Your guide to Eduserv Adobe discounts

Your guide to Eduserv Adobe discounts

Affordable campus-wide software licensing with guaranteed updates and upgrades from Eduserv

If you’re looking to get the latest industry-standard Adobe Creative Suite software for your institution (but have budget at the front of your mind), becoming a member of Eduserv can help. You get the most up to date software for the length of your three year campus-wide agreement, and benefit from an affordable annual payment plan.

Who are Eduserv?

Eduserv’s Enterprise License Agreement promotes the use of technology in education, and negotiates discounted Adobe prices for Eduserv members through volume licensing. Eduserv is a not-for-profit organisation with 20 years’ experience under their belt. They negotiate affordable software prices for universities and colleges.

To find out how it works, what you pay and how to join, download Your guide to Eduserv discounts.

rGot a question? Get in touch on 03332 409 306 or email Eduserv@Jigsaw24.com and we’ll help you out.

 

App of the week: Photoshop Touch

App of the week: Photoshop Touch

For this week’s app, we’ve decided to take a look at Adobe Photoshop Touch. Because this was featured in the Apple App Store’s best apps of 2012 list, we thought it would be a good idea to have a look at it and see whether it’s a genuinely useful tool for mobile image editing that could help designers, or more a fun app for touching up pics on the go.

Everyone knows Adobe Photoshop – whether that’s because you spend 9 to 5:30 creating image masks and amending the lighting levels of corporate photos or because your second cousin twice-removed edited all of last years’ holiday snaps so that it looked like they had two weeks of sun rather than torrential rain. But how well does a program that has more functions and shortcuts than you can shake a Wacom pen at translate into a tablet application?

How different is it from the desktop version?

Very much so! The interface has been completely redesigned to include big buttons and finger-friendly sliders, and many of the features that you’d find in the desktop version aren’t present – but that’s to be expected. If you buy this expecting to be able to get into the nitty gritty of image editing like you can in the full version, you’ll be disappointed. This is about making quick edits to images and sharing them.

So what can you do? According to its App Store listing, the top features are let you:

–     Use popular Photoshop features designed for the tablet such as layers, selection tools, adjustments, and filters to create mind-blowing images.

–     Use your iPad camera to fill an area on a layer with the unique camera fill feature.

–     Select part of an image to extract by scribbling with the Scribble Selection tool. With Refine Edge, use your fingertip to capture even hard-to-select image elements, like hair, with ease.

–     Work on high-resolution images while maintaining the highest image quality. Supports images up to 12 megapixels.

Who is it aimed at?

Anyone who wants to quickly make edits to photos on the move. It’d be particularly useful, for example, if you’ve used your iPad to take a photo and want to get it looking spot on before sharing to Facebook or Twitter. You have everything you need if you want to add effects, alter colour levels, and add and remove backgrounds and titles.

It’s also great for making minor edits to photos that you want to include in a presentation that you’re putting together on your iPad.

What do our design team make of it?

To give it a real test, I asked our designer Xenia to take a look at the app to find out how she would feel about using it for work purposes:

“On the whole it’s a really great way to make quick edits to photos. There’s enough in here to get photos looking really good if you know the ins and outs of the app. The promo screenshots from Adobe are a good example of what can be achieved, but I wouldn’t go into it expecting to be able to do that kind of thing straight away. There’s still a bit of a learning curve – even if it is far more simplistic than Photoshop on my Mac.

“In terms of how easy it is to pick up, it’s very intuitive but there are certain functions that you’d really benefit from knowing how the desktop version works first. That being said, some tools have been altered to work on a tablet and didn’t work how I was expecting them to. I initially found it difficult to edit text boxes, for example, and used the ‘Back’ button as a workaround.

It is an amazing step in the right direction though. There are few apps out there that give you this level of freedom in editing imagery. Many are far more prescriptive in having preset effects (I’m thinking of Instagram and the numerous copycats out there) that you can’t manipulate and create something unique. To summarise, what has been included in Photoshop Touch is really good. I just found myself wishing there was more.”

How much does Adobe Photoshop Touch cost?

Adobe Photoshop Touch is available from the App Store for £6.99. You will also need to be using an iPad 2 or more recent (iPad mini is also supported) and be running iOS 5 or later.

It’s worth pointing out that there’s also a “Free” version out there – Photoshop Express. This has been completely slimmed down to cover the bare essentials of photo editing (basic effects, cropping, red eye reduction etc.) unless you want to pay for additional effects from within the app.

Looking for the whole caboodle? We are an Adobe Platinum Reseller and can provide the full range of Adobe Creative Suite applications. To find out more about Adobe Photoshop CS6 or for the latest pricing, take a look at our Photoshop page or get in touch on the details below.

Want to find out more about Apple’s iPad? Visit Jigsaw24.com, call us on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com.

App of the week: Evernote

App of the week: Evernote

Let’s start by making one thing clear: Evernote is not just an app. It lets you take notes, capture photos, create lists, record voice reminders, save documents (and more), and then store them all in the cloud so that they can be accessed on an iPad, mobile phone or computer, wherever you happen to be.

I love paper. There’s something about scrawling nonsense into a notebook and adding little doodles alongside to help you remember different points that’s hard to beat. So I have to admit that, when I started using Evernote, I was sceptical – especially as I’ve tried a few note-taking apps before, and haven’t really got what I needed from them.

Storing and searching made easy

While mountains of paper around your computer may sound like an organisation nightmare, there’s nothing quite like being able to grab exactly what you need at a moment’s notice to take into meetings. It’s also hard to beat that feeling at the end of the day when you take your pages and pages of handwritten notes and file them away in a binder.

The difference with Evernote is that it stores all those notes in a digital archive that is completely searchable – the Premium version even interprets words in images and PDFs and lets you search those. It also adds relevant tags, dates and locations to make fishing out files whenever you need them incredible easy.

As far as organisation goes, you can set up folders or ‘Notebooks’ that are based on whatever needs you have. Here you can buddy up relevant notes and documents for referring to later. So, if you’re in a meeting and want to make sure that your hastily typed notes are saved with the photo you took of the keynote slide, you can do. Or, like me, you can set up dedicated Notebooks that keep all notes on a specific topic together for when it comes to writing about it at a later date.

From pen to point

Making notes is unsurprisingly very easy. Within the app, it’s just a case of hitting one button in the top right corner and you can start typing.

If you’re using an iPad like I do, this is going to be easy because of the full screen keyboard. If you’re used to typing on a multitouch device, you might even find that using Evernote is faster than writing everything by hand.

If you’re on an iPhone, the ease of use is probably going to depend on the size of your fingers and ability to type more than a text message on the device. Still – even on the iPhone, if you’re taking a picture note or saving a document, it’s an incredibly easy user interface.

And when it comes to finding those notes again, the latest update (December 2012) boasts the ability to get to any note in two clicks or less – whether that’s via the new All Notes, Notebooks or Tags tabs or through the Places tab where you can zoom in on locations that your notes were created.

Sharing resources is a doddle

A big bonus of Evernote is how easy it makes sharing resources with other members of a team. For the writing team here, for example, it’s important to make sure we all have access to shared research. Within the iPad app, you can just hit the Share button (the same one you find throughout iOS) and you’ll be given options to message, Tweet, Print, Copy or Mail the note. Or, if you’re a Premium user, you can share a Notebook with other Evernote users and give them rights to edit existing notes or add their own. (EDIT: In light of the recent hacking of Evernote, it’s worth remembering that for secure information you should always opt for an enterprise-level solution.)

Am I converted?

Completely! I may not be able to link up paragraphs of text with hand-drawn arrows in the same way as I can on paper, but the organisation benefits far (far!) outweigh that. The ability to have everything in one place and completely searchable is a huge benefit to any workflow.

Let’s put it this way, this review started life as notes taken on my train into work this morning.

So where can you get it and how much does it cost?

Nip into the App Store or iTunes and you’ll find Evernote. And the best part is that it’s completely free – for the basic amount of storage, that is. This will get you started, but if you’re serious about note taking, you’ll want to upgrade to a Premium account for £3.99 per month or £34.99 for a whole year. Premium users also get access to notes offline, additional security, PDF searching, previous versions of notes and notebook sharing.

Alternatively, there’s a business version that, for £8 per user per month, gives you access to easier user and data management, access to shared company resources and more. Or for businesses, where extra security is needed to protect sensitive information, we’d recommend recommend opting for an enterprise-level solution.

Want to find out more about Apple’s iPad? Visit Jigsaw24.com, call us on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com.

Video: How does Image Trace in Illustrator CS6 measure up against CS5?

Video: How does Image Trace in Illustrator CS6 measure up against CS5?

Tom, Jigsaw24 multimedia designer and veritable Adobe expert, dons his overcoat and puts on his detective glasses as he looks at the Image Trace tools in Illustrator CS6. How good are they and what’s improved since Creative Suite 5?

For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Video: How good are the new content-aware tools in Photoshop CS6?

Video: How good are the new content-aware tools in Photoshop CS6?

Tom, our resident multimedia designer, takes the latest incarnation of Photoshop for a spin. In this video tutorial, he puts the content-aware tools through their paces. In this tutorial he shows us how to use content-aware patch, move and extend features.

Want to find out more about Adobe Creative Suite 6? Call us on 03332 409 306, email sales@jigsaw24.com or send us a pigeon.

Video: Jigsaw24 Tech Support – How to configure RAM in a Mac

Video: Jigsaw24 Tech Support –  How to configure RAM in a Mac

In this step-by-step video tutorial, our Johanna (Jigsaw24 tech support specialist) runs through the ways to configure RAM in a Mac Pro, iMac, Mac mini and MacBook Pro.

For more help with your RAM, get in touch with us on 03332 400 999 or email AppleRepairs@Jigsaw24.com. Or if your problem is 140 characters of less, send us your queries on twitter @Jigsaw24tech.

How do I set up a new email account in Apple Mail?

If the honeymoon period between you and your computer ended the second it asked you for the name of your incoming mail server, don’t worry. Most of the information you need to set up your email is easy to come by – if you’re setting up an email account with your internet provider (@btinternet.com; @aol.com; @ntlworld.com or something similar), they probably sent you all the details you need as soon as they set up your address. You can do this! We believe in you!

1. Open up Apple Mail by clicking the stamp icon in your dock. From the menu at the top of your screen, select Mail > Preferences.

2. In the pop up menu, click Accounts.

3. Click the plus symbol in the bottom left of the window.

4. The Add Account Wizard will now appear. This is not as exciting as it sounds.

5. In the Full Name field, enter the name you want people to see when they receive emails from you. In the Email Address and Password fields, enter the address and password of the account you want to add. Click continue.

6. In an ideal world, the Wizard will now set everything up for you automatically and you’ll be good to go. If that doesn’t happen, you’ll have to enter your details manually. Sigh.

Account Type – this tells your computer how to connect to your email account to retrieve mail. There are three main types of account:

– POP accounts – emails are copied from the mail server on to your computer, so there’s only one copy of each email in existence (if you’re dealing with important mail on a POP account, make sure you back up your messages using Time Machine – see below).

– IMAP accounts – emails are stored on a central email server, and your computer caches them. If something were to happen to your computer, the emails would still be stored on the email server.

– Exchange accounts – a Microsoft solution that you generally find in corporate environments. You should speak to your IT team to get the details for your company’s Exchange system.

Description – this is just a name for the incoming mail server. You can call it anything you like.

Incoming mail server – this is specific to your email provider and should be given to you by them. Generally it’ll look something like pop.emailprovider.com or imap.emailprovider.com

Username and Password – the username and password for the email account you want to add.
Once you’ve filled in all the fields, select continue.

7. You’ll be asked if you want to use SSL to encrypt your email. Generally, you’re safe to untick this, but you may want to use it if you’re handling sensitive information (and your email client supports it).

8. Next you need to repeat the process for your outgoing mail server.

Description – is just the name of this server.

Outgoing Mail Server – again, this is specific to your email provider and given by them. Generally it’ll look something like smtp.emailprovider.com

Use Authentication – virtually all outgoing servers will require authentication. Tick this box and enter your username and password. Fill ’em all in and click continue.

9. You’ll be shown a summary of your account details. If everything’s correct, click create account. Done!

 

What is One Avid?

What is One Avid?

As one of only a handful of Avid Elite Partners for audio, video and storage in the world, we can offer Avid hardware, software, services, support and everything in between. Get in touch with us for advice on hardware, software, storage solutions, third-party add-ons, turnkey workstations and more…

What is One Avid?

One Avid is the name given to Avid’s end-to-end audio and video workflow. If you’re cutting in Media Composer or Symphony, editing sound using Pro Tools, storing everything on an ISIS and collaborating via Interplay, you’ve already mastered One Avid. The idea is that if you can get your entire post pipeline onto one platform and do everything using industry-leading software and qualified hardware that’s been tested by Avid’ developers and engineers, everything’s going to be faster, easier to learn, more tightly integrated and simpler to support.

So how can we help?

As we never get tired of saying, we’re one of the most qualified Avid solutions providers around. We can help you with:

    • Software – As well as knowing Avid software inside out (and having the qualifications to prove it) we provide tested turnkey systems to some of the biggest production campanies in the UK. Get in touch for advice on choosing the right solution for your workflow and budget, and advice on the latest versions, upgrades and dongle licensing.

 

    • Workstations – Mac or PC, control panel or not, audio or video optimised, integrated with your current infrastructure or designed to stand alone: if you need it, we can build it. With our massive stockholding we can provide quick turnaround on Avid hardware solutions or those that use third party hardware through Avid Open I/O.

 

  • Storage – Having spent the last 20 years delivering mission-critical IT solutions for organisations of every shape and size, we can help you develop online, nearline and offline storage solutions that’ll help you organise, manage and monetise your Avid assets. We can advise on developing your own Avid ISIS storage system from scratch, or help you integrate it with elements of your existing storage volumes, archives and asset management system. Read more about Avid ISIS offers.

 

Want to know more? Get in touch with us on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or Like’ our Facebook page.

Adobe Volume Licensing: New, improved and idiot-proof

Adobe Volume Licensing: New, improved and idiot-proof

You know the drill by now: Adobe Volume Licensing makes it easier and more affordable to run software on multiple computers across your company. You only pay for the right to download and install the software on as many systems as you need, while also qualifying for big discounts when you buy in bulk.

With the release of CS6, Adobe have simplified their licensing options so that they can actually be understood by human beings. Huzzah! They’ve ditched the TLP Level 2, so now you get the same level of discount no matter how many licences you buy, and lowered the number of points you need to enter a CLP from 25,000 to 10,000, so you can save more sooner. They’ve also simplified all Upgrade Plan options except for 12 and 24 months, which should make it easier for you to budget for renewals. (Schools, Government agencies and business on a CLP can still sign up for it, the swines).

Don’t know what the heck we’re on about?

You’ve got two CS6 licensing options: the Transactional Licensing Program (TLP) and the Cumulative Licensing Program (CLP). Electronic Software Delivery (ESD) is included free of charge with both, as is access to the advanced management tools on Adobe’s Licensing Web Site (LWS).

Transactional LicensingProgram (TLP)

TLP lets you get all the benefits of licensing based on a single transaction, without entering into a long-term contract. You make a single purchase, download your software and vanish into the night, leaving a trail of broken hearts behind you.

With TLP, you get…

– no minimum order size
– no long-term contract
– big savings on a transactional basis

Cumulative Licensing Program (CLP)

CLP is Adobe’s answer to contractual licensing. If you’re looking for more than 8 copies of Creative Suite, CLP will make you even greater savings. Every Adobe licence you buy earns you points that add up to discounts on your purchases. This is aimed firmly at medium-sized and large businesses and offers significantly larger discounts than TLP. You will need a minimum of 10,000 points on your initial purchase to qualify for a two-year membership, though.

With CLP, you get…

– larger discounts as your points accumulate
– the option to bring all your purchases under one monthly purchase order
– to boost your points total by adding company affiliates/subsidiaries and upgrade plan

Nil points! A quick guide to Adobe points

You earn points for every Adobe licence you purchase – the more licences you buy, the more points you accrue. The number of points you’ve earned dictates the discount level for which you qualify.

In a nutshell,

8x Design Standard CS6 = 10,400 points = entry into CLP
15x Design Standard Upgrades = 10,500 points

 

Want to know more? Head over to our completely idiot-proof Adobe Volume Licensing page.

You can also call 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com

Do you know what’s on your iPad? Mobile app services explained

Do you know what’s on your iPad? Mobile app services explained

Thinking of rolling out iPad in your school? Here’s how we can help you get students the right content at the right time.

1:1 iPad deployments, in which your school provides one iPad for every child in a class, are a great way to encourage independent learning and engage students of different abilities and learning styles. Getting them the content they need at the right time, however, is a bit more difficult. While you can share documents and videos with students’ iPad devices over WiFi, to make the most of the device, you’re going to want them to use third party apps. And that means navigating the App Store.

This can cause some major financial headaches. Who pays for apps? Who monitors what students download? How much time do your IT team spend buying and distributing iPad content? There are two ways round this. One is to sign up for VPP, Apple’s volume purchasing scheme, which lets you assign managers and facilitators to purchase and distribute your school’s apps (it’ll also get you a tasty 50% discount when you purchase more than 20 copies of certain apps). The other is to get together with us; we’re the first iTunes Value Added Reseller to be able to manage your Apple accounts for you, and make app admin our problem rather than yours…

How we can help…

Managed App Services essentially make us your personal shoppers. You tell us what app you need and which devices you need it on, then we make sure it gets there. This means you can:

  • Easily incorporate apps into budget plans with our monthly bills rather than dealing with the App Store’s pay-on-the-day policy.
  • See what you’re spending at a glance with transparent reports that break down spending and account activity by user, app and cost, and a centralised inventory of everything on your school’s accounts.
  • Set limits on who can download what (and how much it can cost) by pre-agreeing permissions for staff and students with our team.
  • Save your tech team time with an automated approval process that automatically forwards requests for new apps to the appropriate manager, or a self-service deployment system that lets staff and students request apps directly from us.
  • Deploy apps simply as we’ll manage the vouchers and gift systems that roll out apps to devices without a credit card attached.

What this means for you…

Teachers don’t have to become sales assistants, your tech team don’t get bogged down with app requests and your accounts team have a clear, predictable billing system and record of spending. Obviously there is plenty of flexibility in terms of how you manage each account and distribute different materials, and our services team will work with you to come up with a plan that suits everyone.

Get in touch with us on 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com to find out more.