Photos: Roll up for Adobe Acrobat's inflatable circus
Adobe's mobile Acrobat 8 training touched down in Regent's Park today, and a group of journalists had the first chance to get their hands on the new software. By December, 5,000 people will get a chance to try the application, in London, Birmingham, Leeds, Edinburgh, Bristol and Manchester (full details on Adobe's site). If the tour is a success, the inflatable domes may appear in other countries next year.
Adobe chose to go nomadic and present the new software in purpose-built tents because it couldn't rely on the facilities in hotels, explained senior evangelist Alan Rosenfield (on the right in this picture).
The tent includes 30 dual-core laptops, each with a scanner and video camera to demonstrate the software's collaboration and content-creation abilities.
The system is managed by a Stratus fault-tolerant server. "We couldn't afford downtime, as we have five demonstration sessions a day, and support might be an issue when we have no fixed address," said Rosenfield, who described the server as "Stock Exchange material". Stratus executives are eyeing the server towards the back of the picture.
The laptops are connected by Gigabit Ethernet. After each presentation, Adobe is wiping and re-imaging every laptop, which would require more speed (and reliability) than the Wi-Fi available in typical hotel suites, explained Rosenfield.
ZDNet UK got stuck into sharing and protecting documents under the watchful eye of an Adobe presenter.
The 75-minute session covered:
- Production of a mammoth PDF which includes PowerPoint, video, Excel spreadsheet and CAD schematics
- Collaboration on a document, sharing changes
- Videoconferencing using the Acrobat Connect service
- Automatically "Redacting" or blanking out sensitive areas of a document for distribution.
With six weeks to go before launch, the software — and the demo area — had a few rough edges.
Here, one of the demo laptops is having trouble with its virtual correction fluid or "redaction". A company name has been blanked out of a PDF document, intended to represent a legal contract prior to signature.
A slight skew in the OCR (opticial character recognition) left the first letter decipherable on this laptop. Adobe said this was a glitch in the demo setup and would not affect the delivered software.