release of her book on the same topic. Way to go, ACE!
- TUESDAY: "More PDFs Online -- Adobe or Microsoft?"
- If you thought the answer was a no-brainer, you might be surprised at the results we got searching both adobe.com and microsoft.com for PDF files only, using Google's Advanced Search features.
- WEDNESDAY: "The IRS' Portable Paul"
- Time was if you were in any way affiliated with the federal agency charged with collecting taxes, you were well advised to keep that to yourself in mixed company. Yet Paul Showalter of the Internal Revenue Service, as the unofficial frontman for the IRS' plentiful -- and still expending -- use of Acrobat and PDF is a sought-after personality and presenter. Even Adobe Systems brought him on stage at the FOSE show to accept an award on behalf of the IRS for innovation in government -- which in Adobe's view meant a prolific use of PDF, of course.
- THURSDAY: "Read All About It: Forms, Forms ... and more Forms"
- There are at least three new books on the horizon dealing either exclusively or significantly with PDF Forms, further proof that this particular application of Adobe Acrobat has moved from niche use to high-profile adoption. Adobe's plan to acquire the Accelio Corporation of Canada, formerly JetForms, only accentuates that trend and suggests even greater focus ahead.
- FRIDAY: "Interact with Interactive PDF"
- If you've not yet seen a PDF file that could sing, dance and a lot more, you haven't seen James Monaco's "How to Read a Film" multimedia creation. You'll need a DVD player to witness the performance. Once you do, you'll never again allow anyone to call PDF a "static" mode of presentation.
- Week beginning April 15
- MONDAY: "ElcomSoft Gets a Court Date"
- With all of its motions to dismiss the pending criminal charges for alleged violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) rejected by a U. S. District Court in California, Russian software company now has a court date -- August 26 -- to determine its guilt, or lack of, for developing and selling a software product able to decyrpt copyright protection in Adobe PDF-based eBooks.
- TUESDAY: "PDF Offers a Cornerstone for Deaf Students"
- Boston's Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) affiliate is using PDF as one component of an online educational program to address the special needs of deaf and hearing-impaired children.
- WEDNESDAY: "Make My Reader Save"
- If you developed a plug-in that gave the free Adobe Acrobat Reader the ability to save PDF Form-entered data in the file, you'd be in violation of the Reader's license. But there are some workaround solutions, one of the newest of which is offered at a Web site appropriately named "ReaderSave.com".
- THURSDAY: "Great PDF Conference, Great Acrobat Tool"
- A Roundtable Solution (ARTS) is sweetening the pot for those registering for the upcoming PDF Conference East 2002 in early June -- free copies of its recently released ARTS PDF Tools product, which adds a new, customizable toolbar at Acrobat 5, both Mac and Windows.
- FRIDAY: "TidBITS covers iPhoto in PDF"
- Long-time Mac enthusiast, author and TidBITS newsletter creator Adam Engst combines print and online to publish a new tome on Apple's iPhoto imaging and image management software -- offering a PDF version while the printed edition is being produced and printed.
- Week beginning April 22
- MONDAY: "Chizen chat on Accelio acquisition"
- Adobe Systems' CEO Bruce Chizen talks, among other things, about the implications of the Accelio acquisition for Acrobat forms users in this video interview with ZDNet. Several video clip excerpts from the interview session deal specifically with Acrobat and PDF.
- TUESDAY: "Web Capture URL of the Week"
- I'm a BIG fan of Acrobat's "Web Capture" feature, and from time to time will share suggested URLs ideal for quick-and-easy conversion to PDF. Today's featured fit--for-PDF URL comes from Microsoft -- an overly lengthy, one-page Web page with Bill Gates' recent testimony in the company's on-going anti-trust legal battles.
- WEDNESDAY: "Why XML and not HTML or PDF?"
- An author asks, and attempts to answer, a variation of an age-old question. The author of this white paper author addresses the virtues and shortcomings of various formats, seemingly oblivious to the right answer -- the formats complement each other. The paper, by the way, is available only in PDF.
- THURSDAY: "PDF in the Final Frontier"
- Students can interact with some of the NASA researchers involved in last year's important scientific revelation that large amounts of hydrogen and evidence of water ice were found on Mars. Also, NASA is offering an opportunity to have your name included on a compact disc to be included in one of the next missions. After entering your name on a Web page, download a PDF-based certificate.
- FRIDAY: "Still Free, Just Older"
- The OldVersion.com Web site maintains outdated versions of a range of software products, including Windows versions 2, 3 and 4 of the free Adobe Acrobat Reader. Since Adobe still makes all but the 2.0 version available, the need for this 'service' is debatable. Now if they offered older versions of the full Acrobat product, they might solve someone's problem -- but they'd be creating a bigger, legal one for themselves.
- Week beginning April 29
- MONDAY: "One too many formats -- which to discontinue?"
- Publishing the "Scholarly Electronic Publishing
Bibliography" every other month in three formats -- HTML,
DOC and PDF -- became a challenge for Charles Bailey. He let
user preference decide which of the three versions to
discontinue. Find out which format got the short straw.
- TUESDAY: "The Paper-Free Kitchen? PDF e-CookBooks"
- If you're not ready for the paperless office, how about an almost
paper-free kitchen? If so, this site's library of electronic
cookbooks in PDF -- including a number of freebies -- might whet your
- WEDNESDAY: "The PDF Rules - Sec. Rumsfeld on Leadership"
- U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has been compiling
an assortment of quotations, words of wisdom and common
sense anecdotes on the theme of leadership since the 1970s.
Known as the Rumsfeld Rules, his 13-page collection is
freely available in PDF from a DOD Web site.
- THURSDAY: "FYI SDK"
- If you're an Acrobat developer who has used the Acrobat 5 Software Development Kit to develop an effective and creative solution within a corporate or enterprise setting, here's an interesting opportunity for you and your company to be recognized and rewarded for your development.
- FRIDAY: "Newsflash: Mouse Directs Rat"
- The research profiled in this Nature magazine news brief brings new meaning to the term "rat pack" (or "pack rat" for that matter). It deals with experiments to 'virtually train' rats, or "ratbots," to take specific actions communicated remotely by means of electronic stimulation. A PDF-based graphic explains the seemingly unnatural act.
- Week beginning May 6
- MONDAY: "Classy Cards for the Class of '02"
- The Xerox Corporation is offering a selection of free-to-download cards designed for printing and aimed at the approaching graduation season. Sorry, you'll still need to cough up the cash contribution that goes inside. If you've got a printable PDF to cover that, too, we hope the fonts are embedded!
- TUESDAY: "Remembering 'Mum's Day'"
- The Onion lends its trademarked disrespect to the occasion of the Golden Jubilee for the reigning Queen of England. The humorous news parody pub gives Queen Elizabeth the royal treatment in its weekly, PDF-based "InfoGraphic" feature, as it has many newsmakers and celebrities before Her Majesty. Beware of a whoopee cushion on the throne!
- WEDNESDAY: "All the News Fit to Translate"
- The International Tribune, based in Paris, publishes a PDF version of the front page of its daily five days a week. And through a special partnership program, the IHT also offers daily, English-language editions in PDF of newspapers in a number of other countries.
- THURSDAY: "Flowers by PDF"
- Hewlett-Packard's "Printsville" Web site is well-stocked with download-and-print products of all sorts, geared at holidays and a wide variety of other occasions. If you need a flowery Mother's Day card in a pinch, HP can likely bail you out. If you need flowers, pinch yourself! No scratch-and-sniff PDFs here.
- FRIDAY: "Fast DOCs to PDFs Online"
- Do you receive files from folks whose idea of a portable,
cross-platform file format is Microsoft Word's DOC? Of
course, if you own Word and Adobe Acrobat, you can easily
convert to PDF using the PDFMaker utility for Word. If not,
you still have options, one being the Fast PDF online
conversion service, which uses open-source Ghostscript to
provide nearly on-the-fly conversions. The service uses
PayPal to collect its minimal per file cost, but still
offers a free version if you can handle a one-sentence text
ad in your PDF.
- Week beginning May 13
- MONDAY: "The PDF Filing Format"
- What do Anna Kournikova, Robert Blake, John Walker Lindh,
Ken Lay and David Duncan have in common? They're all
starring currently at Findlaw.com, where court filings
related to their respective lawsuits and related court
activities are available in PDF.
- TUESDAY: "Portable Document Details"
- We've got another promotional contest set to get underway, offering eight chances during the next four weeks to win a free copy of "The Adobe Acrobat 5 Professional User's Guide" by Donna Baker, published by Apress. Peruse the free sample chapter we've posted, and download a second free bonus chapter from the publisher's Web site.
- WEDNESDAY: "The Name of the Game is Reviews"
- While most adults think of comic book super hero Spider-Man as the latest hit on the big screen, to a younger generation the Peter Parker-turns-Web-spinner character may be likewise recognizable as the lead wall-climber on screens of a variety of other sizes -- computer monitors, TV monitors connected to PlayStation 2, GameCube and XBox systems, and even on the small, hand-held GameBoy Advance portable gaming devices. The PDF-based "IGN Monthly Review" takes a look at all of them.
- THURSDAY: "Web Capture Rescue"
- Acrobat's worth-the-price-of-admission "Web Capture" feature saves the day again -- much better than the option of saving 14 separate pages of this PC World magazine piece titled "The Straight Story on Search Engines" for offline reading. It's a great tool for building your own searchable collection of articles, using Acrobat's built-in Catalog application for indexing the PDFs (unless you're a Mac OS X user, which at present doesn't offer a "Reader with Search" version needed for searching Catalog indexes..
- FRIDAY: No posting today.
- Week beginning May 20
- MONDAY: "PDF guide to the Skywalker system (Star Wars)"
- If you can't tell a wookie from a gungan, or remember which
Sklywalker is the parent to the Skywalker offspring in the
Stars Wars movie series, this one-page illustrated family
tree may help sort out the intergalactic characters, as well
as the reversed storyline and timeline.
- TUESDAY: "Maximized Mini returns to U.S."
- You could easily make a case that the last thing the U.S. needs is
another new car model. So perhaps it's a good thing a 'new' car that
begin appearing in select showrooms around the U.S. last month isn't
so much newly created as reborn. And the name describes it perfectly.
Owners of the new Mini will want a copy of Adobe Acrobat or the free
- WEDNESDAY: "No, this is *not* Planet Pig Dog Farm (PDF)"
- If you came here looking to find out more about life on Pig
Dog Farm, you've gotten your acronym definitions scrambled.
That's easy enough to do, it seems, according to the varied
definitions we compiled using a couple search tools,
including an experimental glossary search from Google. More
about the 50 or so definitions for the term "PDF".
- THURSDAY: "PDF Personified: AcroMan meets Mr. PDF"
- Acrobat users are familiar with the Adobe "AcroMan"
character, if not by name, then certainly by visage. Though
his exact look varies by version of Acrobat, its the male
figure illustration shown on the Acrobat box and splash
screen -- in version 5. he's juggling an assortment of
objects -- fonts, documents, a globe, etc. During an Enfocus
Software conference call presentation yesterday, Michael
Jahn introduced -- among other more important topics -- "Mr.
PDF," a more cartoon-like personification of a portable
document format file.
- FRIDAY: No posting today - holiday.
- Week beginning May 27
- MONDAY: No posting today - holiday.
- TUESDAY: "Tracking Terror"
- Much attention as of late has centered on the apparent lack of inter-departmental communication prior to September 11, 2001 among key government organizations charged with tracking terrorists. These three reports -- each available in PDF -- offer some detailed insights into efforts since the fateful day.
- WEDNESDAY: "Humped Day for FBI"
- Apparently feeling left out of the brief compilation of documents related to terrorism, the FBI has released its "FBI Laboratories annual report for 2001" in PDF, documenting its significant involvement in the post 9-11 investigations. No surprise who's at the top of the FBI's "10 Most Wanted" list, which also is available in PDF.
- THURSDAY: "Battle of the Balls"
- While the rise in the collective body temperature of American sports fans will be no cause for alarm, around much of the rest of globe an outbreak of World Cup Fever is about to reach epidemic proportions. The 32-team field includes 31 countries where football/soccer is -- literally in some cases -- a sport to die for, and the soccer-impaired United States. The official FIFA World Cup 2002 Web site offers a mix of PDF-based information about the teams, matches and every-fourth-year sporting spectacle.
- FRIDAY: "All the PDFs All the Time?"
- A search-oriented Web site recently featured a comparison of the PDF searching capabilities of Google and AllTheWeb, concluding that Google routinely stops indexing beyond a certain point. However, in attempting to verify the author's observation, using Google we successfully matched a phrase in the same PDF file beyond the point where the author concluded indexing had ceased. Your mileage may vary. In any case, the good news is that at least two prominent search sites now index content of PDF files.
- Week beginning June 3
- MONDAY: "Live from PDF Conference East 2002"
- Live coverage from Day 1 of the PDF Conference in Bethesda, MD.
- TUESDAY: "Live from PDF Conference East 2002"
- Live coverage from Day 2 of the PDF Conference in Bethesda, MD.
- WEDNESDAY: "Live from PDF Conference East 2002"
- Live coverage from Day 3 of the PDF Conference in Bethesda, MD.
- THURSDAY: No posting today - travel day.
- FRIDAY: "Survey Says"
- We've posted a survey to solicit your comments and suggestions about and for Planet PDF -- with numerous chances to win free software from the ePublish Store. Entries are strictly confidential, and email addresses submitted for the contest are automatically separated from the feedback portion of the survey.
- Week beginning June 10
- MONDAY: "Survey Says (Repeat)"
- We've posted a survey to solicit your comments and suggestions about and for Planet PDF -- with numerous chances to win free software from the ePublish Store. Entries are strictly confidential, and email addresses submitted for the contest are automatically separated from the feedback portion of the survey.
- TUESDAY: "Not-so-temporary Temp Files?"
- There's a hot thread going in the Planet PDF Forum -- in the PDF Developers discussion conference -- as to whether or not Acrobat automatically deletes certain temporary files that if available could improperly reveal private information.
- WEDNESDAY: "eGov Forms Functions & PDF"
- Government Computer News (GCN) looks at developments in
electronic forms among government agencies, noting that
while there are thousands of PDF-based forms available
online, few allow for electronic completion -- and fewer
still, electronic submission. Yet for the government to make
efficient and effective use of new technologies, electronic
forms solutions must be server-based, allow for on-the-fly
exchange of data and follow open standards. According to
GCN, Adobe's recent acquisition (and successful integration)
of the Accelio Corporation is key to the company remaining a
player in the world of government forms.
- THURSDAY: "PDF Conference East ReDux"
- We're still combing through the speakers presentations and notes from the recent PDF Conference, along with some additional related information. Also: Watch for some tips and tricks offered by various expert panelists, coming soon.
- FRIDAY: "All the President's Red-Faced Men"
- What should have been a walk in the park for a political-minded intern turned into an embarrassing bungle. While traversing the park across the street from The White House, the aide to a senior presidential adviser apparently dropped a computer disk that contained a confidential Republican analysis of upcoming elections. Although the original presentation was a Powerpoint file, its discovery by someone with differing political persuasions and a nose for newsworthiness resulted in a PDF version eventually being posted on the Web site of The New York Times.
- Week beginning June 17
- MONDAY: "No More Oxymoron for Seybold's PDF Fest""
- Seybold's ever-expanding program focusing on Adobe Acrobat
and PDF for a time was saddled with an awkward moniker -- a
so-called "PDF Day" that was actually two days long. With
the launch in New York early this year of the "Seybold PDF
Conference," the conflict in terminology was resolved. And
none too soon -- the program for the upcoming San Francisco
edition has now expanded to three days.
- TUESDAY: "Electronic Paper Cuts and PDF Conversions"
- A California newspaper columnist laments the alleged burden
(he'd rather print and read) of browsing lengthy PDF
documents, while at the same time his own newspaper has
found a way to repurpose (i.e. earn extra profit from)its
electronic prepress files into browseable Web content -- no
PDFs to download (despite what its Web site says).
- WEDNESDAY: "Dmitry Sklyarov doing TIME"
- On June 21, 2001 a Russian software company, ElcomSoft,
posted its first press release about a new product it had
developed to complement a list of password recovery
applications it also sold. On July 16, 2001, one of the
company's programmers, Dmitry Sklyarov, was arrested by the
FBI for allegedly developing the Advanced eBook Processor
program. On August 26, 2002, the criminal case of Elcomsoft
v. U.S. goes to court in California. In its European edition
for June 24, 2002, TIME magazine reviews the case facts and
predicts the trial outcome.
- THURSDAY: "Government Official Creates Storm over Federal Form"
- Incensed by an allegedly complicated and confusing ethics form, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld blistered the responsible federal agency in a letter that became fodder this week for national news coverage, including the oft-scandalous Drudge Report. The 18-page form in question is available in several formats and variations -- two being PDFs -- and has more instructions than form fields. Also featured -- a novel "punishment" from several centuries back that could be adapted to fit the current bureaucratic 'crime.'
- FRIDAY: "Mapping the Accessibility Challenge"
- A year ago federal government agencies were scrambling to meet a mandated June 20 deadline for making information on their Web sites -- including PDF files -- more accessible. The work continues, with different agencies facing differing challenges. It's fair to say at present there are islands of accessibility; this should not be confused with that remote Atlantic Ocean outpost, Inaccessible Island. We sort out the disparate dilemmas.
- Week beginning June 24
- MONDAY: "Promotion produces pair of ACEs -- so far"
- A couple months back we named six winners in a promotional contest in
collaboration with Adobe Systems to award free vouchers for taking
the Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) exam for Acrobat 5. Today we heard
from the second in the lucky group who aced the ACE; she offers tips
for others who may put themselves to the ultimate Acrobat test.
- TUESDAY: "OS X PDF Options"
- Much has been made of the significance of PDF to Apple's latest operating system, OS X ("10"), including the ability to directly create PDFs from within any application that uses a print dialog. There are times when the built-in authoring capabilities may not be sufficient -- but luckily you have other options for creating PDF on Mac OS X, even if Acrobat Distiller 5 isn't yet OS X-ready. An Adobe Tech Note spells out the range of PDF-authoring options on OS X.
- WEDNESDAY: "Is Adobe planning a Tea Party in July?"
- According to Federal Computer Week, Adobe Systems plans to
release an Acrobat "forms-authoring" product -- allegedly
named "Tea Party" -- for PDF Forms developers "in late
July." This from the same company that named the
still-oft-confused Acrobat and Acrobat Reader? Not quite:
Think "Carousel" -- and think Boston Tea Party, not the Mad
Hatter-catered madness. If that's equally confusing, read
the slightly more detailed account (as much as we could pry
from our tight-lipped Adobe friends at this time!). (HINT: Think 'accessible
PDF forms' -- we've got examples)
- THURSDAY: " Microsoft demos Acrobat on Tablet PC"
- Having now set a date for putting its long-hyped Tablet PC
on sale, a Microsoft exec showcased at a recent tech show in
New York some of a "first wave of products" the company says
its technology partners are designing for the device. Among
the demos: "inking in" an IRS tax form using Acrobat and an
allegedly new plug-in from Adobe. We've got more non-ink details.
- FRIDAY: "Studying the Study"
- Seybold PDF Conference co-chairs Hans Hartman and John Parsons, who are managing the "PDF Usage Survey" and the "PDF Workflow Shootout" respectively, are to be commended -- along with the many who are involved behind the scenes on projects of this scale and complexity -- for launching important studies that are sure to generate original, independent and credible research on technologies that have become critical to many businesses. We hope everyone in a position to participate in either (or both, if relevant) Seybold project will do so, as that only increases the value of the studies.
- Week beginning July 1
- MONDAY: "Three of a Kind: All (Acrobat) ACEs"
- The free vouchers we presented to six randomly selected
winners in a recent promotional contest have now produced at
least three newly certified Adobe Acrobat 5 experts. Get the
details on the latest high achiever and on his tips to
others planning to take the Adobe Certified Expert (ACE)
exam for Acrobat.
- TUESDAY: "Not Quite So Quiet at Adobe HQ"
- According to today's San Jose Mercury News, most -- but not
all -- Adobe Systems employees were away from their offices
Monday, part of a forced vacation imposed by the company
this week. The newspaper nonetheless reports that the
software team for "one of the company's major applications
for publishing documents on the Web" had good reason to
still be on the job Monday, as we explain.
- WEDNESDAY: "Thomas Jefferson: No Acrobat or WebDAV"
- If the American patriot had access in 1776 to technologies
like Adobe Acrobat and WebDAV, it might not have taken him
nearly a month to write -- with collaborative editing over a
prolonged period by a variety of Revolutionary-era
colleagues -- the Declaration of Independence. Alas, they
managed quite nicely with quill-tipped pen and parchment. If
you want to know what Jefferson and friends were up in arms
about way back when, today you can download much more
legible versions of their esteemed document (declaring
independence from England) in PDF.
- THURSDAY: No posting today - holiday.
- FRIDAY: No posting today - vacation day
- Week beginning July 8
- MONDAY: "Tell-It-Like-It-Is Time on Acrobat/PDF"
- No need to feel like nobody values your opinion today, with
no less than three surveys seeking participation from
knowledgeable, opinionated Acrobat and PDF users. We'd
appreciate if you'd start -- since the deadline is day's
end, Thursday, July 11 -- by spending a few minutes
completing our brief survey of and for the Planet PDF
Community. Next up (again by closeness of deadline) is the
important, independent Seybold survey on PDF usage, with a
July 19 deadline. And today Adobe is launching a new Acrobat
Benchmark Study, seeking feedback before July 21 that can be
used internally to better understand the market and, we
expect, to help guide future product development.
- TUESDAY: "PDFs in My Email - Literally"
- More and more software companies are finding ways to
integrate some degree of PDF functionality into their
products, a testimony to the format's increasing use and
popularity. Sending PDF files as email attachments is a
fairly common workflow these days, but having PDFs display
inline in an email message -- as I recently discovered
Qualcomm's Eudora for Mac OS X allows -- is not common.
We take a look at how this works -- and whether it's truly useful
or just noteworthy.
- WEDNESDAY: "Now Safe to Upgrade ... to Acrobat 4"
- If you're among the Acrosaurs still using version 3.0 of
Acrobat, usability guru Jakob Nielsen says it's now safe to
upgrade ... but only to version 4.0. In a column posted last
year titled "PDF - Avoid for On-Screen Reading," Nielsen's
recommendations included holding off on version 5.0 -- which
began shipping well over a year ago -- until 2004. We're
re-visiting Nielsen's PDF phobia for a reason -- this week
we'll be launching a promotional contest to win one of eight
copies of a new book from Peachpit Press that showcases
interactive uses of PDF. More on that, including a sneak
peek at the book, and on Nielsen's concerns.
- THURSDAY: "Prodigal Publisher Returns to Online Scene"
- Jason Snell launched InterText as an online fiction magazine
in 1991, back before the Web as we know it -- and before
PDF, too. Last summer he finally paused the otherwise
non-stop, non-profit publishing cycle to welcome home his
first-born, which could have offered a legitimate excuse to
retire the time-consuming effort he and a few colleagues
began during more carefree (college) days. With the release
today of Volume 12, Number 1, Snell sets aside any such
notions. You can download a free copy of this (and every
other) issue of InterText in PDF -- and in several other formats.
- FRIDAY: No Post
- Week beginning July 15
- MONDAY: "Testing Copernic Summarizer with Acrobat"
- Ever wish you could automatically condense some of the PDFs
you encounter, reducing the content to key details and
concepts so you could make better use of your limited
reading time? If so, you might want to have a look at the
Copernic Summarizer, a nifty little tool that can be
integrated with both Acrobat and Acrobat Reader (Windows
versions only). We give it a short test drive.
- TUESDAY: "PDF Sky Boxes: World Trade Center Memorials"
- With its unimaginable clean-up job at 'Ground Zero' now
finished, New York City can turn to what's sure to be an
equally difficult and even more time-consuming venture:
Deciding how to re-develop the former World Trade Center
site. Six proposals were floated today for public review,
copies of which are available in PDF.
- WEDNESDAY: "Columnist extolls Rarified PDF"
- Chicago Sun-Times technology columnist Andy Ihnatko
expresses a new-found fondness for the virtues of
Acrobat/PDF in his latest column. While his incredulity at
recounting the virtues of the software and format seems
slightly awkward for a technology that's not exactly new on
the scene, proper appreciation -- even if belated -- beats
- THURSDAY: "Win New Book *and* ARTS PDF Tools"
- We've just launched a new promotional contest in
collaboration with Peachpit Press; get the scoop on how
eight lucky winners will get a free copy of "Adobe Acrobat 5
Master Class" PLUS free copies of ARTS PDF Tools.
- FRIDAY: "All the News Fit to Digitize"
- The entire archive of The New York Times has been digitized and is available -- by subscription -- to educational institutions and libraries across the world. TIFF scans can be converted on-the-fly to PDF when requested by a reader.
- Week beginning July 22
- MONDAY: "Apple to fix PDF Security glitch in OS X - for $"
- Apple's latest operating system, OS X ("10"), uses PDF as
the core of its graphics engine. But while it promotes the
use of PDF, Apple's implementation has a serious flaw: It
does not honor the security features of Adobe PDF. Apple has
announced this will be corrected in its next OS X upgrade,
but as we report, apparently only those who pay $129 will
get this new "feature."
- TUESDAY: "Acrobat Not Free - Back to Tech Bootcamp"
- In a listing of Top 10 "must have" freeware and shareware
products published this week, a technology columnist cited a
PDF-viewing tool from Adobe Systems. It wasn't the free
Acrobat Reader, however, that came in at #5.
- WEDNESDAY: "Re-Thinking Differently on Mac OS X Jaguar"
- On Monday we chastised Apple Computer for offering to sell
($129) to current users of its OS X software a "new feature"
rather than give it away to all users, and equally
misguided, for not calling it what it actually is: a "fix."
At present, Apple's implementation of PDF in OS X does not
honor PDF security settings. However, now that we see on
Apple's Web site that the company is apparently including a
copy of Adobe Acrobat 5.0.5 with this so-called "Jaguar"
update, we might need to reconsider our call to complain.
Find out what the real deal is -- or isn't.
- THURSDAY: "U. S. Navy: All Hands on PDF"
- The United States Navy has a proud heritage, one it wants to
share. If you have Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat Reader, you'll
soon be able to be better informed about it. The Navy has
undertaken a project to create PDF versions of its "All
Hands" magazine -- including the complete archive dating
back to 1922 -- available in high-quality PDF. The June
issue is now online in its new portable format and with some
- FRIDAY: "PDF Jackpot in Las Vegas"
- You'll only be taking a gamble (on your skills and market
value) if you fail to take advantage of a great Acrobat/PDF
learning opportunity coming to Las Vegas in late November -
PDF Conference West 2002. We've even thrown in something for
PDF Trivia Buffs ... if there is such a thing!
- Week beginning July 29
- MONDAY: "Cutters, Posties and PDF"
- Four-time Tour de France winner and cancer survivor Lance
Armstrong has been proclaimed a national hero in The
Congressional Record and honored with a bikeway bearing his
name in his home state; both are a matter of PDF-based
public record. But his movie-like legend is mindful in some
ways of another American cyclist who exists *only* in film
lore, as we recount.
- TUESDAY: "PDF for eBooks - Pros and Cons"
- While ElcomSoft has been busy the past few weeks trying to
draw attention to alleged security vulnerabilities in Adobe
Systems' eBooks technologies, elsewhere on the Web some are
discussing the viability of the portable document format as
a vehicle for electronic books. We highlight one
particularly interesting "conversation."
- WEDNESDAY: "CE Does PDF"
- Microsoft announced this week version 4.1 of its Windows CE
Windows embedded operating system for portable devices, with
an enhanced set of file viewers to handle a variety of
non-MS formats -- one that appears to handle a popular
portable document format.
- THURSDAY: "PDF By the Numbers"
- Ziff Davis Media, Inc. launched Baseline -- and its complementary "Baseline Online" site -- as "a new monthly publication providing senior-level information technology and corporate executives with in-depth analysis and in-the-trenches reporting on how to cost, deploy and manage information systems in today's increasingly complex business environment." Each month's issue includes a PDF-based section called "By The Numbers," which is described as "a data bank for those who devise and implement IT strategy."
- FRIDAY: No Post
- Week beginning August 5
- MONDAY: "Changing of the Adobe PDF Guard"
- In a news release this week primarily announcing the hiring
of a new VP to head up its ePaper unit, Adobe quietly
mentioned in the last sentence that Joe Eschbach -- until
very recently its 'Emperor of ePaper' -- had left the
company. We've given Joe -- noting changes in the
Acrobat/PDF world during his watch -- a few more sentences.
- TUESDAY: "Training the Software Police"
- The next time an officer of the law asks to see your
license, don't assume they're checking to see if you have
the legal right to drive -- at least not in a certain part
of India. A recent news report indicates that Adobe,
Microsoft and several other software companies recently
conducted special "software training" for local police in at
least one Indian state. The education was not in how to use
any applications, but how to tell if they are pirated copies.
- WEDNESDAY: "Giving PDF a Chance -- Really"
- Trying to sell non-believers on the concept and virtues of
PDF can sometimes be a challenge, not due to limitations in
the format, but more because there's so *much* to say. We
take a look at one recent print marketing effort that evokes
a peaceful world of compatible computing platforms.
- THURSDAY: No Post
- FRIDAY: No Post
- Week beginning August 12
- MONDAY: "PDF Pilgrimage"
- You know you're a Big Time Somebody when your impersonators have impersonators. And many of the Elvis Presley wannabee clones will likely be doing their "Hound Dog" acts in and around Presley's "Graceland" estate in Memphis, where an expected mob is likely to overlook the alleged look-alikes' blatant dissimilarities long enough to celebrate 25 years since the King left the building for good. Check out Elvis' former digs in this PDF map of Graceland.
- TUESDAY: "Baseball's PDF Poster Boy"
- When Barry Bonds hit the 600th homerun of his baseball career last Friday night, his historic drive into the centerfield bleachers at Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco vaulted him into an elite group: Only three others -- all Major League Baseball Hall of Famers -- have reached that plateau. Bonds, however, has something none of the other three can claim -- a downloadable PDF poster marking *his* No. 600 milestone!
- WEDNESDAY: "Puzzling Political Pundits in PDF"
- "The Hill" is a free political pub and epub with the motto: "We will respect the institution, but scrutinize its members and policies." In other words, The Hill tries to make sense of the governmental puzzle. As part of its regular politically oriented grist, The Hill publishes a weekly crossword puzzle in PDF dubbed "HillWord." Only readers with Readers can take up the informational challenge, as it's a PDF-exclusive feature (designed for printing) on the Web site.
- THURSDAY: No Post
- FRIDAY: No Post
- Week beginning August 19
- MONDAY: "Reverse Diversity: PDF Store returns"
- As the sharp-eyed among you might already have noticed, we
very recently took a step back to our future. The former
ePublish Store, initially launched as the PDF Store, is once
again going by its original moniker. It's part of a
deliberate effort to re-focus our product offerings -- and
our sites -- exclusively on Acrobat and PDF.
- TUESDAY: "Seybold SF: Best-laid Plans and the Unplanned"
- Seybold Seminars organizers are in the final weeks of
preparing for and promoting the annual Seybold San Francisco
Conference and Expo, this year slated for Sept. 9-12. A year
ago the event's time slot was late September, resulting in a
post 9/11 crisis of sorts, with many corporate travel
budgets frozen and other potential attendees reluctant to
fly. This year Sept. 11 falls squarely in the middle of the
three-day Seybold PDF Conference; Seybold has made plans for
attendees to be able to reflect on past and present while
continuing to discuss the future, as we explain from the
perspective of Seybold VP Gene Gable.
- WEDNESDAY: "Former ePaper VP hired as new Microsoft VP"
- A week or so ago we mentioned that Joe Eschbach had left the
Adobe building, as had been briefly noted in a company news
release that offered no other details as to why or where the
former ePaper VP in San Jose might be headed. According to
today's Seattle Times, he's relocated to the Pacific
Northwest to begin a new stint as a Microsoft VP.
- THURSDAY: "Biblical Moses pitching Acrobat/PDF"
- In an unintentional remake of a favorite makeshift office
cartoon, Adobe Systems is using Moses of 10 Commandment fame
to hype the virtues of Acrobat/PDF.
- FRIDAY: "Not going by the Book"
- Wired opines on its Web site today: "You would think that the owners and programmers of Moscow software company ElcomSoft would want to stay as far away from electronic books as possible." Apparently not so, according to Wired's article. ElcomSoft executive Vladimir Katalov explains that the company, currently under criminal indictment for developing and selling software capable of decrypting Adobe PDF-based eBooks, has plans for developing additional eBook-related products he believes will be not violate any laws or patents.
- Week beginning August 26
- MONDAY: "State of the Fed on Web"
- A recently published report titled "The State of Federal
Websites" -- available as a 44-page PDF -- is based on a
survey and evaluation of 148 government Web sites. Among the
top-rated were sites that did more than just the basics: for
example, the U.S. Treasury/IRS for promoting electronic tax
filing and the Dept. of Education for offering online
student financial aid applications. But the report also
concludes that we're still a far cry from a so-called state
- TUESDAY: "Acrobat Good Deeds and PDF Do Gooders"
- Sorting out a problem in the Planet PDF Forum: The client having the problem viewing the emailed PDF apparently represents a prospective new customer account. Being proactive about seeking a solution -- by asking a round of pointed questions intended to pinpoint the cause of the client's problem -- is deemed offputting, possibly to the detriment of gaining the account. Problem resolution efforts come to a halt.
- WEDNESDAY: "Some spicy PDF selections to go with SSF Hot Picks"
- Editors of The Seybold Report have announced a select list
of "Hot Picks," their best sense of the 'must-see' products
being shown at Seybold Seminars SF 2002 in early September.
But if your focus is primarily Acrobat/PDF products and
companies, we suggest that you save room on your attendee
plate for a few other spicy selections.
- THURSDAY: "The 'Universal Virtual Computer' and PDF"
- One question we haven't been hearing a lot just yet is
whether people will be able to access today's PDF-based
content in the year 2040. But when the question does come
up, we're ready with an answer -- or at least a pointer to
someone who's actually given this futuristic predicament
quite a lot of thought already, as we explain.
- FRIDAY: No Post
- Vacation - no issues posted first two weeks of September
- Week beginning September 23
- MONDAY: "Where in the world is Adobe Acrobat?"
- According to at least one source, the phrase "adobe acrobat"
was among the 300 most popular searches on the Internet in
the past week. Just who is it that hunting for "skilled in
feats of balance and agility in gymnastics" that's also
"made of sun-dried, unburned brick of clay and straw?"
- TUESDAY: "Teaming up for PDF""
- Ironically, the San Jose-based company at domain PDF.com is
seeking prospective employees to "Join the PDF team" -- but
it has nothing to do with the portable document format. On
the other hand, there's TeamPDF, a new company with a
forthcoming new product and a track record of bona fide
- WEDNESDAY: "All the News You Can Choose"
- Sometimes when you witness a product demonstration that
appears almost too good to be true, you might suspect that
under real conditions, it wouldn't work so well or so fast
-- or maybe not at all. Here's an opportunity (via the Web)
to replicate a presentation of dynamic PDF generation that
was shown during the "Seven Minutes with a PDF Developer"
session at the recent Seybold PDF Conference.
- THURSDAY: "Idol maker lacks PDFMaker"
- In a slight departure from normal Weblog practice, rather
than highlighting newsworthy content available in PDF, we're
noting the lack of PDF availability where we think there
ought to be some portable documents available. After all,
what's an American Idol with a top-selling record but no
PDFs to her credit?
- FRIDAY: "The Planet PDF eReading Room"
- Colleague Rich Crocker has been hitting the books lately,
and because of those efforts, we've got the first batch of
free, PDF-based eBooks available for download in two
'flavors' -- one version of each book is offered as a
"Tagged PDF" so the content can be reflowed for use on
- Week beginning September 30
- MONDAY: "Computerworld names PDF among Top 35 'most important advances'"
- In its special 35th anniversary issue, Computerworld selects
the 35 technologies that it says shaped the industry. At #33
is the Portable Document Format, which the publication
describes as an "instant success." We might quibble with the
latter reference -- do you know anyone who purchased Acrobat
Reader 1.0 for $50? But other than that memory lapse,
Computerworld's conclusion is a sound one as we explain.
- TUESDAY: "The Miami Herald's First Century in PDF"
- To kick off a year-long commemoration leading to the date
when it was first published 100 years ago, The Miami Herald
recently published a special edition of the newspaper --
including a 46-page PDF version -- that looks back on some
of its top news and feature stories. Even staff columnist
and syndicated humor writer Dave Barry adds his unique
perceptions, as we detail.
- WEDNESDAY: "Uninhibited: Adobe Peptide Deformylase?"
- They're apparently hard at work in the labs trying to kill
off "PDF" -- and from recent reports, the prognosis appears
encouraging. The target of the so-called "PDF Inhibitors" is
not Adobe's portable document format, but rather another of
the many 'alternative' meanings (Peptide Deformylase, in
this case) for the same moniker, as we clarify.
- THURSDAY: "PDF Bridges the Generations ... of bridges"
- Lehigh University "Digital Bridges" project is billed as a
interactive research tool for students, historians, and
engineering professionals. It features 19th century American
bridge engineering monographs, manuals and documents, each
available in several image sizes and in PDF, as we describe.
- FRIDAY: "Featuring Forum Features, User's Dilemma"
- I'm biased, of course, but I think the Planet PDF Forum has as high a valuable-information-to-nonsense ratio as any online resource -- primarily because of the type of users who willingly commit their time and share their respective expertise, and who in turn help to set the tone for how a professional communications resource should operate. Other than establishing some basic groundrules to help facilitate on-topic discussions and to minimize distractions, we try to let Forum members utilize this space as something of a self-governing, user-to-user resource.
- Week beginning October 7
- MONDAY: "Computer History Museum showcases tech, techies and PDF"
- The virtual doors are always open at this relative newcomer
of a museum, physically based -- not surprisingly -- in
Silicon Valley. Showcased are some of the earliest tools and
methods of computing, and PDF, too, as we highlight.
- TUESDAY: "Warnock & Geschke: Pioneering Principles & Priorities"
- It's no surprise that, as we reported earlier this week,
Adobe Systems co-founders John Warnock and Charles Geschke
are being honored again for their contributions to the world
of technology. What can sometimes get overlooked in the
focus on products is the equally important principles and
priorities each contributed to their joint effort, something
much of the business world seems to lack in sufficient
quantity judging by today's news headlines. we report on a
couple recent character-revealing appearances by Adobe's
still dynamic duo.
- WEDNESDAY: "Chizen on Adobe's Opportunities, Obstacles"
- A snippet of Adobe Systems CEO Bruce Chizen's recent
interview with Bloomberg.com on the company's opportunities
and obstacles is available via RealAudio. With the tough
climate for software sales expected to continue throughout
2003, Chizen says the company views its business process
management solutions based around Acrobat and PDF as its
primary meal ticket and strategy for increasing marketshare.
- THURSDAY: "Politically Minded PDFs Do Battle Over War Plans"
- In an attempt to sway public opinion and win increased
international support for militarily facilitating a change
of leadership in Iraq, proponents in the U.S. and the U.K.
released publicly a dossier that detailed the British
government's dire assessment of the situation. Available in
PDF, the report quickly became a hot download. Likewise, a
public interest group opposed to the war plans is likewise
seeking to win support through a popular, PDF-based campaign
featuring -- of all people -- Osama bin Laden as Uncle Sam.
We contrast the two persuasion-by-PDF efforts.
- FRIDAY: "Free Acrobat Reader, Free MIT Education"
- The annual undergraduate tuition at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology (MIT) is around $26,960, but the
price of admission to many of the same educational materials
used by faculty and students at the prestigious school is
considerably less -- for the cost of the free Acrobat
Reader. We report on a new project launched recently by MIT.
- Week beginning October 14
- MONDAY: "'The Federal Paper' Meets Political Doubletalk"
- A new publication, focusing on news from the U.S.
Government's executive branch, aptly illustrates in its
first issue the challenges of reporting on people who don't
always mean what they say -- and apparently in some cases,
are also foolish enough to say so. We've got a first look at
The Federal Paper, also available free in an ePaper edition.
- TUESDAY: "Online Annual Reports: to PDF or Not to PDF?"
- Is PDF a viable document format for corporate annual
reports, or as one columnist suggests, is it a "difficult to
download format," as one columnist suggests, that represents
the least amount of effort and creativity one can put into
such an important project. After exploring some of her
favorite "good examples," PDF looks pretty good afterall.
And it seems a lot of the companies whose reports think so
to -- and use PDF!
- WEDNESDAY: "Corporate Bad Hair Day(s) for Adobe Systems"
- If Adobe Systems was a fraternity rather than a corporation,
the past week's events might be explained as part of a
traditional Greek "Hell Week" hazing. Instead, Adobe has
endured a recent series of negative events that easily
qualify as a "Week from Hell," as we explain.
- THURSDAY: "Good News: Acrobat PDF no 'roach motel'"
- It may not catch on as the marketing slogan of the year, but
Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen proclaimed at a special company event
yesterday that it's no longer true that PDF is a "roach
motel." We've got the interpretation.
- FRIDAY: "One Year Later: Change of Direction for Sklyarov, ElcomSoft"
- This coming Monday, October 21, the already rescheduled
trial of ElcomSoft Co. Ltd. v. U.S. Department of Justice
was to have finally begun in California. Instead, the
presiding judge today announced another delay -- to December
2 -- again postponing the first criminal case involving the
Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The cause of the
delay: the U.S. State Department's Consulate in Moscow
denied visa applications for defendant CEO Alexander Katalov
and company programmer/star witness Dmitry Sklyarov. The
judge allowed a month for the bureaucratic right and left
hands to find each other. If they do, Sklyarov returns one
year after his five-month forced detention in the U.S.
ended. If they don't ... well, don't ask!
- Week beginning October 21
- MONDAY: "PDFs have Rights, too!"
- Try *this* PDF file to see new Reader 5.1 features.
- TUESDAY: "The Adobe Rollercoaster: New Products to Job Eliminations"
- In what purports to be an official Adobe Systems' internal
memo from Bruce Chizen to employees published today on the
InternalMemos.com Web site, the company's CEO and President
says around 260 positions will be eliminated this week --
employees will be notified Thursday and Friday. We've got
the lowdown on the lowpoint.
- WEDNESDAY: "On the Brink in October"
- U.S. Pres. George W. Bush has tried to invoke another
historic October confrontation -- the Cuban Missile Crisis
of 1962 -- to build support for his current tough stance
against Iraq. Some who served in then-president John F.
Kennedy's inner circle during the showdown with the
then-Soviet Union have said Bush is wrong in trying to
compare the two situations, and that Bush's recollection of
that alarming period in the country's history is flawed. The
Washington Post is offering its front-page coverage of the
nuclear showdown forty years ago -- from Oct. 22-29 -- in
PDFs, one per day, as we report.
- THURSDAY: "WANTED: Your PDF Lemons"
- Send us your troublesome PDF and PS files!
- FRIDAY: "Acrobat/Reader: Who's on First?"
- If you're in the subset of PDF users who has good reason for
having copies of both the full Adobe Acrobat and the free
Adobe Acrobat Reader programs installed on the same
computer, you may have at some time experienced the annoying
situation where the wrong one launches -- depending on your
intent -- when you click a PDF file to open it. Good News:
After installing Reader 5.1 on a Mac OS X computer, a clear
alert box is presented giving an option to designate your
default PDF-viewing preference. Bad News: The other one
opens anyway, as we explain.
- Week beginning October 28
- MONDAY: "Buy a Vowel?"
- According to Ivan Koon, Adobe's Senior Vice President
for ePaper Products, you can kiss the term "eForms" goodbye -- and
while you're at it, also cross off eDocuments and ePresentments. Koon
told the assembled tech press and industry analysts at an Adobe
Systems financial pow-wow today that these terms are being
discontinued at Adobe. We've got the details on what's now in vogue instead.
- TUESDAY: "Betting the Farm on PDF Cash Cow"
- To hear Adobe President and CEO Bruce Chizen in his discussion
today with Bloomberg.com, the company/product fortunes have in a
sense been reversed -- once with an uncertain future, Acrobat is now a big dog at and for the company. With Adobe as of late having "seen better
days," as Bloomberg describes its falling stock price and decreased
sales and revenue, the company told analysts and investors yesterday
that the key to its strategy of projected revenue growth next year
rests to a considerable extent on Acrobat's broadening shoulders.
Currently Acrobat accounts for slightly more than 25 percent of the
company's revenue. Chizen sees that figure soaring in the next three
to five years.
- WEDNESDAY: "Telemarketing Revenge"
- Not that there's any time you'd *like* them to
call, but telemarketers seem to have a knack for routinely performing
their dialing for dollars routine when you've just settled in for
some peace and quiet -- and are least interested in trying to be
conned into buying something you don't want. If you're plagued by these unwanted pitches, you might download and try the "Anti-Telemarketing EGBG Counterscript," a one-page detailed script that gives you the same prepared responses as are being used against you.
- THURSDAY: "The More Things Don't Change"
- One of the bad news aspects about having easy access to more government information -- much of it in PDF -- is that it's not always good news. Case in point is the release this week of a report titled "America Still Unprepared - America Still in Danger" from an Independent Task Force Sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations. Its sobering conclusion: "America remains dangerously unprepared to prevent and respond to a catastrophic attack on U.S. soil."
- FRIDAY: "eJudging Microsoft in PDF"
- If, as some recent reports suggest,
Microsoft may be plotting an assault on PDF with its own electronic
forms authoring tool (XDocs), could it be in part because they've
grown tired of seeing court rulings with their name on it distributed
in Adobe's portable document format? There was a fresh batch today,
in case you missed the news that the U.S. District Court for the
District of Columbia judge hearing the latest appeal in the latest
monopoly/antitrust cases against Bill Gates and company issued her
- Week beginning November 4
- MONDAY: "eGov or eGlitch?"
- What appeared at first glance to be an example of
eGovernment efficiency may instead have been a premature
release -- before the markets had closed -- of decisive
court documents in the Microsoft antitrust case last Friday.
According to several news accounts, some may have made the
most of the advance notice of the judge's decision favorable
to Microsoft by trading before the bell (and before
attorneys in the case learned the outcome), as we detail.
- TUESDAY: "Mid-Term Voting - Turnout or Turnoff?"
- There's no presidential race during this mid-term election, two years since George W. Bush lost the popular vote but won -- only after a ruling by the Supreme Court -- the electoral college vote and thus the presidency. But as the Christian Science Monitor (CSM) newspaper points out in its PDF-based "Election Guide," there's still a lot at stake: most notably the balance of power in the U.S. Congress, and the governorship of 36 states. That explains -- but does *not* justify -- some of the shameless, low-road tactics practiced and advertisements broadcast by both major political parties in some of the most tenuous contests. And they have the audacity to wonder why voter turnout isn't higher. Here's one reason some people don't bother voting: There's no "None of the Above" option on the ballot.
- WEDNESDAY: "Acrobat Support Parity MIA on Mac"
- Adobe offers free monthly email announcements with details
about new or updated technical support documents for many of
its products -- you can subscribe by platform and product.
However, if you're an Acrobat for Macintosh user, you'll
inexplicably need to subscribe to the Acrobat for Windows
version of this email distribution, as we detail in our
Planet PDF Weblog for Wednesday.
- THURSDAY: No Post
- FRIDAY: No Post
- Week beginning November 11
- MONDAY: "ePaper' Lion, PDF Perform on Broadway"
- It's not easy gaining admission to popular Broadway
performances like Disney's The Lion King. But PDF-savvy fans
of the award-winning musical face somewhat improved odds
with the recent announcement that TLK tickets will now also
be available via Ticketmaster's special download-and-print
delivery option. We detail the bar-coded PDF solution.
- TUESDAY: "Deja Vu: Revolutionary Review and Comment"
- Around the July 4 holiday we published several links to
different PDF-based versions of the Declaration of
Independence, and speculated on how much easier the
shared-authoring process might have gone if lead scribe
Thomas Jefferson and his freedom-minded colleagues could
have utilized Acrobat's collaboration capabilities. We
report where that revolutionary notion surprisingly popped
up again several months later.
- WEDNESDAY: "100 Portable Historical 'Milestone Documents'"
- Following on yesterday's reference to PDF versions of the
treasured U.S. Declaration of Independence (1776), there's a
relatively new Web site that showcases 100
likewise-historically significant "milestone documents."
Yes, the DOI is one of them, and the other 99 are also
available for download in PDF, as we report.
- THURSDAY: "Altavista joins -- and competes in -- the PDF Search"
- Long since surrendering its mindshare and marketshare to
Google as the Internet search tool of preference, Altavista
announced this week in a news release that it "reasserts its
leadership position" with a variety of changes. Among the
enhancements offered in its improved search capabilities is
Altavista's indexing of Web-based PDF files, something
Google began offering long ago. We took a first look at how
the two compare on a couple typical (for us) PDF hunts,
which we describe.
- FRIDAY: "Magazine's New PDF Issue Takes New Security Approach"
- In its second issue, the publishers of MacBase Magazine
apparently reconsidered the approach to document security
they piloted with their inaugural edition, a change we feel
is more likely to gain them the potential viewers they'd
like to have. We explain their PDF predicament.
- Week beginning November 18
- MONDAY: "Where Crime *is* a Laughing Matter"
- A jury recently found Hollywood actress Winona Ryder guilty
of shoplifting, but the court appears likely to be lenient
in its sentencing, apparently favoring probation over any
jail time. In case the judge can't conjure up some suitably
light-weight probationary terms, the satirical news weekly
The Onion offers several close-to-harmless suggestions in a
recent PDF-based InfoGraphic, as we describe.
- TUESDAY: "Yes, You *Can* Download Adobe Acrobat"
- Time was that one distinction between Adobe Acrobat and
Acrobat Reader was that one could be downloaded and the
other could not (legally). That's no longer true -- although
only one remains free -- as we report.
- WEDNESDAY: "PDF Gets Labelled for Avery's 'Print from Web'"
- If you're short on time and/or design skills, but need to
quickly produce a set of mailing labels, nametags or similar
personalized goods, this PDF-enabled resource is a good one
to know about. We've got the details.
- THURSDAY: No Post - Travel Day
- Travel Day
- FRIDAY: "'Adobe Everywhere' ... at PDF Conference"
- Week beginning December 2
- MONDAY: "Pioneering PDF for Imaging at PDF Conf. 2002"
- Adobe Systems has signalled that a future growth area for
PDF is in the digital imaging arena, where the format offers
a number of capabilities beyond those available in more
commonly used formats. There were some interesting examples
of images converted to PDF being displayed at the recent PDF
Conference, although probably not the sort of use and
examples Adobe had in mind, as we explain.
- TUESDAY: "Elcomsoft in San Jose for 'Adobe Day'"
- It was a case of pure irony that a U.S. District Court Judge
chose Dec. 2, a date commemorating 20 years since Adobe
Systems was founded, as the date for the DMCA-based
prosecution of Elcomsoft to begin in San Jose. Three of the
Russian software company's key players -- all potential
witnesses in the criminal trial -- coincidentally arrived in
town in time for (had they been so inclined) the city's
so-proclaimed 'Adobe Day' on Monday. As we explain, the
notion of Elcomsoft celebrating with Adobe is of course
preposterous, since it was Adobe's initial fingering of
Elcomsoft programmer Dmitry Sklyarov to the FBI in mid-2001
that triggered events leading to the trial, which began in
San Jose yesterday.
- WEDNESDAY: "Prosecution may not call 'star witness' in DMCA trial"
- In what has the makings of a strange twist in the U.S. v.
Elcomsoft trial underway in California, news reports are
suggesting that Russian software programmer Dmitry Sklyarov
may not be called upon by the government to testify -- at
least not in person -- in its prosecution of his employer.
Even though the trial was delayed previously when Sklyarov
was unable to obtain a visa to return to the U.S. as
required for the trial, now that he's in San Jose the
government is apparently hinting they'll only use in court a
previously videotaped deposition made a year ago. We ponder
on the change in plans and a few of the relevant
- THURSDAY: "Dreamer Geniuses' and the new Adobe Realities"
- An article in today's San Jose Mercury News compares and
contrasts Adobe Systems as co-founded and run by "dreamer
genius" co-founders John Warnock and Charles Geschke with
the company being steered to a changing future by today's
executive management team, headed by CEO Bruce Chizen. "I
must candidly admit that sometimes I don't agree with some
of the things that Bruce does," Warnock tells the newspaper,
as we recount.
- FRIDAY: No Post
- Week beginning December 9
- MONDAY: "Free Online PDF Service Aids Important Cause"
- BCL Technologies offers its "GoBCL" online publishing
service as a free resource for creating PDF or HTML
documents. As we detail, it's difficult to imagine a more
valuable use than one that offers hope to the family of a
- TUESDAY: "Modern-day Moses puts faith in Tablet -- and PDF"
- He's waited a couple decades for digital publishing
technologies to catch up with his "new media" vision. In a
presentation during last week's Tablet PC Digital Publishing
Conference, Roger Fidler demonstrated a specially formatted
and designed electronic newspaper project -- on a Tablet PC
and in PDF -- that he believes finally marks the arrival of
real-world solutions. We take a look at the Adobe-supported
research being conducted at Fidler's Institute for
- WEDNESDAY: "D(MCA) Day for ElcomSoft as Jury Verdict Approaches"
- Dmitry Sklyarov of ElcomSoft was expected to be the star
witness in the case -- it was considered mainly a matter of
which side would benefit the most from the software
programmer's testimony in the criminal case against his
employer. The case of US v. ElcomSoft is expected to go to
the jury Thursday. If there was one witness whose testimony
might have swayed things in ElcomSoft's favor by his
revelation in court Tuesday, it wasn't Sklyarov or either of
his two fellow ElcomSoft witnesses, as we report.
- THURSDAY: "Adobe ends Q4, Fiscal 2002 with Sales Surge"
- While Adobe's top management didn't mention Acrobat 6 by
name, it's clearly one of the major product upgrades slated
for 2003 that was referenced during the company's
end-of-quarter chat with analysts. Adobe did mention the
code-named "Acrobat Lite" product that has been piloted in
Europe since at least mid-year, but offered no specifics on
pricing or availability -- except to say that it would be
available only via Adobe's site-licensing program when it is
shipping. Also on the ePaper front, which continues to
represent the company's largest growth opportunity, Adobe
did say that a new PDF-based image management solution that
the company recently demonstrated during its previous
analyst confab would become available in the first quarter
of 2003. We've got more details and a few relevant links.
- FRIDAY: No Post
- Week beginning December 16
- MONDAY: "'PDF' - Making Information 'Particularly Difficult to Find?"
- TUESDAY: "Seasonal PDF eBook for a (Holiday) Son"
- Some holiday traditions call for strolling groups of
(would-be) singers to entertain (or intimidate) neighbors
and friends with varied carols. As we long ago disbanded the
Planet PDF Choir, and as our 'neighborhood' is global in
nature, we've opted instead to offer free PDF-based eBook
versions of "A Christmas Carol" as a seasonal gesture. We've
created a couple versions so you can download the one best
suited to your intended viewing device, as we note.
- WEDNESDAY: "Printable Creative Projects for Year-end Holidays"
- It's time to re-visit that proverbial ePaper goldmine -- at
least if you're in the need of some creative assistance for
the holiday season. HP.com maintains a wealth of
made-to-print project templates in PDF, some that offer
customization through the use of form fields. There's
something useful for everyone and nearly every holiday,
whether you're planning analog or digital festivities, as we
- THURSDAY: "Enhanced Government 'Nosiness' for $3.2M"
- The same folks who conjured up the first inklings of the
Internet are proposing a research project to test the
feasibility of literally sniffing out crime -- or at least
uniquely scented criminals. The details are spelled out in
an 18-page proposal, available in PDF, as we report.
- FRIDAY: No Post
- Week beginning January 6
- MONDAY: "PDF on Wheels: AutoWeek's '2002 Year in Reverse'"
- The editors of AutoWeek Online took a last rear-view mirror
look at some of the quirkier car-oriented stories of the
past year in a special four-page, PDF-based humor issue.
We've got the links and a few more details.
- TUESDAY: "Trying on Adobe's 'Shoebox' - site offers beta sneakpeek"
- The 'Digital Photography Review' Web site is offering a
detailed inspection of Adobe's recently announced, but
not-yet-shipping "Photoshop Album" imaging product,
including an example of a PDF-based slideshow created with
the program. The detailed, illustrated review is based on
the beta version of the product, as we report.
- WEDNESDAY: "New Adobe Plug-in for Acrobat 5 and Reader 5"
- Adobe Systems has now posted a free Image Viewer 4.0 plug-in
for Acrobat 5 or Reader 5 for viewing multimedia slideshows
created with the recently announced Photoshop Album
software. Also, we note why a Mac version of Photoshop Album
is apparently not in the works, or in the cards.
- THURSDAY: "PDF as a Necessary Evil?"
- CreativePro.com Editor-in-Chief Pamela Pfiffner authored a
column that examines the apparent view held by some in the
design community that PDF is at best a 'necessary evil' and
at worst a 'threat.' We have an opinion as well -- on the
surprising perception, that is.
- FRIDAY: "Planet PDF to co-sponsor new Acrobat/PDF event"
- Planet PDF is pleased to be a co-sponsor of the "Acrobat and
PDF 2003" Conference being planned by the American Graphics
Institute (AGI) for April 10-11 at a Walt Disney World