Letters to Redmond

Letters@Redmondmag.com: March 2006

Fighting software audits, Camtasia Studio, fatter clients and a reader's defense of Google.

Stand Up
I'm stunned that Redmond's advice to those threatened with software audits is to roll over for these thugs ["Software Raids: Surviving an Audit," January 2006]. The BSA and SIIA are shakedown organizations, lacking the force of law. The proper response to such gross intrusions of privacy is to fight them tooth and nail. If the software audit blackshirts start harassing you, quickly move to open source software. Better to have an open source transition plan ready to go the moment a threatening letter appears in your mailbox, than to have to deal with the likes of the BSA and SIIA marauders. Make it as costly as possible for them to audit you, and ensure that you move to products whose vendors are respectful of the fact that violated customers don't buy twice.
Micah B. Haber
Nashua, N.H.

Roundup Rebuttal
By reviewing an older version of Camtasia Studio ("Allow Me to Demonstrate," February 2006), Redmond has done a disservice to its readers. They were led to believe that Mr. Jones was reviewing the latest version, when in fact he reviewed the 2003 version. The current edition of Camtasia Studio is significantly different.

This is a disservice to TechSmith, but much worse, to Redmond readers who look to the magazine as a resource for their purchasing decisions. If the reviewer had called TechSmith or visited the Web site, he would have learned about the current version. I look forward to seeing a review of Camtasia Studio 3.1 in your magazine so your readers can learn about its new features.
Troy Stein
TechSmith

Contributing Editor Don Jones responds:
I was very clear about which version I reviewed. I realize new versions of products are continually released, but publication deadlines are often far in advance of actual publication date and we can't delay publication until every company involved has released their latest and greatest. The 3.1 version of Camtasia came out in January 2006. The Redmond Roundup had been in the works for months and came out in the February 2006 issue (the completion of which occurred in mid-January).

I've used Camtasia for several years and generally like it. I've produced about 14 hours of training videos with it and I understand it pretty well. Sometimes the ratings encompass things that aren't easy to make clear in the text. For example, I felt Camtasia is indeed easy to use, but for tasks like adding annotations, editing annotations and modifying captured video, I felt Captivate was easier. Look for a follow-up review of the 3.1 version of Camtasia here.

Busted Stuff
[In reference to Barney's Rubble, "A Tangled Web of Services," January 2006] The reason for fatter clients is pretty obvious -- disk space is a cheap commodity, and shows every sign of getting cheaper.

But, there are many vested interests limiting effective net bandwidth, and not a lot of real competition in most places. Oh sure, one day we'll all be on fiber or secure 100GB wireless, but until then, best keep your valuable stuff on your pluggable USB drive.
Owen Gilmore
San Mateo, Calif.

Every Rose Has Its Thorn
After reading the December 2005 column, "Rose-Colored Google Glasses," by Doug Barney, I feel his portrayal of Google as a dime-a-dozen, Web-based Internet company is all wrong.

Although Open Office has next to no market share, it doesn't mean that the programs are useless. For a small business that can't afford steep license fees, it would truly be a great alternative. It's also great to repair corrupt office documents. Open Office could very well be a threat to Microsoft Office if Google could implement it correctly.

Barney also claims "Google isn't so much an innovator as it is an imitator." I haven't seen anything that has come out of the Microsoft machine that's truly innovative for 10 years. Using "Microsoft" and "innovation" in the same sentence makes me nauseous. However, Google as a search engine was the first full-text search engine. I would categorize this as "an act of doing something different," which is Barney's definition of innovation. Seeing the reaction from Microsoft in response to anything that Google does is very entertaining, and downright pathetic.
Marc Read, MCP
Nevada, Iowa

About the Author

This page is compiled by the editors of Redmond magazine from your letters. Write to us at letters@redmondmag.com and if your letter is printed in the magazine, you'll be entered into a drawing for a free Redmond T-shirt.

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