Cheap programs, a contest and a briefcase anyone can use |

Cheap programs, a contest and a briefcase anyone can use

eRin pheiL

Howdy all. A few weeks ago I told you about RoboPDF – a piece of software that’s an affordable alternative to the popular-but-pricey Adobe Acrobat. Well … the software is more affordable, but apparently not affordable enough!

Kind and faithful reader Dave Bittner e-mailed in and suggested four additional Acrobat-alternative software programs – each one boasting a cheaper price tag than RoboPDF’s. If you’re interested, take a look at Print Pack 602 Pro, Print2PDF, PDFMailer (which is adware and can be downloaded here:, and PDF995) which is free, though one can opt to pay $9.95 to eliminate the advertisements shown, and can be downloaded here:

Please note I’ve not used any of these products, but in looking at the product sites, I can indeed confirm that they appear cheap and easy-to-use. Give one of them a test-drive. And thanks for the money-saving suggestions, Dave.

The next topic on today’s agenda: another contest. This one is geared toward people who enjoy working with and making graphics, illustrations, Web sites and photographic art on their computers. You see, I’ve gone through my software library recently and discovered that I have a brand-new duplicate copy of Wendy Crumpler’s excellent book “Photoshop, Painter, and Illustrator Side-By-Side.” Written in 2000, it’s only a teensy-tinsy bit outdated. The retail price listed on the back of the book is $49.99.

Crumpler’s book tells you how to take advantage of these three applications, explains when you can be doing work faster and easier in a specific application and provides side-by-side comparisons of the programs’ major tools, commands and palettes. It really is a nice tool for people using at least two of these three programs on their computer.

So, are you interested in winning this book? The first person to e-mail me requesting this book … wins it. Good luck!

Next up: I’d like to tell you about a briefcase. Yes, that’s right, a briefcase!

Now, of course, this briefcase isn’t the type that’s made out of leather (or imitation leather) and carried around all day to give its holder an ever-so-professional aura (even though there’s actually nothing in the briefcase). No no no. I’m not an expert on those and wouldn’t know what to tell you about them.

The briefcase I’d like to tell you about today is actually the Yahoo! Briefcase. Yahoo! offers users a very easy way to put any of those files that are now sitting on your computer up onto the Web so that you can share them with friends or coworkers. Using the Yahoo! Briefcase is fantastic because you can put a file online into your Yahoo! Briefcase from home … and then you can access that file directly the following week while you’re on vacation in Finland.

Yahoo! Briefcase gives you up to 30 MB of online storage absolutely free. And not only can you access your important files from absolutely anywhere, but you can also save Yahoo! Mail attachments directly into your briefcase. Pretty cool.

If 30 MB of online storage space isn’t enough for you, Yahoo! also provides Briefcase with “Premium Storage.” Premium Storage gives you 50 MB for $2.08 a month, and other storage allotments are offered for additional fees. Premium Storage also allows you to share your files publicly and to upload even bigger files. Yahoo! boasts that even larger presentations will fit.

Some people use Yahoo! Briefcase to share files with friends, clients and coworkers when the files are too large to send via e-mail. Some people enjoy using Yahoo! Briefcase because they work from multiple computers and can always access the same files easily and quickly. I recommend giving it a try. It’s a great service that’s absolutely free; you simply need to have (or sign up for) a Yahoo! account. Check out Yahoo! Briefcase here:

That’s it for today everyone. I need to go and see if I can find some chocolate chip cookies. If you see any this weekend and they look really good, feel free to send “em my way.

Based in Frisco, eRin pheiL is the primary creative force behind timeforcake ( She can be reached via phone at (970) 668-0709 or e-mail at

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