Given the people who read this blog, as well as write for it, I doubt I am a minority when I say I have, and use, multiple web browsers on my computers. At any given time you can find Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome on my PC’s. I haven’t yet succumbed to adding Safari or Opera, or any of the lesser-known flavors, but I am a regular on the big three.
Web developers are a whole different story. They need to check and verify everything they do in every browser that has any type of user-base. Not to mentions other applications like Flash. There is an easier way than installing and updating all of these, though.
Today Adobe announced the latest version of BrowserLab – 1.6.4. BrowserLab allows you to test web sites and web apps within the application against all of the major browsers, plus Flash. The latest version of BrowserLab adds support for the following applications.
Chrome 14 was added (Windows), and Chrome 11 was removed
Firefox 7 was added (Mac OS X and Windows), and Firefox 4 was removed
Safari was updated to 5.1 (Mac OS X)
Flash Player was updated to 10.3.183.10 (Mac OS X and Windows)
They keep it up-to-date, but it’s generally a bit behind browser releases. Plus, they are promising Flash 11 (already available) in the next version. Still, it’s much easier than trying to manage all of this yourself. If you develop apps and don’t know about this yet, then you will want to head over to Adobe BrowserLab to check it out.
One thing about Adobe products is that changes come quickly. Unfortunately, that’s due, in large part, to their ever-present security vulnerabilities. Of course, Flash and Acrobat are the targets because of their overwhelming market share. Hackers always gravitate to where the most potential victims are. Adobe, for their part, has become pretty good at getting out the updates to try and stay one step ahead of trouble. Since they pop up notifications about updates most users probably stay pretty close to current, but there are always stragglers and procrastinators.
If you aren’t keeping track, we are currently at Flash version 11 and Acrobat version X. And, just a little while ago, Adobe announced that they will be ending support for Flash and Acrobat versions 8. Adobe released a technote about it explaining the end-of-support process and what you can expect, but an Adobe rep summed it up with the simple “Upgrade… as quickly as possible.”
Adobe provides five years of product support, starting from the general availability date of Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat. In line with this policy, support for Adobe Reader 8.x and Adobe Acrobat 8.x will end on November 3 2011.
End of Support means that Adobe no longer provides technical support or distributes runtimes. This policy affects product and security updates for all derivatives of a product or product version (localized versions, minor upgrades, operating systems, dot and double-dot releases, and connector products.)
As noted above, support will end on November 3rd, which is now less than a month away. Most people should already have upgraded, and hopefully kept up with security updates, but if you haven’t then go do so now. If you would like more information, you can read the entire technote.
Yesterday, Adobe announced the release of Connect Mobile version 1.7. The Android version is now available, and the Blackberry and iPhone versions are coming soon.
If you aren’t familiar with Connect Mobile, then here is a brief introduction. Adobe Connect is a web conferencing tool, geared mainly towards business users. In other words, it’s mostly an enterprise tool. It allows businesses to hold training classes and meetings online, thereby saving the cost of paying travel expenses for those involved. It’s based on Adobe Flash (like most Adobe products) which allows it to be used for richer content.
For enterprise level deployment they offer several tiers of hosted plans that I won’t bore you with the details of here. If, however, you are interested in it individually, then you have two options. The first is a $45 per month subscription, which gets you 9 hosts and allows each host to control webinars with up to 25 in attendees. The second is a pay-per-use plan, which will cost you $0.32 per user per minute. You can check enterprise and individual plans here.
You can download version 1.7 for Android from the Android Market. Keep and eye on the Blackberry App World and iTunes App Store for those versions to show up in the very near future.
My daughter and I are regular visitors to our local public library. She loves getting new books for bedtime reading and I love reading them to her. Sometimes the simple pleasures are best.
For my own reading, increasingly I’ve been reading ebooks on my Nook, either purchasing from Waterstones or finding free novels elsewhere on the web. Previously I had checked the library’s website for ebook loans but they weren’t available.
However this weekend, a flyer on the library’s noticeboard announced that ebook loans were now available to all members of Northern Irish public libraries. Yay! Apparently the service went live in mid-July according to the press release and it uses the Overdrive platform, which mostly uses Adobe .epub with DRM to loan the ebooks for a few weeks.
I hope the service is a success here, but the ebook reader market in the UK is totally dominated by the Kindle which doesn’t work with .epub. In fact, I don’t know anyone who has an ereader that isn’t a Kindle. There are clients for most of the mobile OSes, such as Android and iOS, so there might be some take up there.
Ok, so a bit of a niche post but I’m just pleased to get books for free!
The Preview version is (of course) not a full version. There is no mention when the program will be released. This is a pretty easy to use program to save you time in making banners and custom scripts.
Upon first opening, I watched some of the tutorials and script examples – including a banner with a ferris wheel and roller coaster running. I then got into the meat and potatoes by creating my own banner.
The timeline is where you can take your text, images and other items into the program and make adjustments. Resize, fade in and out, move, rotate, and more. Move the cursor in the timeline to adjust the item for your script.
Since it’s a preview version, there are some things you cannot do yet. Importing video, making buttons or hotspots, or converting Flash scripts to Edge are some examples. Still, if you want to make a simple banner to spruce up a website, Edge preview is available to work from.
This is pretty impressive for what it is. I definitely want more from this program and cannot wait to try more features from this program. It could even replace Flash altogether – which would end the debate for iOS users in getting content.
Yesterday Adobe announced a series of free sample videos for those looking to learn how to use Adobe Premiere Pro CS5. Premiere Pro is a high-end video editing suite that allows to “work natively with the video formats you want and accelerate production from scriptwriting to editing, encoding, and final delivery.”
The video series is based on the Peachpit Press and Video2Brain DVD series called Adobe Premiere Pro CS5: Learn by Video. The full DVD set retails for $44.09 on Amazon.
In all, there are 15 free videos covering such subjects as Get Editing, Track Patching, Adding Motion to clips, Creating and editing titles, and Combining layers to name just a few.
Adobe Premiere is not a cheap product – even with a good deal you can expect to pay $700 plus. Anyone investing that kind of money will certainly be interested in learning all of the details for making the most of it. I can’t say that this DVD series in the best one for helping you with that, but the 15 free sample available should give users a chance to see if plunking down money on the full DVD series is worth it.
Making the switch to Mac OS/X a few years ago as my primary computing platform was not without its sacrifices. Among these was Adobe Audition. Sure, I could use Audition in a Windows virtual machine, but it just wasn’t the same thing and entailed its own sacrifices.
Sacrifice no more. Adobe finally heeded the call for Audition for Mac OS/X, and has released a public beta that can currently be downloaded for free available at
After a cursory look at this new beta, I’m impressed. They seem to have succeeded in bringing the Adobe Audition user interface I love in Windows to OS/X. I’ll be buying the final product once it is released for sale to the public.