Last week’s software updates… Feel Secure!

If you religiously follow sites like Versiontracker you don’t need me to point out a few significant software updates… however as most people choose to have a life instead of cruising the web for patches, I’ll help you out! Also, this blog was originally intended to be much more software oriented than it is now (hence the name “SoftCircus”) and focused on applications involved in content creation/media and print – so for today back to the basics… software updates for QuarkXpress, Adobe Flash Player, Microsoft Office 2008 (Mac) and Adobe Lightroom!

QuarkXpress (Mac/Win)

This free update for Quark’s flagship layout applications allegedly improves stability and includes several bug fixes. The Windows version also adds “Edit Original” functionality, bringing it on par with the Mac version.  I’m not sure how many of you actually use Quark these days, most of the page layouts I encounter are created in Adobe InDesign, however it’s important to keep your applications up to date.

Adobe Flash Player 10.1 (Mac/Win)

Another week, another critical security breach identified in Flash! Adobe seems to have a hard time these days building patches as quickly as the leaks spring. This version of Flash Player still does not support GPU based encoding on Macs, even though Apple released the code recently. Look for this functionality to be added down the road… if they can ever catch all the security vulnerabilities!

Microsoft Office 2008 – 12.2.5 (Mac)

This hefty update weighs in at more than 300mb and includes a load of security fixes to prevent malicious hackers from taking control of your word processor. Also included is a fix for the custom dictionary feature – apparently there was a problem with adding words from other languages… c’est la vie!

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.0 (Mac/Win)

As a diehard Creative Suite user I’ve used Photoshop and Bridge to navigate through my massive collection of images… technically this is considered browsing rather than management. Lightroom is meant to aid photographers in managing image collections and perform rudimentary edits without using Photoshop. Unlike the other updates mentioned here, Lightroom is an upgrade meaning that Adobe will want some money from you. Click the link to download a Lightroom 3.0 trial and see if it’s worth the upgrade price. Just be careful to back up your Lightroom 2 catalogues – it’s a one way trip to version 3! I’ll be reviewing Lightroom 3.0 in a future magazine article, stay tuned.

That’s it for this week. As I mentioned earlier, you can track your own updates easily on Versiontracker (all platforms) or MacUpdate for you Mac users.

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