Las Vegas is booked out. So ReMIX in Australia


Are you are losing sleep because:

  1. Elvis left the building some 30 years ago in August 1977?
  2. Myf Warhust thinks Elvis serves fish and chips somewhere in Bendigo, Victoria?
  3. Las Vegas MIX07 has been completely booked out?

Don’t lose another minute of sleep!

The MIX experience is being transported and ReMIX’d at the Crown Promenade on 25-26th June 2007.

Remix Australia will be the first of its kind from Microsoft bringing together Web Developers & Designers with our key sponsors. It’s a jam packed two day experience – a 48 hour conversation.

The event is only $140 per person, and all delegates will get, experience and generally, or whatever:

  • A Microsoft Expression Web
  • New networking friendships without
  • A choice of 20 sessions to check out from expert leaders & case studies
  • Hear from Australian Industry & overseas experts
  • Time out at the Sandbox, especially if you are not playing nice with the other kids
  • A sighting of Elvis
  • Action packed evening at Galactic Circus on Monday evening. (you’ll find me on the Defender game)
  • Participate in Meeting Point – pick the conversations you want to hear and be part of, or just read the blogs and drool over the Flickrs and wish you were there in person
  • Meet with Microsoft Partners to understand how they can facilitate Web 2.0
  • Discover: Internet Alley; the entertainment lounge web jams.
  • Go large and become world-famous with “The Geek Stories

I’ll be there, maybe with a session or two of my own. I’m thinking about doing a demo of how I use Photoshop, Premiere and Vista with some other cool goodies.

More info as it comes to hand.

For the first time in 8 years…

For the first time in 8 years, Adobe has a set of major product releases, and I’m not there :-(  Well, I don’t count Acrobat 8 as major. ‘Spose I should. I hardly use it anymore.

As I use Photoshop and Premiere Pro in production and anger daily (more than I ever did whilst working for Adobe!), I feel it even more. The OnLocation will save me another ratio of post-production (video->harddisk).

Getting this internet video thing down to a fine art.

Cool stuff.  I am buying a Creative Suite CS3 Master Collection. Just want to keep up-to-date on my InDesign, since I was there from its public birth, through the troubled toddlerhood into teenage years and now adulthood.

Photoshop CS3: Quick soft-edge Masking

From a John Nack’s post, through to a Business2.0 story.

From what I can see (but obviously not experience until it ships!) prepress people making masks (deep etches in AU magazine speak) are going to drool at this feature.

The Photoshop engineering team is going to have operators fall at their feet as gods: just like the healing brush.

Ship it!

Uncle Mike: Munge Brother Pioneers

I had completely forgotten about the Munge History of video production.

In the early 1990s, when Adobe Premiere was a new thing, and Quicktime overshadowed anything Microsoft had until at least 1995 – we created this video.

Starring Uncle Mike, Uncle Paul, Uncle Peter (Peter Harris) and myself – the DOSBOX (original Munge Car) and Mike’s passion for windsurfing intersected my passion for the Newton PDA. We created this little advertisment as an advertisement for Random Access Consulting; or the Munge Brothers.

Microsoft Windows Vista support with Adobe Applications

(Link thanks to John Dowdell) Bridging my old world to my new world, this document details the support for current Adobe applications with Microsoft Windows Vista. It is well worth a read, especially as Adobe products: Flash Player and the Adobe Reader are very common installs.

Summary: no Acrobat 7 support for Vista, only Acrobat 8: with an update expected first half 2007 for full support. There are known issues with Acrobat 8 on Vista. Similarly with Office 2007; the update will have support. You can make PDFs directly from Office 2007 using the Save as PDF and XPS plugin.

For Adobe Creative Suite 2.3: (note that Creative Suite Premium 2.0 with Acrobat Professional 7.0 is not a good combination). For Macromedia Studio 8, the following seems to also apply.

we are not currently aware of major issues that would adversely affect customer use of
Adobe Creative Suite 2.3 on Windows Vista

In the document, it is worth noting the paragraphs in regards to the forthcoming, pre-announce status Adobe Creative Suite 3.0:

…Adobe Creative Suite 3 is being designed for and thoroughly tested on 32-bit versions of four editions of Windows Vista—Home Premium, Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate.

Adobe Production Studio (video products) seem to install OK, but Vista is not recommended as an OS. EncoreDVD is reported to not work on Vista. Shame, as I was just about to purchase a Production Studio for some Microsoft video projects. 

Altsys/Aldus/Adobe/Altsys/Macromedia/Adobe Freehand? Oooh. Maybe not so good:

Adobe does not plan to update Macromedia FreeHand to install or run on Windows Vista

Do go have a read, and look at the support forums: Vista in Adobe Support Forums.

As a Microsoft Vista and an Intel-based MacBook Pro user, this year is a key year for Adobe products.

Adobe Mars and Print-ready PDFs

Random question popped into my head whilst having a shower: does Adobe Mars, the new project to represent PDF as a packaged XML format, support PDF’s strong print/prepress heritage.

Things like CMYK, colorspaces, high-dpi images, Postscript fonts, trapping settings (overprint/knockout) and the Crop/Bleed boxes. All those high-tech printing things.

The short answer is yes.

(testing process: InDesign document, export as PDF 1.3, open in Acrobat 8 Professional, Save as “PDF in XML Format” using Mars plugins, re-open, check with Acrobat 8 Advanced>Print Production tools. Open SVG as text)

XML Goo-i-ness Inside

Microsoft pre-released their XAML-in-the-browser technology, WPF/e earlier this week. XAML inside.

XAML “smells” like the W3C’s Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG). DOM-inside-a-DOM, Declarative animation, 2D graphics. XAML maybe not SVG, but it certainly tips its hat to SVG.

Adobe today pre-released their XML-in-a-PDF technology, Mars, for Acrobat 8. Essentially, Mars as a technology is presently delivered as plugins for Adobe Reader 8 and Acrobat 8 Professional. You can save an existing ‘binary’ PDF out as a .mars file. These .mars files are like .jar or .war files: manifested, structured ZIP files. Looking inside a description of a page, you have an SVG Tiny 1.2+ (as Adobe state, SVG/FSS0 representation. The specification clearly documents that .mars takes the current concept of PDF, a document format, and extends this as XML.These technologies do not directly intersect: an XML representation of SWF rather than PDF would be closer to XAML. Having cross-platform viewer support for Microsoft’s XPS would be closer to PDF.

I was premature in saying SVG was deprecated.

Acrobat, Canberra, Microsoft

Having presented for Adobe over the past 8 years, I get a little touchy when someone attacks technical presenters. It’s like being a part of a fraternity. Round up the wagons!

Demonstrating software: the collection of skillz are not taught by Toastmasters. Nor most Presentation Trainers. It is a set of unique techniques, that are generally nutured and passed on from master to trainee; generation to generation.

You need to have your eye and ear on the audience; the setup for the next joke is on your mind; you need to be “on message”, the software needs to be working: and most importantly, what you are showing is getting through. In these days of instant blogging, everything you say is public property.

So, Eric’s comments on the Acrobat 8 roadshow in Canberra are interesting. Mark, the Adobe presenter has responded.

Sometimes to communicate a story, words and phrases are used that may be a little too combative. Yeah, I’ve dissed non-Adobe software vendors in presentations: usually to sell a point or get an emotional response from an audience. This style only works with medium sized audiences. My favourite was playfully dissing Microsoft whilst presenting at Microsoft.
Onto the Facts.

  1. XML does NOT magically equal a smaller file size; in fact the reverse is probably true. In the case of PPT in PDF, the file size benefits of PDF accrue from image compression (including gradients/blends and reused elements). Other benefits are cross-platform packaging (especially typefaces) and security (ensuring people cannot change the presentation)If you were sending a document to people expecting changes, PDF is not the answer.
  2. Outlook PSTs suck in a cross-platform world. And let’s face it; in the future no matter what platform you are on, everything is a legacy platform.I have 6.5Gb of email locked up in PST files containing 6+ years of email history. Searching these involves launching Outlook, loading the PST and doing a slow search. Thank goodness for Google Desktop search if you are a Windows person. You’re stuffed if you spend most of your time outside the mono-culture. Putting emails into a standard published and open file format, say PDF/A, for future reference is something many people care about.
  3. Mark covered this Fact in his blog. There is a law of entropy working here. Once data is squeezed out in PDF, getting back a fully working, semantically rich document is going to be difficult. In the case of Office applications, PDF is not an editable exchange format. The getting data back out of a PDF is best a utility; and included in Acrobat 6, 7 and 8.
  4. Launch Acrobat 6 and compare/contrast the Acrobat 7 and 8 launch times; even the Reader. There is a world of difference even without Windows caching the application in RAM (something you can turn off with a few Registry entries on Windows). Adobe has dramatically improved the launch time from a woeful Acrobat 6 (launch times sucked)

I didn’t attend the Canberra launch; only the morning session of the Sydney Acrobat 8 launch. Splitting the group into two “halves” is a recognition that Acrobat has two large audiences: one creative and the other standard office style users. Canberra has always been a tough demographic to get right audience-wise for Adobe. I agree with Eric: 20 people is not good: the whole tone of the presentation changes with less than 50 people.

Also, in the modern highly connected world – it is my opinion that “Launch” style presentations with too much sales hype are a thing of the past. People need content, and lots of it. Conversations such as blogging post conference are excellent mechanisms of making the content more relevant.