Signs of the Times - May 2014 - (Page 14)

Te c h no lo gy U p date By Darek Johnson Lawsuit? Cover Your Assets with PDF/A Darek Johnson is ST's Senior Technology Editor/ Analyst. Email him at darek.johnson@ Adobe's long-term, digital-archiving standards should hold up in court. Adaptive leaders must first be selfaware - then have the additional ability to recognize change in their operating environment, identify those changes, and learn how to adapt to succeed in their new environment. - U.S. Army Urban Warfare Manual D uring my 12 or so years of military experience, I learned some valuable lessons, and not all were in field manuals. The first, "Don't stand in front of a loaded gun," has proven invaluable. Other, nontextual learning regarded essential life rules: eat whenever possible; sleep whenever possible; safeguard your dry socks; volunteer only when coerced, and trust your buddies to look out for you. A most important lesson - "CYA" - applies to all lifestyles. In today's electronic-snitch world, we know that almost everything we say or do is recorded, but this isn't always the bad news. In some cases, electronic records might help you cover your ... uh, prove your innocence. Not always, however, because skilled malcontents can modify most electronic documents, and this possibility says most (but not all) electronic files aren't suitable as courtroom evidence. Proof positive Suppose your shop is subpoenaed for a sign-collapse lawsuit, one that relates to a job that originally received a licensed engineer's approval. The lawsuit says you didn't properly engineer the sign. Suppose the sign-off engineer has since moved to an Ecuadorian mountaintop. Then, you discover 14 SIGNS OF THE TIMES May 2014 you've lost the original, stamped papers, but, luckily, have retained the original .DWG file. Imagine happily uploading the file, to then learn the engineer's stamp and certification didn't carry over to your saved file. Unknown to you, it was in a gypsy format and, somehow, not saved with the document. Your proof of innocence is simply not there. A Save format is merely a series of trigger functions (codes and numbers), and, under certain conditions, one or more functions may not accept a code, font or auxiliaryfile format, so it, the Save format, may either substitute another character, font or image, or, worse, decline to save that segment of the file or document. It simply vanishes. Like the last cookie on a plate, just as a six-year-old passes by. Old-school Postscript™ Adobe® Postscript (PS) is a printing and imaging standard that's licensed to original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for printing systems and print-workflow results. Its upgrade, Encapsulated PostScript® (EPS), a standard, graphics-file format for exchanging images, drawings, layouts or complete pages, contains a file's object or layout description and can include both bitmap and vector data. In theory, it should record everything on the document or drawing, at the time saved, with some exceptions. Generally, Adobe Illustrator is the tool used to create and save .EPS files; Photoshop will save bitmapped images as .EPS files. However, Adobe says, if the file contains data Illustrator doesn't recognize, that some data loss may occur. Meaning, some (unrecognized) information may be absent. The lost-cookie syndrome, again. Adobe says millions of users work with PostScript® and Encapsulated Post Script, but also say it's an outdated file format, one that's trailing the firm's portable document format (PDF). Adobe PDF The Intl. Organization for Standardization (ISO) maintains PDF, an open standard for electronic-document exchanges. Once converted to a PDF format, such saved documents, forms, graphics and web pages appear on screen as if printed. They can also contain clickable links, form fields, video, audio and other processes. You access a shared PDF file via Adobe Reader® software or Adobe's mobile-reader app. The conventional PDF format combines three technologies: PostScript's page-description, programlanguage subset (for generating the layout and graphics); its fontembedding/replacement package (which allows fonts to travel with the document), and a structured, storage system that bundles the file elements and any associated content. Adobe's PDF/A format Briefly, PDF/A, an archive subset of PDF, is the Adobe standard for long-term, digital archiving of "any electronic document that can be printed, or non-electronic documents that can be scanned [and then saved or printed]." Embedded in the file is all the relevant information - text, raster images, vector graphics, fonts (ones legally embeddable for unlimited, universal rendering), color information, digital signatures and

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - May 2014

Signs of the Times - May 2014
Columns & Departments
St Update
Technology Update
Typography Foe Wide-Format Design
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Commercial
Lighting Techniques
The Moving Message
Technology Review: The Mutoh ValueJet 1617H printer
Technology Review: CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X7
Design Matters
New Products
Advertising Index
Editorially Speaking

Signs of the Times - May 2014