Stories by Alan Stafford

  • Adobe Acrobat XI Pro advances the paperless office concept, but also highlights obstacles

    In addition to being a lethal enemy of trees, paper is the enemy of businesses' productivity, according to Adobe. Adobe's new Acrobat XI Pro portable document format software aims to do both parties a favor by making it easier to work without using paper. Of course, the trees are probably all for this, but Adobe's implementation of a paperless workflow may not make it easy enough for businesses to change their ways.

  • Adobe Acrobat X Pro gets a face-lift and improves features

    Adobe Acrobat is a multitalented business application. You can use it to lock down electronic documents, create press-ready color pages, or produce form-laden documents that feed data to a database. But judging from the beta I tried of Adobe Acrobat X Pro ($449 when released in fourth quarter 2010), the latest iteration will be much more Web-aware, and it will be able to bring new life to formerly staid, static electronic documents.

  • Video editor lacks new feature set

    The biggest news about Adobe's Premiere Pro CS3 video editor is that it's Windows Vista compatible and, for the first time in years, Mac-compatible. Those updates apparently took most of Adobe's effort, however, because we identified some features that are either missing or not yet fully developed.

  • Canon HV20

    Compared to Panasonic's sleek [[Prodid:3346]], the Canon HV20 HD camcorder looks a bit ungainly, mostly because of the large tape mechanism grafted on to one side. It records 1920 x 1080-pixel HDV-formatted high definition footage to Mini DV tapes, whereas the HDC-SD1 records in AVCHD format to SDHC Cards. However, it has more features and costs quite a bit less than Panasonic's model, and despite its size, they both weigh about the same.

  • New video editors need beefy PCs to edit HD

    Video editing applications are starting to accept high-definition footage. But you may need to crank your PC up a notch: The shipping versions of Corel's Ulead VideoStudio 11 Plus and Pinnacle Systems' Studio 11 Ultimate require serious computing horsepower for editing in high def.

  • Barebones system likely to appeal to SMBs

    The Lenovo 3000 J115 comes only in a tower case with an appealing grey-green, flat plastic front panel that displays colourfully lit buttons; it reminded us of a German kitchen appliance. If users want a desktop or ultracompact Lenovo system, they'll have to choose from the vendor's ThinkCentre line. The 3000 series is intended to be more appropriate for small businesses, while the ThinkCentre models are aimed at enterprise computing.

  • ATI's new TV-tuner cards no match for the real deal

    ATI Technologies has sold PCI-based TV tuners, and graphics cards with TV-tuning capabilities, for several years. Its most recent such products make TV on a PC look better than ever before - but they are still no match for the real thing, TV on a TV.

  • PowerBook sheds pounds, adds battery life

    Previous Apple PowerBooks were more like PowerDictionaries - they weighed about as much as an unabridged Webster's. The new Macintosh PowerBook G3/333 is leaner, but still expensive.