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Comment From someone in the trenches. (Score 2, Informative) 1006

Either get licensed or get a new job - seems to be the running theme here. I agree. As the license manager (and product expert) for Adobe Acrobat at my company I can honestly say that if you don't have the support of leadership to get and stay licensed you really need to get a new job. Software worth using is software worth paying for. Many software companies really would rather you became compliant rather than have to deal with litigation - no one wins. And in these economic times your negotiation power is that much greater. You can always threaten with the 'I really like your xyz product, but if terms aren't favorable I guess we will just have to go with the FOSS abc tool. Yea, we are willing to take the functional hit.' Two things - be willing to back it up. Be reasonable in your requests. Sorry - you will never get Acrobat Pro for less that $250/seat unless you are handing over at least seven figures. But by then, you are already at CLP Level 4 pricing - which is a significant discount against list - that you can leverage across ALL your Adobe products (CS, Flex, etc.) For Acrobat - Yea, it's expensive but it does a lot of things that are hard to do with FOSS* tools. You may also want to investigate just 'lower cost' alternatives - Nuance's is pretty good along the solution from ArtsPDF. With some negotiation you may be able to get Nuance's sub $10US/seat. Stay away from PDF995 and other such really low-cost tools - they aren't worth the hassle. The primary problem with them is the way they handle the conversion. Most are implemented as a GDI printer which tends to have problems with some graphics and layout accuracy. Direct to PDF is the best (e.g. Adobe CS tools), but if the underlying library is bunk that makes the PDF bunk. Second best is through PostScript, but it has it's limitations. PDF, as a filetype, is much, much more complicated than many folks realize. A lots of ways to screw it up - not so many to do it right. * Sorry if I rub some folks wrong here - but I have yet to find a FOSS implemented PDF library that is any good. The GNU library, and products based on it (OpenOffice, GhostScript, FOP, etc.) really produce poor quality PDFs in the production world. For quick, one-off work it works just fine. But when you have to take their PDF output and use it as input into another system (or even just to combine them) they tend to breakdown. Or the PDF becomes overly bloated. Yes, the Adobe library is expensive, but I know what I am getting and don't have problems with them. PDFlib is also a really good production-grade library and isn't all that expensive. Licensing terms are more than generous. More language bindings and platforms than you can shake a stick at (even native z/OS - not just USFHFS). We had some reasonable success with iText for on-the-fly generation but in a production print workflow, not all that good.

Comment In a hundred years.... (Score 1) 658

I was in the middle of music throws in the 80's when MJ, Hair Bands and pop were all the rage. When MTV was new, Tripple-J, Nina Blackwood, and other 'V-Jay's' I was not a fan of MJ - neither his music or lifestyle. I don't own a single album and only saw the Thriller video more than once simply because MTV was saturated with it. But did understand that his music, like that of the Beatles/John Lennon, Elvis and other such avant guard artists would have lasting influence on not only music, but world culture. In a hundred years, if I am around, I would expect to see some 20-something write a PhD thesis on 'Michael Jackson and the fall of Communism' or other such works regarding his music, impact on society or culture. Similar to ones written about Shakespear, Wagner or J.S.Bach. World wide, MJ had a much greater influence than those three combined. That alone grants him a minor decorum of respect.

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