Personal ponderings from a natural night-owl!

Posts tagged ‘PDF’

Technological Pet Peeve

My greatest technological pet peeve used to be people sending me urban legends via email. I have pretty much nipped THAT problem in the bud (learn how I did that here). My current pet peeve has to do with people thinking the PDF equals Adobe.

For example, I was browsing a digital scrapbooking site the other day and came upon this definition of a PDF file in (ironically) a “Getting Started” PDF: “PDF: Theses are Adobe Acrobat Reader files. They are often used when the designer provides instructions on how to use a downloaded file. They are also used for eBooks. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these files, and it is available as a free download on the Adobe website.”

WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!

PDF stands for “Portable Document File” and is a generic term for a document that can be read by any computer running any operating system. PDF has NOTHING to do with Adobe, except that Adobe has brlliantly cornered the mental market when it comes to its PDF reader. Nearly every site that contains PDF files has a notice saying that you “need” Adobe Reader to view those files and that it is available as a free download from Adobe.

That’s all well and good, but sometimes, free isn’t really free. I cam across a blog post recently (that I can’t find again or I’d post the link) where the author talked about accepting a ton of “free” items at a state fair. She got home with a bag full of stuff for which she had to find a place – and the time to put it all in its place. She quickly realized that “free” wasn’t always free.

It’s the same with Adobe Reader. Sure, your initial download costs no money, but then you have to put up with incessant upgrade notices, pop-ups asking if you want to buy the more feature-rich version of the program, and a program that hogs more memory and processor time than it should.

There are MANY no-cost programs that allow you to read and even create PDFs without the inconvenient non-monetary expenses of Adobe. I use Foxit Reader, which is small (under 3 MB), fast, uses little memory, and allows me to read, annotate, and create PDFs. My parents use CutePDF which works better with Vista.

So be brave, download and configure one of these other programs as your default PDF reader/creator, and then experience the great satisfaction that comes from freeing up space by REMOVING Adobe Reader from your system.

(By the way, when my parents adopted CutePDF and removed Adobe Reader, their “technical adviser” in Florida got very upset and told them that they didn’t know what they were doing and they HAD to use Adobe Reader because EVERYONE uses it. They quickly figured out that this person was not as knowledgable as she was touting herself to be.)

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