Tag Archives: Adobe

Adobe Lightroom 4 Officially Released



Adobe announced today the official final version of Lightroom 4 is now available.  Lightroom is a popular photo editing tool that is used by many amateur and professional photographers alike.  Lightroom is part of Adobe’s Photoshop family, but is a cheaper and more dedicated version geared specifically towards working with digital photos.

Adobe claimed they had 300,000 users of the public beta version of Lightroom 4 and used all of that feedback to make changes before their final release.  Changes made since the Beta version include:

  • Reverse geocoding now available in the Map Module
  • Revamped and improved auto tone in Develop based on new controls
  • Increased range of local white balance controls (temperature and tint)
  • Updated Develop presets plus added new presets for video
  • Maximum Blurb book size is now 240 pages
  • Over 800 bugs found and fixed!

Lightroom 4 is available now for $149.  You can also download a free trial version if you want to check it out first.  You can buy it or download the trial from Adobe.


Adobe Releases Photoshop Touch for iPad



Adobe recently announced their new Photoshop Touch app for the iPad.  The app was specifically designed for the tablet interface, and is the new centerpiece of the Adobe Touch Apps.  “Photoshop Touch combines the magic of Photoshop and its core features with the convenience of a tablet, bringing image-editing power to the fingertips of millions of people.”

Photoshop Touch gives users the ability to create layered photos, touch up pictures, paint, remove parts of an image by utilizing Refine Edge technology from Photoshop, which makes hard-to-select areas with soft edges easy to capture when making selections.

The app was announced on February 27th at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain and is available now from the iTunes App Store for $9.99.


Boogie Board Rip Hands On Review



Boogie Board RipThe Boogie Board Rip from Improv Electronics is an electronic clipboard that will save handwritten notes and drawings to Adobe‘s .pdf format for later transfer to a PC via USB. You draw or write with the included stylus on the pressure-sensitive 9.5″ dark monochrome LCD screen, which results in light coloured lines and writing.  When you want to save your work, you simply press the “Save” button at the top. To start over, the “Erase” button wipes the screen. It’s that easy.

Here’s a few scribblings and the complementary .pdf. I’m no artist. That’s an A4 notebook behind it for scale.

Improv Electronics Boogie Board Rip

Improve Electronics Boogie Board Rip PDF

I’m not sure exactly how the stylus and the screen work together to record the image as any stylus can be used to write on the screen, but only writing from the included stylus will be recorded in the saved .pdf. Sometimes, I found that I wasn’t pressing hard enough for all the lines to be recorded; if you look at the picture of the hedgehog, you’ll see that the drawing is much spikier than the .pdf. This was an early trial picture and you get used to pressing that little bit more firmly.

Boogie Board Rip Hedgehog

Boogie Board Rip Hedgehog PDF

The internal memory is only 8 MB but this is sufficient for around 200 .pdfs. Getting the .pdfs off the device is simple – just connect up via micro USB and the Rip appears as an external drive. I had no problems connecting it up to both Windows and Linux machines. The Rip has an internal rechargeable battery which charges via the USB and lasts ages – the manufacturer suggests a week of normal use and I can see no reason to disagree.

I found the Rip to be a great partner for tools such as Evernote. I could take notes in a meeting and then transfer the notes into Evernote, creating a chronological record of meetings and discussion. Personally, I was looking for a simple paper notebook replacement that was a relatively cheap and robust, and nowhere near as expensive as a full tablet.

In the end, I had mixed feelings about the Rip. It does what it does well, but it’s not the complete package that I need it to be for the Rip to replace my A4 notebook.

First, the 9.5″ screen is too small. Being used to A4 notebooks, I struggled with the narrower page and often used the Rip in landscape mode rather than portrait to get extra width.  If you are a Moleskine person, more used to the A5 format, it will perhaps be less of an issue but I look forward to a larger screen.

Second, the “resolution” of the screen and stylus combination isn’t detailed or fine enough. When I write with my normal handwriting, it’s difficult to read the writing on the screen because the lines are quite broad. As a result, I have to write larger which compounds the small screen issue. To be fair, the saved .pdf does record the handwriting accurately so perhaps I just need to get over the display and rely on the .pdf.

Boogie Board Rip Handwriting

Boogie Board Rip Handwriting PDF

I admit that I have specific needs so I would also emphasise the Rip’s good points.

First it’s very easy to use. There are two buttons, “Erase” and “Save / Wake” and when you do press the buttons, the device responds almost instantly. There’s no PIN or password to enter.

Second, it’s lightweight with little difference between it and a paper notebook.

Third, the saving of drawing and notes straight to a .pdf is the brilliant bit. No need for scanning or special paper. I can instantly upload the .pdf to Evernote (or Microsoft’s OneNote) for a historical record of meetings and other activities.
Finally, it’s fun and you’ll never run out of paper.

In summary, Improv Electronics’ Boogie Boards are styled as paper replacements and they’re not far wrong but for me it’s just not there. At the moment, the Rip is best suited to drawings and sketches but falls short for handwriting, so I’ll be keep my A4 notebook for now. However, I genuinely look forward to the Rip 2, which will I’m sure will have a larger screen and a more detailed stylus.


GNC-2011-11-10 #720 No Aliens?



Well no video tonight, I failed to hit record :( Enjoy the Audio :) Lots of great tech content, I am wrapping up a great week here in the Nations Capitol. Headed back to Honolulu which is hosting APEC so that should be fun.. Thanks for listening.

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Adobe Set to Launch SocialAnalytics October 20th



Social Networks have become big for individuals, but perhaps even bigger for businesses.  Almost every company today has a presence on Facebook and Twitter, and if they don’t then they are looking at how to create one.  Many of those companies are also left wondering what all of it really means and what impact it’s having for them.  Web sites are old hat now – there are countless analytics programs to measure them, but social media can still be considered the wild west.

Today, word leaked out that Adobe will be showing off their new SocialAnalytics program for the first time tomorrow in Stockholm, Sweden at Munchen Bryggeriet.  SocialAnalytics is designed to let businesses know exactly what kind of impact their social media presence is having and what they can do to improve upon it.

“Adobe® SocialAnalytics is the first social media analytics solution to measure the impact of social media on business. It enables marketers to directly measure their social media efforts, and understand how conversations on social networks and online communities influence marketing performance. Using Adobe SocialAnalytics, marketers can manage their strategy and investments in social media based on measurable outcomes and in the context of broader, multichannel marketing efforts.”

This is very short notice, but Adobe’s Caroline Mildenborn provided this link to register for the event.  It’s a chance to see the software in-action for the first time and learn what it can really do and what kind of information it provides.


Adobe BrowserLab 1.6.4



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.


Adobe to End Support for Flash and Acrobat 8



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.