Readers recommend the best products
Maximize Your PDF Solution
Aloaha Software's Aloaha PDF Suite
Oliver Rickly of Hannover, Germany, recommends Aloaha Software's PDF Suite as a very hot product. Aloaha PDF Suite creates vector-based, high-resolution PDF documents.
Rickly explains, "I am using PDF Suite intensively for all kinds of document production. PDF Suite allows me to monitor my print queue to convert any printed document into a vector PDF, with the ability to cut or search the text inside. If PDF Suite finds an email address or fax number, it digitally signs the document and emails or faxes it to the recipient with the built-in WWW Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) mailer. This provides us with an excellent solution to our billing system. Furthermore, I defined regular expressions so PDF Suite sorts all created PDF documents on disk by invoice and customer number. Due to its design as a print spooler monitor, PDF Suite is a powerful tool limited only by your imagination. The benefits are quite simple to see; the pricing is simply incredible compared to the myriads of functions it offers. The digital signature feature and automatic sending of invoices not only saves me postage costs but labor as well."
PDF Suite features searchable PDF files, 40-bit and 128-bit encryption, digital signatures, automatic font embedding, automatic bookmark creation, and Active Directory (AD) user lookups. Pricing for PDF Suite starts at $49; you can download a demo version for free.
Oliver Rickly Hannover, Germany
Aloaha PDF Suite
Limit Channels and Increase Users per AP
Meru Networks' Meru Controller
Michael Ruiz of Geneva, New York, recommends Meru Networks'Meru Controller as a great value-add for Wi-Fi, the 802.11b wireless standard. According to Ruiz,"Meru Networks has solved the biggest problems with Wi-Fi, namely channel limitations and poor performance. We are seeing huge increases in throughput over our regular 802.11a/b/g solutions and are achieving dozens or more users per Access Point (AP). Mix that bit of evolution with advanced coordination between neighboring APs, and Meru Networks has provided a solution in which all APs can reside on a single channel.
"These key innovations have saved us dozens of hours with onsite surveys, and we'll probably see that savings hit the hundreds-of-hours mark. We have also deployed fewer APs because we can handle more users, and we have been able to plan more thoroughly because scaling is so much easier. Scaling an already rolled-out Wi-Fi network to cover nearby areas can often be a drag, with cells resizing and interference changes, but not with the Meru Controller. The system simply scans, coordinates, and expands."
Meru Controller features a multi-layer security approach, cellular-coordination for APs, and integration with existing infrastructure. This product also deals with bandwidth demands and increased contention in high-density environments such as conference centers, university libraries, and auditoriums. The controller removes direct and indirect sources of contention, thus enhancing performance and simplifying channel planning. For pricing information, please contact Meru Networks.
Michael Ruiz Geneva, New York
Automate Windows Services
Lieberman Software's Service Account Manager 4.10
Brian Tache of Ottawa, Canada, sings the praises of Lieberman Software's Service Account Manager 4.10, a tool that provides a single view of all services on all managed systems and lets administrators report on and change virtually all service properties with a few mouse clicks. Tache says, "The application not only saves me tons of time but also eases the burden of having to go onto each server to change service account passwords. The application lets us highlight any number of services, then reset the passwords. It gives us the option to stop the service, change the password, and restart the service. The application is even smart enough to shut off and change the password for the service without restarting any Exchange services.
"In the past, we would have to go to each of our 30 Exchange servers during off hours, stop all Exchange services, then manually change the service account passwords and restart the services. Nowadays, we run one job that changes the password for the service, without requiring downtime or overtime. The application not only starts the services, but it is also aware of all dependencies so the services are started in the correct order." For pricing, contact Lieberman Software.
Brian Tache Ottawa, Canada
Service Account Manager 4.10
Give Tech Support a Face-Lift
Netopia's Timbuktu Pro
Netopia has been in the business of remote computing for almost 20 years. Jesse Genson, a network specialist from Duluth, Minnesota, can't say enough good things about Netopia's Timbuktu Pro Remote Control Software.
Genson explains, "Our company purchased Netopia's Timbuktu Pro, and it has totally revamped how we do tech support. It lets you use IM, exchange files, control, observe, alert, chat, or invite a remote user to connect with you. We found it very valuable when we transitioned from a local-support-only structure to a nationwide Help desk, where techs from any site can resolve issues for anyone at any site. I am confident Timbuktu Pro is the main reason why changing our support structure was successful. One of the biggest reasons we love Timbuktu Pro is for its reliability and speed. We can connect to a user who is on a dial-up connection, and it is so fast—just like sitting at the machine." Contact Netopia for pricing.
Jesse Genson Duluth, Minnesota
Timbuktu Pro Remote Control Software