Adobe GoLive 6
Adobe is struggles with names for its
products. After the masterpieces of obviousness Illustrator and
Photoshop, it’s been downhill ever since. Acrobat is a page
layout format, obviously, and GoLive a website editor, of course.
I eventually overcame my suspicion that the
product was basically some form of CPR device, and decided to take
a closer look after reading the Version 6 press release, and use
this as the starting point for a thorough update in the state of
the web weaving art.
GoLive also persuaded me to look at the whole
issue of web editors in detail once again, after having long ago
succumbed to the simplicity of MS Front Page for most odd-job page
hacking, and in the process, getting berated by the html jocks
hereabouts for copping out. I can see why purists feel that so
many html packages meddle and interfere, and why they like to keep
control from first principles at all times. Front Page completely
butchered several imported html files by applying the
all-too-familiar “Bill’s people know best” philosophy,
probably dedicated to the cause of stifling creativity but
ensuring the Microsoft Internet Explorer was not too severely
GoLive seems to have the best of all worlds,
including the familiar Adobe design tools interface, and I am now
deep in the manual to make sure I don’t miss the zillions of
Vegas Video 3
Now, just in case I am accused of being
hopelessly besotted by Adobe, I raved about Sonic Foundry’s
Vegas video editor quite recently, but I’d like to say again
that this is the benchmark PC video editing solution and if you
have a DV camcorder, then get it.
Much though I love most of Adobe’s wares
and appreciate their coherent interface strategy, Vegas is the
best game in editing town. Whilst I generally applaud the
incestuous hillbilly similarity of the Adobe product suite, in
this case, although it can be persuaded to get the job done, most
users I know seem to regard Premiere as less than wholly together;
so rather than persist with mating the cousins, maybe it’s time
for Adobe to introduce some fresh blood in the Premiere family and
get a bit of a chin back into the strain.
The days when this hack got sent boxes of
hardware to explore and review are largely past. Which is a
blessed relief in many ways – there is so little to choose
between so much of the clutter these days that I’ll end up
talking about the colour of the manual cover like all those eager
young neophytes just entering the profession, and not being aware
of the long gone blood and thunder days of the gruesome kit that
simply hated anyone that touched it, and never ever wanted to work
without a struggle and 10 calls to support.
So a trip to a supplier for a new
printer/scanner provided a rare opportunity to rant/rave on some
aspect of hardware. I asked an assistant for an opinion and
quickly discovered which supplier was providing sales incentives
this week, so I just panicked when faced with the bewildering
choice, grabbed the Lexmark X83, and ran for the checkout.
What a lot of – well – plastic you get for the money. A colour
printer, flatbed scanner and copier all in one for around £170 is
plain daft. The bundled software checks the status of the ink
cartridges and includes some simply wonderful OCR software, which
although the inevitable “LE” edition, does a very good job.
If this is what £170 now gets you, by am I
glad I don’t have to make or sell printers for a living. I well
recall my first Oki Microline 80 dot matrix printer for around £400,
which seemed like a revelation in simplicity after a behemoth from
Centronics, that could have been used to depth-charge a submarine
with great success. I won’t even go near those once-ubiquitous
IBM golf ball printers with more moving parts than the Ark Royal
– but boy, did IBM shift a ton of those and collect a fortune in
those inescapable service and repair fees. What sort of demented
mind conceived the golf ball printer in the first place? The only
explanation was this it was first discovered in the UFO wreckage
at Roswell and slavishly copied. I can just see those aliens
falling about laughing now: “Aha Earththings, April fool!!”
And then who remembers daisy wheel printers?
Many less moving parts to align than a golf ball printer Gosh did
we get excited about those things and their letter quality output,
deafening noise and lazy 12 CPS print speeds that sounded like a
Tommy gun. And the nifty NEC thimble wheel printers at 40 cps were
magical, and sounded more frenzied, like Uzis.
And only £2000.00 in real money. Kids today? They don’t
know they’re alive.
The X83 installed and worked on my Windows
2000 Professional workstation. Isn’t USB is wonderful after
years of torment with RS232 and to slightly lesser extend,
Centronics parallel interfaces..? The software interface ain’t
pretty – reminiscent of early Delphi apps – but it works, and
the output quality (2400x1200) is stunning, which is getting
really important in the age of digital photography..
And the manual cover ..? Err… there must
have been one, but I don’t think I could have bothered t look at
it. I just followed my nose. God knows what else I’ll learn if I
actually read it. So it’s all lovely – except that the price of the ink
cartridges reminds us that this is the cheap razor/costly blade
marketing strategy. And ink carts at around £27-45 a pop are pure
daylight robbery; but you can’t have everything. Even in an
“all in one” printer.