Letters to Redmond
Letters@Redmondmag.com: March 2006
Fighting software audits, Camtasia Studio, fatter clients and a reader's defense of Google.
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
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.
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.
[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
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.
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
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