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The key to locked PDFs and speedy Net alternatives

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webwatch

Yet another PDF postscript.This time about locked PDFs.

Following reader assurances about being able to cut and paste from PDFs using Acrobat Reader version 5 and later, I was recently puzzled when I could not. It turned out that the file in question had been locked - possibly a misguided attempt to emulate the behaviour of preversion 5 Acrobat; possibly because the author thought the content was, ahem, priceless. I defy all you PDF-lovers to copy anything from a locked PDF. But wait. According to one of the computer magazines (www. computeractive. co. uk), most PDF documents are locked and so it is not possible to remove the information. I am not sure about the 'most'but the magazine goes on to offer a possible solution: use optical character reading software, which converts PDFs into Word documents such as ReadIris Pro.Come on guys.

We don't need this hassle. Much better, just say 'No' to PDFs.

Ever since BT introduced its non-optional, dumberthan-dumb BT/Yahoo email system, I have been looking around for an alternative.The Guardian's Jack Schofield has recommended PlusNet (www. plus. net) as a good alternative at six quid a month less than BT.Ever since Telewest upped its standard speed to 750k at no extra cost, BT's £30 per month 512k speed has looked a tad sorry. So I am currently investigating another one, the new London-based Homechoice service, at www. homechoice. co. uk. Homechoice does a standard 1Mb for £35 and this includes a basic TV package all delivered down the telephone line.Yes, TV down the phone line, and you can do all sorts of things with the transmissions. But what's this? PlusNet has a 2Mb service for £32.Twice the speed for a few pounds less.Telewest already does a TV package but only 4Gb bandwidth per month. I think that means 4Gb storage space allowed each month, or maybe 4Gb of downloads.Homechoice allows 1Gb per day.OK, give me some time.Working out credit card interest rates has to be easier.

sutherland. lyall@btinternet. com

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