TurboTax 2008, Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 & Fireworks . March 2009 . Vol. 15 No. 3

Cyber News and Reviews is a free monthly software column

June 2009 - -Adobe Contribute CS4, Adobe Soundbooth CS4 & After Effects CS

May 2009 --Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, Adobe OnLocation CS4 and Adobe Encore CS4 plus My Electric Guitar and My Violin from eMedia

April 2009 -- Rosetta Stone Version 3: Spanish (Latin America) Level 1, 2 & 3, Set, Adobe Illustrator CS4 and Adobe Flash CS4 Professional from Adobe Systems Inc.

TurboTax 2008 Home & Business from Intuit Inc., Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 . Adobe Fireworks CS4 from Adobe Systems Inc.

By Howard Berenbon

TurboTax 2008 Home & Business from Intuit Inc.

April 15 is approaching fast, and you know what that means:  it’s income tax time.  So, if you haven’t already started, it’s time to start on your income taxes.   Up to now, you should have all the important federal, state and local tax information for the year 2008, and important expense information for your deductions like your property tax payments, home improvement expenses, health related expenses, interested paid and business expenses (if you run your own business).  You’ll need that information plus the 1099s and W-2 forms from banks and employers to enter into the tax forms—in this case, TurboTax.  Now, assuming you have what you need, you have three choices: have your accountant prepare your taxes, prepare the forms yourself the old fashioned way with pen and paper forms, or buy Intuit’s TurboTax 2008 and make Intuit your computerized accountant, which happens to be my choice and the best way to go, with the best tax software around.  TurboTax will save you time and money, and once you use it, you’ll never turn back.  It's not expensive, from $29.95 to $109.95 for the year depending on the version, covering Federal, State and local taxes, and many versions include eFile.  This year, they’re offering a free version for Federal taxes, but you’ll have to pay an additional amount for your State and local taxes.

I say it every year, and I’m going to repeat myself again: TurboTax is the best, computerized, tax preparation program available!  Sorry for shouting, but it’s true.  If you prepare your own taxes and haven’t tried TurboTax, now is the time.  Once you use TurboTax you’ll never prepare your taxes any other way.  Intuit is continually improving their software, and it keeps getting easier from year to year.   If you have questions or run into problems, they offer lots of help within TurboTax, in every screen, and online.   If you worried about accuracy, don’t, because Intuit guarantees that their calculations are 100 percent correct.  Now, if you’ve been considering a different brand of tax software, don’t do it!  In my opinion, no other software can prepare your taxes as well as TurboTax.  And, if you're worried about the results, TurboTax double-checks your return for errors and will flag any potential audit risks.   Every year they improve their software, and this year they’ve improved their navigation and help features, and made updating easier.  Many tax preparers are using TurboTax to prepare their clients’ taxes, some using their assistants to enter your information, so why not do it yourself?  Another important and essential feature is their ItsDeductible software that helps you value your donated items so you get the best possible deduction.

If you have some special tax situations, you can solve them, and file your taxes on time without any extra help.  All forms and instructions are included either on the CD or online.  You also have access to all IRS publications plus quite a bit of help within the program, and over two dozen of their expert Tax Topic Videos accessed through their Help Center.  You can also request Live Help from their tax experts, and there’s a fee, but they guarantee an answer in 60 minutes.  It’s a service to consider if you’re running out of time, and need to get the right advice for your tax situation quickly.


This year, TurboTax installed from the single CD in just a few minutes.  Once installed, it checks for updates, and then you’ll need to register.  To begin, you’ll click on Start a New Return, and then you can transfer your 2007 tax information from last year’s TurboTax file, for use in your 2008 return, or start completely new.  This is the beauty of TurboTax, because if you used TurboTax last year, it takes just a few seconds to transfer your previous year’s data.  This includes all the various forms you’ve used with the institution’s name, address and your account number, plus the numbers you entered last year for comparison.  Once that information is in TurboTax, it’s just a matter of entering the new numbers from the 2008 tax year records you’ve received in the mail.  If you have to add another bank account, or you sold some stock, it’s easy to add the new form.

TurboTax will calculate your taxes the best possible way, and give you the highest legally allowable refund.  You’ll enter your tax information by answering questions TurboTax asks.  And they’ll make sure they ask all the right questions so you get the maximum possible refund from your financial situation.  If you have a question about a particular entry, you can enter your question into a search box at the top right of the screen, or check your question against commonly asked questions listed below the search box.  When you’re done, it prints all your forms, or you can file electronically; and TurboTax keeps a record for next year’s taxes.  Now, if you like to enter your tax data the old fashioned way, directly into each form, TurboTax will let you do it, but it’s stills watching, so if you make an error, you’ll be told.

TurboTax 2008 is the best tax preparation software on the market for anyone filing US income tax returns. You get professional tax preparation help without the expense of a tax professional.  And once you’ve used TurboTax, you won't turn back.  Even if you have a more complex tax situation: say you run a small business, have stocks and bonds, have rental property, own a vacation home and have kids to claim as dependents, TurboTax will work for you.  And they offer several guarantees:  Maximum Refund, 100% Accurate Calculations, Guaranteed Easy, Audit Support, or your money back. 

Their Home & Business version has added features over the standard, Deluxe and Premiere products. If you run a small business, it's a must, especially if you have employees. It helps you prepare your W-2 and 1099 tax forms, finds small business tax deductions, and those specific to your business, gets you the biggest vehicle expense deduction, simplifies asset depreciation and more.

TurboTax 2008 Home & Business sells for  $75 and will run on any multimedia PC (Windows or Macintosh), 450 MHz 32-bit or faster processor, 500 MB hard disk space, 256 MB RAM with Windows 2000/XP/Vista and a CD-ROM drive. Mac – PowerPC G3 or higher processor, 256 MB RAM, 225 MB hard disk space and Mac OS X (10.4) or higher.  For more information, or to order, visit Amazon.com.

TurboTax 2008 Versions

TurboTax Basic Federal + eFile 2008 -$21.25

TurboTax Deluxe Federal + State + eFile 2008 – $43.99

TurboTax Premier Federal + State + eFile 2008 -- $67.39

TurboTax Home & Business Federal + State + eFile 2008 --  $75

Intuit Inc.
2500 Garcia Ave.
Mountain View, CA 94043
Phone: 1-800-446-8848
URL turbotax.com

Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 and Adobe Fireworks CS4 from Adobe Systems Inc.

This is a continuation of my evaluation of the individual programs from Adobe Master Collection CS4 from Adobe Systems, Inc.  This month I’ve reviewed the latest Dreamweaver CS4 and one of the companion programs, Fireworks CS4, a Photoshop style program that complements Dreamweaver for creating Website graphics and animation.

Adobe Dreamweaver CS4

I originally reviewed Dreamweaver, in February 2004 as a part of the Macromedia Studio MX and then again in September 2006 with Macromedia Studio 8, which was acquired by Adobe Systems some time in 2005.  It has evolved and improved greatly since its introduction by Macromedia, Inc. in 1997, developed to allow Web designers to design sites with hand HTML coding, or no coding at all, in plain English.

If you’re a professional Website designer then you probably use Dreamweaver, or you should be, because it’s the best known, and most widely used professional Website design program available.  If you’re a beginner, or just want to dabble with your own Web design for either a business or personal Internet presence, then you should consider Dreamweaver over some of the other design programs on the market.  Because it’s more graphics oriented, it’s not as easy to use as some of those canned programs offering a number of templates with a navigation structure already designed and on the page.  But once you get over the learning curve, your Dreamweaver Website design will look and function much better than any of the competition. Dreamweaver has always been known for it’s efficient memory usage, which helps Web pages load faster.  In the most recent versions, with their support of CSS (cascading style sheets) layouts and JavaScript programming, designers have more control over the look of their pages.  For example, tables can be replaced by CSS commands, with memory use reductions.  And because CSS formatting commands can be called from a separate style sheet, more memory is conserved.

A Little History

Macromedia, Inc. developed Dreamweaver and released version 1.0 in December 1997.  By September 2005, version 8.0 was released, and Macromedia, Inc. was acquired by Adobe Systems, Inc.

Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 New Features

Live View – Let’s you view your new designs as they will appear online, but allows you access to the code and make changes.  And when you make changes, they appear immediately.  It also allows you to test your page features, like drop down menus or hover buttons.

Multifaceted and enhanced workspace – work better and faster with the new updated interface that allows you to customize your workspace.

Related Files and Code Navigator – Related Files feature displays all the documents associated with your design in a bar across the top of your main document.  And you can edit each related file in the Code View, and then see the results in the Design View.

CSS best practices -- A new CSS tab in the Properties panel lets you view the CSS styles with no-jargon English explanations, and allows you to easily create new rules to store in your document or on an external style sheet.

Code hinting for Ajax and JavaScript frameworks – improved support for core objects and primitive data types with code hinting function that helps you change or add code in the correct format.

Adobe In Context Editing – enable content authors to edit their own Web pages without additional software installation.

HTML data sets – allows you to easily create data in a number of formats including HTML table, a series of CSS div tags or an ordered list.

Photoshop Smart Objects - easily to add images from Photoshop by simply dragging a PDS file into a Dreamweaver CS4 page to create an image Smart Object.  It’s different then a standard Web graphics files because it’s linked to the source file.

Subversion integration software – formerly a third party utility, now built into Dreamweaver CS4 for projects developed by more than one designer.  This new feature offers more secure file versioning including better check-in/check-out and rollback functions.

Adobe AIR authoring support – downloadable extension to Dreamweaver to create multi-platform desktop applications

New user interface – works better and faster with other components of Creative Suite 4

Creative Pro Online Services – Easily get help from other professionals right from the Dreamweaver CD4 desktop from the Adobe Community Help, Acrobat.com, InContext Editing and Adobe Bridge Home


After installing the program from the included CD (or CDs if part of a suite), get ready to jump right into Website designing.  The main screen looks like the other programs in the collection with access to all the working menus including File Edit View Insert Modify Format Commands Site Window and Help.  Below that, the screen is split into five areas where you can Open a Recent Item, Create a New page in various formats including HTML, ColdFusion, PHP, ASP, XSLT, CSS, JavaScript and more.  To the right of Create New you can access their Top Featured videos with information on Live View, Code Navigator, Related Files, Dataset Wizard and more.  And below the featured videos, you can click on Take a Feature Tour to see what’s new in CS4.  You’re also one click away from the Adobe.com Website for everything you ever wanted to know and do with Dreamweaver CS4 including step-by-step tutorials, resources and more videos.

click to continue

Adobe Systems Incorporated
345 Park Ave
San Jose, CA 95110-2704
Phone: 800-833-6687
URL: adobe.com