Stories by Alan Stafford

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.

Celebrity tech gift guide 2008

Racking your brain for the perfect gifts for the celebrities on your holiday shopping list? These unique tech products will make life bearable for in-the-spotlight types like Paris, Lindsay, TomKat, and Brangelina.

Video Editing: Go Hollywood at Home

Have Blockbuster dreams but saddled with a B-movie budget? Sony Corp.'s new VAIO PCV-J100 can help. Sony aims this US$1130 desktop PC squarely at Apple Computer Inc.'s iMac DV. Both claim to provide easy, inexpensive digital video editing. The VAIO costs $170 less than the iMac, however, and offers beefier components.

A Pixel's Worth a Thousand Words

In high school, the guy who took your yearbook photo assured you that the pimple on your nose could be airbrushed out. At your first job, the woman behind the print shop counter guaranteed she could "Photoshop out" the person who just quit from the company picture. But now it's your turn at the image-editing keyboard, ready to prepare graphics for your presentation or create a company brochure.

Power(Book) Up, Roll Film, Edit, and Go

Apple Computer Inc.'s new PowerBook 500 raises the features ante for mainstream users and gives video editors a portable platform with more power and convenience than its predecessors. And now you can even integrate your Apple notebook into your wireless network--with some effort.

Timbuktu Pro 2000: Easier Remote Access

Programs like Netopia Inc.'s Timbuktu let you access your PC away from the office just as if you were sitting at your desk. In the latest version, Timbuktu Pro 2000, Netopia improves on an already good product's ease of use with such features as dial-up connectivity and the ability to search for a remote user without entering an Internet Protocol address. And you still get the old standbys, including the ability to exchange files, send notes, chat, and converse aloud (using a microphone).