Product Reviews & Previews


First Look: Adobe Creative Suite 4

Adobe debuted Creative Suite 4 Tuesday, with all-new versions of its major development, design, publishing, and video/motion graphics applications, along with new and modified pricing and licensing schemes for both K-12 and post-secondary education. We have a inside look at the new features in each of the core applications, along with preliminary findings based on a pre-release of the Creative Suite 4 Master Collection.

A Cheapskate's Guide to Free Security Software

Free is an attractive price. Read which packages were deemed "most useful" by a handful of experts.

First Look: Zimbra Web-Based E-Mail for the Desktop

Zimbra, a Yahoo-owned company, last week released a beta of the open source Zimbra Desktop solution, which is meant to be an alternative to more traditional e-mail/groupware applications such as Microsoft Outlook.

Facebook and Collegiality: A Serendipitous Social Niche

Facebook is a way to greet a colleague as if she or he is on your own campus: a wave at a distance, a hello at the corner burrito place, a honk as you both leave the campus parking lot. Informal collegiality has been extended over the miles.

Live Mesh: An 'Open Platform' for Developers

Amit Mital, general manager of Microsoft's Live Mesh group, had a message for developers attending the Web 2.0 Expo April 22-25 in San Francisco: Think open platform.

First Look: IBM Lotus Symphony Beta 4

IBM Lotus Symphony is one of the newer free office productivity suites out there, although the Lotus name itself has a long pedigree. Like OpenOffice.org--a free productivity suite fostered by Sun Microsystems--Lotus Symphony uses the OpenDocument Format (ODF), with reverse-engineered support for Microsoft Office formats, such as doc and xls.

First Look: PostgreSQL 8.3

I decided to give open source database PostgreSQL a try using version 8.3, which was released early in February. My favored environment to use is Ubuntu Linux, which currently works well with MySQL installed. However, for this test, I opted to use the Windows version of PostgreSQL.

Early Look: Acid3

In December, I wrote about Internet Explorer 8's ability to properly render the Acid2 test. Many current or upcoming browser releases are able to successfully process Acid2. However, the bar is about to be raised again. Since April 2007, the Web Standards Project has been designing Acid3 to be the next rendering milestone for modern browsers.

First Look: Project Zero

Project Zero (an IBM incubator project) is an extension of the Eclipse open source Java programming IDE. It allows Java programmers to use a familiar development environment to create dynamic Web applications. While the project is supported by a "community," much like open source efforts, the aim of Project Zero is commercial, with IBM counting on getting feedback from developers in the mean time.

Review: Wacom Cintiq 12WX

Whether you're participating in digital media instruction personally or merely supporting visual arts programs on your campuses, you no doubt have Wacom tablets up near the top of the equipment list. They're integral in the production of digital art, and they're ubiquitous in all realms of professional creative work.