After relocating to my new home on Oahu from the mainland, I spent a month walking around Waikiki, touring part of the island, getting familiar with the locale, and getting wet on the Windward side. But now, vacation is over for me and it's time to get to work.
I'm delighted to make a contribution to AroundHawaii.com and hope what I have to say will be helpful to my neighbors here in the islands. As an author of many computer books related to Adobe Acrobat and PDF, I thought I'd start out with some exciting news about Acrobat, Adobe, and what is in the works locally here on Oahu.
Years ago in the mid to late eighties I was able to teach classes in applications software covering just about all a program could do in a 1-day intensive class. Adobe Illustrator 88, Photoshop 2.0, PageMaker 2.02, and even a few MS Office classes could be covered completely in a 7-hour university class. Maybe the program wasn't mastered by attendees in such classes, but at least the program participants understood all a program could do and learned something about using every tool and menu command.
Leaping forward to today, an instructor could spend an entire day on a single feature such as covering color correction in Photoshop, macros in MS Word, or PDF Creation in Acrobat and still not cover all that one can say about any single program function. Since off the shelf computer programs are now so complex, we all need continual support and training to master a program. Even simple tasks can often become nightmares with new programs that change tools and methods with each new upgrade.
If we backtrack again and look at the decade of the seventies when microcomputers began to proliferate, everything was new and there was much to learn. To meet the education demands of hobbyists and hackers, user groups sprung up to help people network and share ideas. Membership in a user group provided a forum for people to understand their hardware and software and gain some valuable training.
Adobe Systems recently started a new project to help promote and foster user training and support with Adobe Acrobat and PDF. With the user group model as a method for reaching out to their customer base and fostering some much needed training, Adobe developed a corporate support system to help promote and sustain user groups devoted to Acrobat.
As a member of Adobe's Advisory Committee on Acrobat User Groups, I've been able to participate in the initial discussions for recommending how Adobe might lend support to users worldwide who participate in these groups. I'm happy to report to you that the team of advisors and the Adobe personnel involved in this project are excited about our opportunities to bring more sophistication to users who have a common interest in creating and deploying PDF documents.
Since Acrobat is a tool that just about any computer user in any occupation can use in production workflows, we see the initial development of user groups to begin from interested users with a broad range of interests. As groups become larger we expect subgroups will developed from among users with special interests such as work performed by creative professionals, legal professionals, engineers, general business professionals, educators, government workers, and others.
Here on Oahu, I'm spending some of my time trying to develop a steering committee to assemble the framework for Hawaii's first Acrobat User Group. To help kick off this project, I'm reaching out to all interested individuals who might be willing to help make a success of our local user group. If you are interested in learning more about the Oahu Acrobat User Group project, you want to participate on a steering committee to help shape the direction of the group, or you want to become a member of such a group, send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For an overview on Adobe's efforts and some of the support they are lending now to Acrobat Users log on to www.acrobatusers.com . Sign up and take advantage of some of the users tips and information now available on Adobe's Web site.
In the future, look to this column for tips, tricks, and general information on using Adobe Acrobat, PDF and what's going on with the Oahu Acrobat User Group.
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