From: Patrick Crispen
Subject: TOURBUS - 20 Dec 06 - Podcasts / Acrobat
Howdy, y'all, and greetings from deep behind the orange curtain in beautiful Irvine, California, a prime-time animated television special featuring Charlie Brown's search for the true meaning of the Christmas holiday.
Forgive the shameless self-promotion, but a few weeks ago I was a featured speaker at the Georgia Educational Technology Conference [GaETC] in Atlanta. Why am I telling you this? Well, GaETC just posted a podcast of two of my presentations as well as podcasts of presentations by ed tech leaders Tony Brewer, Leslie Fisher, Will Richardson, Susan Silverman, Brent Williams, and Tonya Witherspoon. This means that if you missed any of all of these presentations, you can listen to them for free using your favorite audio program or MP3 player.
There are three ways to find and download any or all of these podcasts:
1. If you have iTunes, you can open GaETC's podcast page directly
in iTunes by pointing your favorite web browser to
2. You can point your favorite web browser to GaETC's podcast
and manually download the conference's MP3 files.
3. You can point your favorite RSS reader or podcast client
program to GaETC's podcast RSS feed at
If you're new to the whole podcast thing, I suggest you follow option two: manually downloading the conference's MP3 files from the GaETC podcast page. That's the easiest solution.
Oh, and here are the handouts that accompany my two podcasts:
Keeping Up with the Googlebots: What's New at Google http://tinyurl.com/yayy47 [3.53 MB Flash file]
Patrick Crispen's Complete and Total Waste of Time http://tinyurl.com/ygejx6 [88 KB Flash file]
This may be a little confusing, but there are two versions of Adobe Acrobat: Adobe Acrobat Reader and Adobe Acrobat Professional. Adobe Acrobat Reader [now simply called "Adobe Reader"] is a free program that lets you open, but not create, Adobe Acrobat files [PDFs]. A new version of Reader was released a few days ago, and you can download it for free at
So, Reader is free. Adobe Acrobat Professional, the program you use to *create* new Acrobat files from scratch, isn't free. In fact, a new copy of Acrobat Professional will set you back well over US$400. But, as we saw back in 2003, there are cheaper or even free alternatives for creating your own PDFs -- check out http://tinyurl.com/ybpurq and http://tinyurl.com/ya7sqg for some options. Oh, and the new Microsoft Office 2007, scheduled to be released at the end of January, will allow you to create your own PDFs, but you will need to download and install Microsoft's free "Publish as PDF or XPS" add-in.
So, why would anyone buy Acrobat Professional? Well, the program does a lot more than just create PDFs. A few weeks ago, Adobe's Lori DeFurio gave a one-hour, online presentation on what's new in Adobe Acrobat 8 and Adobe Reader 8. In this free presentation, which is available online at
DeFurio talks about some of Acrobat's upcoming ISO standards including PDF/UA [universal access] and the new Adobe Customization Wizard for network installs. DeFurio then goes on to give a wonderful, hands-on demonstration of
* Acrobat's new Macromedia-inspired getting started screen [jump to 09:22 to see it] * A really cool Auto-Forms tool [16:29] * The new Redaction Toolbar [28:16] * The Combine Files/packaging tool and [33:52] * A way to create a PDF from a blank page [41:15] * Collaboration tools including Shared Review [42:56] and Acrobat Connect [49:51]
If you use Acrobat to create your own PDFs, especially in an educational environment, or if you just want to see what extra features are hidden in Acrobat Professional, you really should take a peek at this free presentation.
That's it for today. Have a safe and happy week, and we'll talk again soon.