Adobe FrameMaker 12.0.3 patch released

September 30th, 2014

I see that Adobe has released a new patch for Frame 12:

A new patch (12.0.3) has been released for FM12. It is available for direct download at:http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=5847

For the 17 enhancements and 28 fixes see the readme file at: Adobe FrameMaker 12.0.3 ReadMe.pdf

I had a look at the PDF and there are some enhancements to the table feature: drag and drop rows and columns and navigation  with the arrow keys. Just like Word, in other words. And several of the catalogs will highlight the item corresponding to your text selection.

It’s good to see that Adobe is still enhancing the product as well as fixing bugs.

Oh, and there is a corresponding RoboHelp 11 patch.

Some grim thoughts on ISIS

September 29th, 2014

Charlie Stross has a short and pungent post about the current situation in the Middle East that pretty much echo what I’ve been thinking for some time.  The whole mess is largely a result of the US invasion of Iraq in 1993. And it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

And you know something else? If George W. Bush hadn’t had such a raging hard-on for Saddam Hussein, if he hadn’t railroaded everyone into invading Iraq, this needn’t have happened. Al Qaida have grown into a full-scale scary government-shaped object with a revolutionary ideology because Bush created a power vacuum for them to expand into. (And Obama helped, by not actively propping up the weak Ba’athist regime in Syria — who are bastards, but at least they’re not trying to destroy western civilization for a hobby.)

And what’s even worse is that the Middle East is taking attention away from the far more serious problem with potential global impact – the Ebola outbreak in Western Africa.

NYT recipe archive online

September 25th, 2014

The New York Times has put its archive of recipes, some 16,000 of the them, online in an attractive and searchable web site. The site includes a recipe of the day and editors’ collections such as Meaty Main Courses for the Fall and Rosh Hashana Recipes. The search feature includes popular categories, such as gluten free, and there are many options for filtering results.

I like this site and I’ll definitely be coming back to it.

A useful Acrobat feature

September 23rd, 2014

The other day I created a PDF of one of our manuals so I could easily search through all of the files – something that I couldn’t do without otherwise creating a Word master document (and I don’t want to go there right now). The manual consists of 26 files plus a front matter file that contains the RD fields used to pull in the information for the table of contents and index.

Acrobat XI has a feature that lets you create a PDF from multiple files or a directory of files. It works fine, other than being a bit slow. However, because our manual’s file names don’t include a number for sequencing, I had to manually put them in the proper order. That task is tedious.

The first time I built the PDF, I checked to see if there was any way of saving the set of files so I wouldn’t have to do the sequencing over again the next time I wanted to update the book, and didn’t see one.  However,  I missed one option. In the menu for the Combine Files into a Single PDF window, there is a Reuse Files option. Select that and it brings up a list of PDFs you have previously created by combining files. You can then select the PDF and update the files.

I’m glad I noticed that. It saves a lot of time.

Chaos Manor Reviews is back

September 22nd, 2014

Jerry Pournelle has resumed publishing his computer review column, Chaos Manor Reviews, which was the successor to his influential Byte Magazine column. It’s been on hiatus for about three years, while he recovered from radiation therapy to treat a brain tumour. He’ll still be writing a monthly column, but it’ll be published in weekly installments.

Pournelle has been writing about computers for more than 30 years which brings a perspective to his column that many younger reviewers lack. While I don’t agree with his political views, he mostly keeps them out of Chaos Manor Reviews, reserving political discussions for his long running daybook at The View from Chaos Manor.

The great 1952 space program

September 21st, 2014

Here’s a largely forgotten piece of space exploration history. In 1952, the magazine Colliers assembled a panel of experts to develop a plan for the exploration of space, including trips to the moon and Mars. By modern standards, it was incredibly grandiose, and it probably wouldn’t have been practical, but it was certainly inspirational.

Colliers moon landingio9 has an overview of the series along with some of the wonderful illustrations. Horizons, the newsletter of the Houston chapter of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, recently republished the original Colliers articles.