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Public Beta, PDF SaaS & Green Fish

Hallo hoppy reader,

This installment of the Bitstream mentions three IT items of interest to me and, hopefully, to you; a new public beta, a PDF SaaS and, green fish…lutefisk anyone?

First up, Windows. Starting last week, Microsoft is offering a free download of the Windows 7 Release Candidate that will operate until June 1, 2010. According to the company, “The RC release will be available at least through June 2009 and we’re not limiting the number of product keys, so you have plenty of time (to download a copy).” The host requirements for the 32 bit version are quite modest so it shouldn’t be too tough to scare up a real or virtual beige box to load this puppy onto. Elsewhere on the site, they have a CLI “…demonstration (that) explains how to build a bootable Windows 7 VHD image from a Windows 7 “install.wim” file…The demonstration continues with an explanation of how to configure the boot entry…and explains the limitations of VHD Boot.”…nice for testing. Anyway, plenty of good stuff to occupy our time for the year ahead.

Next up, yet another SaaS, this time something quite useful and, it’s free! For those of you who need to extract the content from a PDF for recycling but don’t have access to members of Adobe’s Acrobat suite, there’s Nitro PDF’s PDF to Word, one member of a family of web services that automagically converts a PDF file to a DOC or RTF file. Imagine that…Upload the PDF, pick the destination format, supply an e-mail address and, poof!, their wee brain that lives on the web does its magic. No software to install and, it does a pretty good job. Seems to have an affinity for extra   spaces   as it inserts them willy nilly but, other than that, the result is neat and tidy. They have several other PDF–centric conversion, such as PDF to XLS and Windows print services to PDF. They offer SaaS PDF editing services as well.

A similar SaaS from Zamzar converts DOCX to DOC or several different image formats for free. The Zamzar service also converts audio, video, still image, archive and other word processing formats. While I’m on the subject, Convert Files has a less comprehensive version of the same basic SaaS.

Lastly, green fish…Specifically, the brand new, low power Seagate Barracuda LP family, “…with the primary focus on a low-power, cool and quiet drive at an entry-level price…The Barracuda LP drives deliver on low power consumption. But low power no longer means slow power. Benchmark performance results prove the 5900-RPM spin speed advantages (when compared to competitor drives that spin at 5400 RPMs). And these drives are cool and easy on the PC, often requiring fewer fans, a smaller power supply and lower maintenance costs.” SATA–attached, with 1, 1.5 and 2 TB capacity, it’s more ’Cuda goodness wrapped in a nice energy saving package.

That’s all for today…Don’t forget to rethink your world on a daily basis and, continue to geek!

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