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Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

PostHeaderIcon No postings until Monday or Tuesday

My wife Lisa was induced into labour yesterday (it was scheduled) and we are now the parents of 3 children. We already had 2 boys, and now we have a little girl! Both mother and the baby are doing great and will be coming home this morning. I’ll obviously be a little slow in getting things up on the blog for a few days. Next week the posting should be back to normal.

Enjoy your weekend, and Happy Thanksgiving (in Canada)!

PostHeaderIcon Adobe releases Photoshop Elements 4.0 for Mac

Adobe has released Photoshop Elements 4.0 for Macintosh. We recently reviewed Elements 4.0 for Windows. is selling 4.0 for Mac for 79.99, and there is a $20 rebate for existing customers.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 for Macintosh Delivers Editing Magic to Digital Photo Enthusiasts

New version of No. 1 selling consumer photo-editing software* provides innovative tools to creatively enhance and share photos

SAN JOSE, Calif. ? Feb. 27, 2006 ? Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:
ADBE) today announced Adobe� Photoshop� Elements 4.0 for Macintosh, an all-in-one photo editing and creation solution for Macintosh users.
Consistently ranked as the No. 1 selling consumer photo-editing software, Photoshop Elements 4.0 maintains its popularity by merging powerful digital photo editing capabilities with easy-to-use tools, allowing photo enthusiasts to quickly and creatively enhance their photos for sharing.

“Photoshop Elements for Mac delivers the features photo enthusiasts need to make their pictures stand out from the crowd,? said Deborah Whitman, vice president of product management for Digital Imaging at Adobe. ?The Magic Extractor is an example of the power consumers have to seamlessly extract one image out of a photo and easily drag and drop it into another photo, so it looks like it has always been there. Adobe?s continued investment in imaging innovation ensures our customers get the most out of today?s powerful digital SLRs and point-and-shoot cameras.?

Expert Adjustments in Less Time

New tools such as Magic Selection Brush, Skin Tone Adjustment, Magic Extractor and Auto Red Eye Removal easily correct common photography problems and continue the Adobe tradition of innovation in Photoshop Elements 4.0 for Mac.

The new Magic Selection Brush quickly selects specific parts of a photo for easy color, lighting, and contrast adjustments; Skin Tone Adjustment allows consumers to get more realistic skin colors in just moments; and the Magic Extractor easily removes subjects from photos and offers advanced edge de-fringing, for scrapbooking and fun composites like adding the pet dog to a family vacation photo. Improved Red Eye Removal instantly corrects red eye in any photo with one click.

For consumers who want more power, Photoshop Elements 4.0 for Mac offers a sampling of the more advanced editing options found in the professional level Adobe Photoshop CS2, such as expanded 16-bit editing and basic Camera Raw support for non-destructive photo editing. Photoshop Elements 4.0 ensures users will be able to open their precious memories for years to come without worrying about proprietary camera formats by supporting the universal Digital Negative format (.DNG).

Photos at Your Fingertips

The File Browser has been updated to the new Adobe Bridge for Elements to make photo browsing quicker and easier. Its Folder View simplifies adding, deleting or moving images in hard drive folders. Full-screen mode, which doubles as a slideshow, enables consumers to easily compare and choose favorite photos from a hard drive or other media.

Adobe Bridge for Elements also supports metadata searches for all photos taken with a flash, with a certain shutter speed or f-stop, or by the camera make and model. Smart search filters can also be created for commonly searched files or stored as reusable Collections.

Share and Enjoy Your Images

New to Photoshop Elements 4.0, integrated Adobe Photoshop Services make it simpler than ever to order professional-quality Kodak prints and beautiful hardbound photo books. A variety of printing options allow users to create contact sheets and customize picture package layouts for creative sharing.

Photoshop Elements 4.0 is part of a complete family of Photoshop products that meet the needs of a diverse spectrum of digital photographers: the free Photoshop Album Starter Edition for the novice digital camera user; Photoshop Elements for the digital photography enthusiast; and Photoshop
CS2 for the professional or the most demanding amateur and professional photographers. Each product offers customers more growth and creative control, giving them access to award-winning technology and options for more sophisticated editing, organization and sharing options for their digital photos.

Pricing and Availability

Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 for Mac (Mac OS X 10.3 or 10.4) is available for pre-order at and will be available in early March 2006 at other major electronics retailers, including, Apple Stores, Circuit City, CompUSA, CompuSmart, Fry?s and J&R, for an estimated street price of US$89.99. For Windows� users, Adobe offers Photoshop Elements 4.0 for Windows for an estimated street price of US$99.99.

Information about the other language versions, as well as pricing, upgrade, and support policies for other countries is available on For more information, customers can call 1-800-492-3623.

About Adobe Systems Incorporated

Adobe revolutionizes how the world engages with ideas and information ?
anytime, anywhere and through any medium. For more information, visit

# # #

*Source: The NPD Group/NPD Techworld, January 2003 ? December 2005

� 2006 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved. Adobe, the Adobe logo, Photoshop and are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.
Macintosh is a trademark of Apple Computer, Inc., registered in the United States and other countries. Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

PostHeaderIcon New (to me) digital camera

My father-in-law enjoys taking pictures. He jumped on the digital bandwagon years ago with one of the first main-stream 1 megapixel digital cameras Kodak sold. Every 1-2 years he gets a new one (always Kodak), and I benefit because I get his old one. I have to admit that I’ve never purchased a digital camera in my life. In fact, I’ve probably only ever spent about $100 total on things relating to digital camers. I’m just lucky that way 🙂

Anyway, my father-in-law is on his 5th camera now, and I just received my 4th one last night. I’ve previously inherited a 1, 2, and 3 megapixel camera. Last night I inherited a Kodak EasyShare DX6490 camera. It is a 4 megapixel camera that has 10x optical zoom and takes movies. It’s fantastic! It’s hard to believe that it is considered old, but who am I to complain.

My father-in-law picked up a EasyShare P880. It is a cross between a consumer digital camera and a low-end SLR. It is 8 megapixel with 5x zoom. The zoom is done manually by adjusting/twisting the lens barrel. It can also add other lenses. It takes movies at 320×240 or 640×480. It’s beautiful, and I look forward to getting it for a hand-me-down (although I suspect he may have this one for longer than the others).

PostHeaderIcon Freeware host monitoring with alerting and graphical multiping

Another press release I received:

I’ve just found your e-mail – and since, as far as I remember, you are the network manager, I wanted to tell you about our newest program – Axence NetTools 2.0. NetTools is a host monitoring solution with alerting and a set of several IP tools (it comes in two versions: freeware and Professional).

Do you remember the last time you learned about problems with your network from users or – even worse – from your boss? Well, I experienced the same thing in the past. But now NetTools can make sure that you are the first to know, every time. You can set multiple thresholds so that NetTools will notify you by e-mail, message or warning sound in case of any problems (i.e. host not responding or slower connection).

It will also show how your network connections are performing – you will know the response time and packet loss rate on a minute-by-minute basis. With this kind of host availability report you can even negotiate a discount from your internet provider whenever you experience problems with their service.

NetWatch – host monitor with alerting


Network, service & port scanner

The freeware version also includes other popular tools like ping, fast trace (full trace in 1 second), lookup (port scanner, network scanner, and SNMP browser in Professional).

What makes NetTools unique is its speed and the highly intuitive user interface.

To download our freeware program, follow the link:

We are currently working on our next, more complex network monitoring solution. It includes interactive graphical network maps (showing status of hosts and the services running on them). This product will also have a full range of host/service monitoring, alerting and reporting capabilities. I’ll notify you as soon as it’s ready and I hope to see you at Comdex’05 or BrainShare’06, where we plan to introduce the first release.

Best Regards,
Greg Oleksy

Axence Software, Inc.
501 Silverside Road
Wilmington, DE 19809, USA
Phone: +1 (866) 303-8787 (toll free)

PostHeaderIcon Shorten a URL – Track a Link

I recently asked in a couple of issues of the PCIN newsletter if anyone had any suggestions for me. I wanted to shorten links without having to use a service like and at the same time, track the popularity of these links (how often they were clicked). I did receive a few responses, with a few being particularly interesting:

Steve Henthorn suggested At first glance, this seemed perfect. It gives you a username and password for each shortened URL you make which gives you access to stats. But unfortunately, each URL has a unique username and password, which would make it difficult to manage.

Shawn Bremner suggested This is a script that is supposed to help you setup a service like that you can host (allow others to use your script). This wasn’t really what I was looking for, but I thought if I could let other people use it, then why not use it myself and disable other users. I tried to install the script, and I just couldn’t get it to work.

Silvan Kuipers suggested that I use built-in web server features, inparticular use the 404 redirection of Apache. He referred me to which has a nice writeup of how to rewrite URLs. This is an area I don’t have experience in, and seemed difficult so that was as far as I got with it.

So, I headed to to look a little closer. I scanned the categories, and found one called Click Tracking and one called Redirection. A script called CJ Linkout seemed like what I wanted, but again, I couldn’t get it to work. The main page of the script is called linkout.php, so I did a search for that and came across a tutorial where someone walked people through how to setup a PHP link tracking redirection tool. Since it runs locally, it has the natural effect of shortening a URL.

Outwards Link Counter
This will allow you to create a script that will count the amount of times a certain link has been clicked and display the results on your page.

I had a few problems setting it up, but I got through it fine, and it works perfectly! I have added some things to the script, setup an admin area, and will start using it live this week. Once there is some stats, I’ll tweak the reporting pages a little more, and then release the script for everyone to use.

Stay tuned…

PostHeaderIcon Adobe announces update to Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements

Adobe announced today they are releasing an update to both Photoshop Element and Premiere Elements. Photoshop Elements 4.0 and Premiere Elements 2.0 will be available as stand alone products or as a bundle. The press release is below.

Link to Premiere Elements 2.0 press release
Link to Photoshop Elements 4.0 press release

Adobe Introduces Photoshop Elements 4.0 and Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0

Major Upgrade to Popular Tools Provides Innovative and Intuitive Ways to Edit and Share Digital Photos and Home Videos Just in Time for the Holidays

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Sept. 27, 2005 — Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced two new products for digital photo and digital video enthusiasts. Adobe® Photoshop® Elements 4.0 for Windows®, a new version of Adobe’s No. 1 selling consumer photo editing software*, adds powerful and intuitive ways to organize, edit and share photos. For video hobbyists, the award-winning Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 software for Windows brings unparalleled control, ease of use and more options for creative digital video editing with a self-adjusting workspace, support for all video types and DVD customization.

Available together in a single retail package, Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 Plus Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 delivers the powerful and affordable software integration consumers need to be creative and impress friends and family with their digital photos and home videos. Photoshop Elements 4.0 and Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 also are available as separate products (see separate press releases).

“This holiday season, photos and video will be captured from digital devices which extend far beyond traditional point and shoot cameras,” said Bryan Lamkin, senior vice president of Digital Imaging and Digital Video Products at Adobe. “With so much freedom to capture any moment at any time, our customers need software that allows them to edit and share this unique content from any device, quickly, easily and in ways that are truly all their own.”

Photoshop Elements 4.0 delivers more editing power with the new Magic Selection Brush that allows consumers to select specific parts of photos for easy color, lighting and contrast adjustments. The Magic Extractor easily extracts subjects from photos, with advanced edge defringing, for great composites. Smart technology behind new features means effortless photo enhancement with automatic red eye removal across a batch of photos, one-click skin tone correction and Face Tagging, which allows consumers to keep photos at their fingertips with new ways to find and view them. They can show off their creativity in countless ways, from exciting dynamic slide shows to Shared Collections, one-click online printing, and enhanced Photo Mail (see separate press release for details).

Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 offers the perfect combination of superior control, new self-adjusting workspace ease and reliability to help automate tedious video editing tasks so that consumers can be creative more quickly. Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 makes it easy to import video clips from all digital video devices, experiment with hundreds of professional transitions and effects, and burn videos to DVD. Consumers can create professional-looking DVDs with customizable menus, or transfer their home movies to portable video players to delight friends and family anytime, anywhere (see separate press release for details).

Photoshop Elements 4.0 is part of a complete family of Photoshop products that meet the needs of a diverse spectrum of digital photographers: the free Photoshop Album Starter Edition for the novice digital camera user; Photoshop Elements for the digital photography enthusiast; and Photoshop CS2 for the professional or the most demanding amateur photographer. Similarly, Adobe offers Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 for superior quality home-video editing and Adobe Premiere Pro for the more advanced professional or the most demanding amateur videographer.

Each product offers more growth and creative control for customers, giving them access to award-winning technology and options for more sophisticated editing, organization and sharing options for their digital photos and video.

Pricing and Availability

Adobe’s digital imaging and digital video products are available at Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 Plus Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 for Windows is available as a bundle in the United States and Canada at an estimated street price of US $149.99. Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 for Windows XP (Home, Professional, and Media Center with Service Pack 2) is available for an estimated street price of US $99.99. Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 for Windows XP (Home, Professional with Service Pack 2 or Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005) is available for an estimated street price of US $99.99. Adobe’s complete hobbyist product line is being made available in early October 2005 on online sites and select retail stores. Information about the other language versions, as well as pricing, upgrade, and support policies for other countries is available on For more information, customers can call 1-800-492-3623.

About Adobe Systems Incorporated

Adobe is the world’s leading provider of software solutions to create, manage and deliver high-impact, reliable digital content. For more information, visit

PostHeaderIcon Google launches blog search tool

Google has launched a blog search tool this morning that will present results extracted from blogs around the world. The tool is not exclusive to Blogger which Google owns, but should include all blogs.

Try it at

PostHeaderIcon Free Opera Browser today only

Opera is giving away registration keys for their 8.02 version of their Opera Browser. The download site has a notice posted:

Note: For one day only, you can get an ad-free version of Opera. Simply e-mail to obtain a registration code. This offer is valid from 12 a.m. Tuesday, August 30 to 12 a.m. Wednesday, August 31 2005 (PDT).

PostHeaderIcon The Retro Technology of Tomorrow

From California Computer News:

Last year, someone took a bulky old-style phone and made a cell-phone headset out of it. It was at once the dorkiest and coolest headset around and understandably a big hit online. This is not an isolated case. At Radio Shack, you can now buy modern phones that look so old-fashioned you’ll feel like you’re in the middle of “His Girl Friday.” Revamped Beetles and Mini-Coopers are all over our roadways. Even Atari games are back in vogue. It seems that we all like our technology to be a little retro. Here then are some suggestions for the future of retro technology.

USB Typewriters — I know there are many who miss typewriters. While I can’t imagine writing something from scratch on one of those monstrosities, I have to admit that there is something cool about the clickety-clack of an old typewriter. Soon, I predict that someone will build a USB typewriter.

PostHeaderIcon Microsoft Officially Names Longhorn

Microsoft has officially named their next Windows release, previously known by the name Longhorn. The next generation of Windows will be named Vista and should feature a new user interface, built in RSS support and a new document format based on XML. You can view the press release here and view the unveiling as a Windows Media file here.