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Monthly Archives: December 2013

When Adobe announced their move to subscription licensing this time last year, one of the first questions many people asked was ‘Will I have access to new versions on release?’. And Adobe’s answer was ‘The version you have access to (CC) will always be the most recent’.

By this, Adobe were stressing the point that with the new subscription model users would be granted immediate access to updates on releases. This is a change from the previous model where updates were released in ‘batches’ as CS ‘point releases’ – so CS5.5 included updates to most of the individual applications that had been included in CS5. However CS5.5 would necessitate a new purchase, there was no free-of-charge upgrade for CS5 users. For CC subscribers the updates will simply become available as they trickle out, no waiting until all applications have been updated. This point demonstrates well the fact that while CC is the latest version, it is not ‘CS7’, because there will only ever be CC and it will always be the most recent version!

So what prompted this blog entry? Well, the fact that we have just seen the release of the slew of these updates – as per Adobe:

‘Updates are now available for Flash Pro CC, Edge Code CC, Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC, Speedgrade CC, Adobe Media Encoder CC, and Story Plus CC. Flash Pro CC adds support for HTML Canvas enabling the direct creation of HTML5/CSS3 content within Flash Pro without the need to use the CreateJS extension. Edge Code CC adds support for live browser connections enabling instant testing and debugging of code. Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC, Speedgrade CC, Adobe Media Encoder CC, and Story Plus CC all receive numerous performance and usability updates to enhance the overall video workflow.’

So CS4, CS5, and CS6 users if you are considering upgrading, and want to understand the options around Adobe licensing and how to have the latest version on tap, feel free to drop me a line @ sean@micromail.ie.

Regards, Seán.

Windows XP Support Ends April 2014

As you may be aware, Microsoft are planning to discontinue support for Windows XP and Office 2003 from 8th April 2014. What you mightn’t know is exactly what this means for your school. What will happen at that time and what should you do to prepare?

The first thing to note is that Windows XP and Office 2003 will continue to work beyond that date. So what’s the problem?! Well the problem is that although the software will continue to run, it will be unsupported. This means no security fixes and no paid or free support. The lack of updated security fixes is a major issue, exposing your environment to possible malware etc., coupled with the fact that solutions will no longer be aimed at the XP/Office 2003 market. Furthermore, you will find less and less software is compatible with your school machines.

So what action, if any, should be taken? The simplest way to deal with potential issues is to get current, and the easiest way to get current is to consider the OVS ES offering for schools. With this offering you pay a single annual fee, deploying your chosen software on all machines onsite. The annual fee is based on staff count rather than machine count and you can license whichever software you choose. A common choice is Office Pro Plus and Windows Upgrade, meaning you can bring all machines up to Windows 7 or 8 as you choose and deploy Office Pro Plus 2010 or 2013 as you see fit. The major benefit here is the fact that the annual cost is based on staff rather than machine count. However another benefit is that you will always have access to new versions on release – so you’re always current and always supported. To discuss this offering and the other benefits it offers please contact me at sean@micromail.ie.

Regards, Sean.

While rolling out Windows 8.1 here at Micromail, we have been testing that the various tools we use will work. One such tool is the Microsoft eAgreements software that partners must use for contract work. The good news is that it does work, however the installation is not seamless. Here’s how we did it.

Step 1: eAgreement Signup (not really part of the installation but certainly a pre-req)

After being approved, register with your Microsoft account (Windows Live ID) or Partner Domain account. Public Customer Number (PCN) and business email address required.

Step 2: Download and install SQL Server Compact 3.5

You will have to install both 32 and 64 bit if you are running a 64 bit OS.

Download SQL Server Compact

Download SQL Server Compact

Step 3: Enable .Net Framework 3.5

Enable .NET 3.5

Enable .NET 3.5

Accessed from Control Panel->Programs->Programs and Features->Turn Windows Features on or off

Step 4 : You can now install the eAgreements software

NB: You must be an administrator for all of the above.

Regards, David