RING STICK UP CAM $200

Easy-to-install home security camera works

Portable surveillance cameras are becoming more popular as a security measure for our homes. The latest one is the Ring Stick Up Cam, which broadcasts video in real time to a PC, Apple or Android device and can be attached anywhere inside or outside a home.

The camera is triggered by motion. A chime alerts you that someone is in the zone where the Stick Up Cam is pointing. You can hear and talk to anyone who approaches, which means you can freak out possible burglars, along with your gardener and letter carrier. Unlike sophisticated new-home cameras, which tend to be up high on the second floors, these devices can be ripped from where they are positioned if they are installed on the ground floor.

Well-made and sleek, the Stick Up Cam looks like it will last a long time outdoors. There also is a setting to show live video all the time, for example, if you want to check in on your pet. A $30 web recording package allows you to play back video you have watched, which is handy if an actual burglary took place. If your Wi-Fi connection doesn’t reach outside your house, or the video quality is bad, Ring recommends Wi-Fi extenders.

The Stick Up Cam comes with a rechargeable battery that uses a mini-USB connection. It also can get its power from a ($49) Ring Solar Panel. There are cheaper surveillance cameras out there, but between its function, camera quality and good tech support, the Stick Up Cam (and its sister Ring Doorbell product) are a good place to start for a home security system.

POWER PDF ADVANCED $149

This program makes PDFs more functional

If you need a PDF program, Nuance’s Power PDF Advanced (version 2) will handle pretty much anything you throw at it. It will convert a PDF flawlessly to Microsoft Word and, after you add text, it will easily convert that document to a new PDF. It will help you create comments, highlight areas, search the document and encrypt the PDF. A moderately software-literate user could get the hang of the rudiments in a few hours. There are extensive online and desktop help resources, the program is handsome and it has a good price. Its main competitor, Adobe Acrobat Pro, costs $450 if you get it on a disc. PDF Advanced cost $149, but it’s often on sale online for $100.

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