Month: August 2006

Unlocking Password Protected PDF Files And More

Don’t you hate it when people password protect PDF documents? How about when you add the password protection, but are unable to remember the password you selected? Or, when you discover that a former employee added password protection to important business content, but neglected to share those passwords with those who replaced them. For these situations and many more, you might try using ElcomSoft’s Distributed Password Recovery tools. As you can imagine, Adobe is not very happy with ElcomSoft’s approach and has made this fact widely known. Nevertheless, the password-cracking product is available and legal. So, the next time you think your double-top secret files (see the list of easily-cracked file types below) are secure, think again. Supported applications and document formats: Word/Excel/PowerPoint XP/2003 (.DOC, .XLS, .PPT) (password recovery – “open” password only) Word/Excel 97/2000 (.DOC, .XLS) (password recovery – “open” password only) Word/Excel 97/2000 (.DOC, .XLS) (guaranteed decryption) PGP secret key rings (.SKR) (passphrase recovery) PGP disks with conventional encryption (.PGD) (password recovery) PGP self-decrypting archives (.EXE) (password recovery) Personal Information Exchange certificates – PKCS #12 (.PFX, .P12) (password recovery) Adobe Acrobat PDF with 128-bit encryption (“user” and “owner” password recovery) Adobe Acrobat PDF with 40-bit encryption (“user” and “owner” password recovery) Adobe Acrobat PDF with 40-bit encryption (guaranteed...

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In Review—XML: Problem – Design – Solution

In XML: Problem – Design – Solution by Mitch Amiano, Conrad D’Cruz, Kay Ethier, Michael D. Thomas (Worx – Wiley Publishers), the four accomplished XML gurus walk their readers through the process of building complete, functional, end-to-end XML solutions. In short, they spell out a problem and help readers solve it, providing step-by-step guidance and the XML code as download from the book’s companion website. The “problem – solution” approach is a good one as it enables readers to understand how XML markup facilitates the sharing of data across applications internally, or externally, with partners or customers—even those that use disparate software applications. If you’re looking for some practical XML examples and would like to learn on your own, recommends you pick up a copy of the book today. At $34.99 retail, it’s a...

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Implementing a Content Management System: Interview with Dr. JoAnn Hackos

Implementing a content management system may seem a little outside the purview of the technical writer. But, according JoAnn Hackos, technical communicators and other content creation and delivery specialists can indeed play a pivotal role in the success of a content management project. In this exclusive interview, Scott Abel chats with Hackos about how to prepare for a move to content management and who needs to be involved in the process. SA: JoAnn, thanks for allowing me to interview you today. For my readers that have yet to discover you and the valuable resources available from the Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM), tell us a little about yourself and the CIDM. JH: I founded Comtech Services in 1979 as a document design firm. In the early 1990s, we moved our focus to management consulting, working with information-development managers around the world. We created the Information Process Maturity Model as a standard against which to measure the performance of departments. We conduct audits and deliver extensive reports. As a feature of our work with information-development managers, I founded the CIDM in 1998. CIDM provides a forum for managers to learn about critical issues and strategies. Topics at annual conference have included Balanced Scorecard, Six Sigma, process management, outsourcing, and this year’s focus on global enterprise. I started working in technical information development in the 1970s, writing, editing, and producing publications...

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OpenOffice Offers Free Alternative To Microsoft Suite

If you’ve been contemplating a move away from the Microsoft Office suite of software applications, check out Open Office, “a multiplatform and multilingual office suite and an open-source project. Compatible with all other major office suites, the product is free to download, use, and distribute.”...

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TypeTester: A Web Content Designers Font Comparison Tool

The folks at The Typetester have developed “an online application for comparison of the fonts for the screen.” Select a few fonts and see what they look like side-by-side. Cool and useful, Typetester utilizes AJAX to provide users with an experience that feels more like a desktop application than a web-based tool. Test drive it...

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