You'll get your Mac news here from now on...

Help TMO Grow

Subscriber Login

Advertising Info

The Mac Observer Express Daily Newsletter

More Info

Site Navigation

Columns & Editorials
Mac Links

March 31st, 2000

[1:30 PM] Observer Warns Of PDF Version Of Stephen King's "Bullet"
by Staff

Excited that the new Stephen King book has made its way to the Mac platform? It may be time to reconsider. Readers have pointed out that the system that Acrobat uses for the purchase of .pdf "books" is a bit questionable. According to one Observer, Glenn Cole:

A quick word of caution re: the new Stephen King downloadable book. No doubt you've found that it requires Acrobat Reader 4.05 .

In and of itself, that wouldn't be so bad, but there's a non-obvious consequence of using this.

I don't recall the exact sequence of events, but I remember something about a second Acrobat file being downloaded when I opened the "main" one.

The thing is, if you check the preferences of Acrobat Reader 4.05, you'll see where it says to send your CPU and hard drive serial #s BY DEFAULT back to the web site in order to get the "key" to enable the PDF document!


To Adobe's credit, when I saw the many literary works available for "free" download on Adobe's site, I started to download one, but the next web page said something to the effect, "If you download this book, then we'll return a key to you using your CPU and hard drive serial numbers" (!!). I passed on the offer.

This is what actually inspired me to examine Acrobat's preferences.

I'm certainly happy that I did not actually *purchase* a book using this technique! I'm on my fourth Mac, and I would be really ticked off if every time I got a new machine, I could NOT carry forward any "Acrobat books" I had previously purchased.

Users of Acrobat and .pdf style books might want to look into this more closely.

Both "Riding the Bullet" and Adobe Acrobat Reader are available for free download from

The Mac Observer Spin: This smells of the Pentium III deal with serial numbers on CPUs, with that information being sent at each internet log in. Adobe is not hiding this process, apparently, but one must question the reasoning, logic, privacy, and security issues that are involved with such a process.


Today's Mac Headlines

[Podcast]Podcast - Apple Weekly Report #135: Apple Lawsuits, Banned iPhone Ad, Green MacBook Ad

We also offer Today's News On One Page!

Yesterday's News


[Podcast]Podcast - Mac Geek Gab #178: Batch Permission Changes, Encrypting Follow-up, Re-Enabling AirPort, and GigE speeds

We also offer Yesterday's News On One Page!

Mac Products Guide
New Arrivals
New and updated products added to the Guide.

Hot Deals
Great prices on hot selling Mac products from your favorite Macintosh resellers.

Special Offers
Promotions and offers direct from Macintosh developers and magazines.

Browse the software section for over 17,000 Macintosh applications and software titles.

Over 4,000 peripherals and accessories such as cameras, printers, scanners, keyboards, mice and more.

© All information presented on this site is copyrighted by The Mac Observer except where otherwise noted. No portion of this site may be copied without express written consent. Other sites are invited to link to any aspect of this site provided that all content is presented in its original form and is not placed within another .