Yet Another Cycling Forum

Off Topic => The Pub => Topic started by: citoyen on June 30, 2019, 02:13:02 pm

Title: Small victories
Post by: citoyen on June 30, 2019, 02:13:02 pm
I found my pipe cutter. Only took 20 minutes of looking.

(Finding one's pipe cutter might not be considered an achievement for the Jureks of this world who keep their tools well ordered, but...)
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: Jurek on June 30, 2019, 02:29:25 pm
 ;D
It'll come as no surprise to you then, that I know exactly where both of my tube cutters are, as well as the location of a replacement cutting wheel.
In the drawer yclept 'Cutting tools', of course.
Embossed Dymo label on the drawer an' everyfink.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: T42 on June 30, 2019, 02:41:00 pm
I saw the knob on mine yesterday from a distance and thought "WTF that?"  Investigated... "Oh yes, that".

I only bought the thing a month ago. :facepalm:
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: robgul on June 30, 2019, 03:24:47 pm
. . . my two pipe cutters (one with large-ish knob and one very compact for restricted spaces) will be in the dedicated "plumbing tool box" along with the gaz blowlamp, piezo lighter, solder, flux, spanners etc and a range of copper and compression fittings.

Current task is to make a plywood case to house my new router and its range of bits - everything in its place makes sense and life so much simpler :thumbsup:

Rob
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: Jurek on June 30, 2019, 03:34:52 pm
I saw the knob on mine yesterday from a distance and thought "WTF that?"  Investigated... "Oh yes, that".

I only bought the thing a month ago. :facepalm"
With that, and the early morning greeting, (https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=111100.0) have  you considered deploying corrective lenses?  :P
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: T42 on June 30, 2019, 03:49:16 pm
AFAIK giglamps do nothing much for the memory.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on July 02, 2019, 04:23:59 pm
Not coffee and cakes then?
http://wappingwharf.co.uk/little-victories-1/
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: Kim on July 02, 2019, 06:45:49 pm
I broke my pipe cutter a few years ago, but I had to search the Cupboard Of Doom for some strimmer line last week, which turned into a full-scale tidying up and cull of dead bicycle tyres and assorted car stuff (haven't owned a car since 2007) I expect will become really handy some time next month.

Halfway through this operation, the strimmer line was found!
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: MikeFromLFE on July 04, 2019, 09:53:29 pm
I've finally cut up the fibreglass canoe that's been on Google Earth views of my garage roof since the beginning of time. (Previous thread somewhere on yacf gives details).
It's now a pile of fibreglass bits on my drive which will probably sit there until either a) my kids have to sell the house to pay care home fees, or b) I work out when the local tip is open (seems to be based on moon phasing)

Sent from my Moto E (4) Plus using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: citoyen on September 25, 2019, 05:02:36 pm
I bought a couple of 'ripe and ready' avocados for lunch yesterday but they felt a bit firm so I didn't dare cut into either.

Took the chance on one for today's lunch, and it was absolutely perfect - neither too firm nor too soft.

Fingers crossed the second won't be past edible by tomorrow...
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: ian on September 25, 2019, 08:29:49 pm
That doesn't compute. They're never edible.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: Ham on September 25, 2019, 09:03:18 pm
I bought a couple of 'ripe and ready' avocados for lunch yesterday but they felt a bit firm so I didn't dare cut into either.

Took the chance on one for today's lunch, and it was absolutely perfect - neither too firm nor too soft.

Fingers crossed the second won't be past edible by tomorrow...

Don't confuse an avocado  with a conference pear, for which the moment of ripeness is approximately 3 Planck units.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: hellymedic on September 25, 2019, 09:35:15 pm
Conference pears still stone hard in my fruit bowl after 8 days. Just about managed to cut one up this morning. It was OK.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: citoyen on July 11, 2020, 05:19:26 pm
Was about to order a new bottom bracket for my cross bike. Then, while looking for something entirely unrelated, I found a spare bottom bracket that I ordered some time ago and had completely forgotten about.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: Hot Flatus on July 11, 2020, 05:20:48 pm
Yeah...I'm at that age too.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: citoyen on July 11, 2020, 06:58:47 pm
Yeah...I'm at that age too.
What I really can’t fathom is why I ever bought a bottom bracket I obviously didn’t need.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: Kim on July 11, 2020, 07:15:19 pm
Yeah...I'm at that age too.
What I really can’t fathom is why I ever bought a bottom bracket I obviously didn’t need.

How's the one on your cross bike doing?  (just a hunch)
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: citoyen on July 11, 2020, 08:50:18 pm
Yeah...I'm at that age too.
What I really can’t fathom is why I ever bought a bottom bracket I obviously didn’t need.

How's the one on your cross bike doing?  (just a hunch)
Well, it was doing fine until I removed the crank for routine maintenance and the bearings came out with it.

The only reason I hadn’t already ordered a new BB was because I was debating whether or not to attempt to put the bearings back rather than replace it.

Finding the spare BB makes it an easy decision.

Most of my bikes take a Shimano HTII road  type BB, so it’s hard to know which one I had in mind when I bought it.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: Wowbagger on July 11, 2020, 09:03:22 pm
I broke my pipe cutter a few years ago, but I had to search the Cupboard Of Doom for some strimmer line last week, which turned into a full-scale tidying up and cull of dead bicycle tyres and assorted car stuff (haven't owned a car since 2007) I expect will become really handy some time next month.

Halfway through this operation, the strimmer line was found!

For me, the discovery of the item for which the Search was Organdised signals that the search is over.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: ian on July 13, 2020, 09:56:14 am
Oddly, I think I need a bottom bracket and was going to buy one about two years ago (or pay someone, like I'm going to fit a bottom bracket, ha), but the bike with the wobbly crank is still in the garage, still wobbly.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: TheLurker on September 25, 2020, 07:09:11 am
[bone-headed-ness excised]

Yesterday I managed to reduce my performance review from a scheduled half an hour to a few seconds under five minutes.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: citoyen on September 25, 2020, 07:57:05 am
Dkuatb!

https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=112567.0
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: citoyen on October 07, 2020, 02:32:00 pm
I just worked out the solution to a problem that has been bugging me for months.

We upload our pages to the printer through an Indesign plugin. This creates a print ready PDF, and automatically converts images to the correct colour profile as part of the process, so you don't even need to do that for yourself.

Only trouble is, the system has trouble handling certain image types. The ones that have been giving me particular grief are monochrome line art illustrations (in eps format). For some reason, it won't convert these from RGB to CMYK automatically, so you have to convert them manually before uploading or the printer will reject them. Only trouble is, the converted images end up with >300% ink coverage, so again the printer rejects them... and this has been absolutely baffling me. This really shouldn't be an issue with vector images, should it?

The thing I just worked out is that the reason for this is because Illustrator is converting the RGB black to a four-colour black rather than a true black, so fixing the problem is as simple as adjusting the swatch details to set CMY to 0 and K to 100.

Tbh, I should probably be posting this in the 'I'm a fecking div' thread. It's that bleeding obvious. FFS.  :facepalm:
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: ian on October 07, 2020, 03:01:26 pm
Doesn't preflight pick that one up? RGB to CMYK always stuffs up pure black and white. I am sure that in a time long, long ago and in a galaxy far, far away 'Force True Black' used to be a setting.

I don't care anymore, I do everything in RGB these days, a beneficial curse of our pretend paperless world. I almost miss fucking up spot colours.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: citoyen on October 07, 2020, 03:22:46 pm
Doesn't preflight pick that one up?

I've set my preflight profile to flag up registration colour but that only picks it up if it's 400%. I'll have to see if there's an option to set a custom threshold...

Quote
RGB to CMYK always stuffs up pure black and white.

You'd imagine I might have known that already. It's not exactly esoteric knowledge.

Anyway, it's very satisfying when you work these things out for yourself, hence posting it in this thread.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: ian on October 07, 2020, 04:15:24 pm
I believe everyone in the publishing world has made the same mistake previously, mostly because you expect computers to figure that shit out and really they're just reporting back to their AI overlords and then having a big laugh at our expense. Stupid humans.

Admittedly, things are a lot less pedantic these days. I remember when typesetters would get sniffy about everything and anything. The downside is that occasionally get interesting output and they shrug. We printed what you sent, boss. But everyone is green!

If I recall there's an option in the standard InDesign preflight to set a custom max ink coverage (as some printers get iffy, and no one wants soggy paper gumming up their rollers).
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: citoyen on October 07, 2020, 04:32:21 pm
I believe everyone in the publishing world has made the same mistake previously, mostly because you expect computers to figure that shit out and really they're just reporting back to their AI overlords and then having a big laugh at our expense. Stupid humans.

In my defence, it's not really my job to know this kind of shit, but whenever I ask the production manager or art director about this, they just shrug...  :facepalm:

Quote
If I recall there's an option in the standard InDesign preflight to set a custom max ink coverage

There may have been once, but not now. I expect they removed it because it was too useful. That seems to be the way they work - every new release of Indesign seems to have [that feature I liked] taken out.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: ian on October 07, 2020, 04:54:48 pm
Since a freak incident with the mothership's main drive plasma torus incinerated our design team and the command deck decided to outsource everything (but didn't provide a budget), I'm a one-man and a two-cat shop, so I don't have to use InDesign anymore, I use Affinity Publisher (which is nicer, but if you're tied into a particular production workflow, then your hands are tied).

Technically, I shouldn't be doing any of this. As I was everyone's favoured Thought Leader, senior management decided to capitalize on this by 'promoting' me from the job they said I was good at to one that I'm demonstrably not good at (Product Strategy, ha). The theory is that I send stuff to marketing, but everything they do involves Powerpoint and fucked-up picture aspect ratios. And documents where the text isn't aligned to baseline grids, columns aren't balanced, nothing is placed right, and oh god, it makes me cry. So I redo it and everything says 'gosh, that's so much better than marketing do.'

It also means my inbox fills up with requests to update documents, presentations, and infographics from years ago and requests that I do presentations and talks and not send the dull people. Alas, no more Ninja Cat, Bad Alice or Taylor Swift vs Hitler. Say hello to the relentless rat-a-tat-tat of bullet points.

This might, of course, explain why I'm in banished to the product gulag. I'm hoping to be demoted.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: citoyen on October 07, 2020, 05:42:42 pm
Your marketing department sounds scarily similar to ours.

- No appreciation that design is a skilled job.
- No appreciation that our designer is employed to produce our content, and excuse me but there are implications if you're giving her extra jobs to do, especially when she barely has time to do the stuff she is actually paid for out of our budget. But if she says no, she's deemed to be being 'difficult'. >:(
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: ian on October 07, 2020, 06:09:55 pm
I think, alas, that's all marketing departments. No one values design, they just assume that web 'designers' can do it (no, knowing CSS isn't design). UX isn't design. Being able to open Powerpoint isn't a design skill. Pages in print and online should look good. They should be balanced, have white space and not be too dense, direct the readers' attention, they should flow, have a narrative structure. Merely using the right colours and fonts is not design.

It doesn't help that the person who does a lot of our presentations sounds like she's just run 10 city blocks, necked an industrial canister of Red Bull, and taken a lungful of helium before she starts. Her first two dozen words come out simultaneously and the rest then flutter around like startled birds.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: SteveC on October 07, 2020, 06:18:49 pm
It doesn't help that the person who does a lot of our presentations sounds like she's just run 10 city blocks, necked an industrial canister of Red Bull, and taken a lungful of helium before she starts. Her first two dozen words come out simultaneously and the rest then flutter around like startled birds.
Wonderful image!  :D
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: ElyDave on October 07, 2020, 10:38:30 pm
Your marketing department sounds scarily similar to ours.

- No appreciation that design is a skilled job.
- No appreciation that our designer is employed to produce our content, and excuse me but there are implications if you're giving her extra jobs to do, especially when she barely has time to do the stuff she is actually paid for out of our budget. But if she says no, she's deemed to be being 'difficult'. >:(

I am technical, in that people come to me and ask how do I do XXX which is normally some kind of specific calculation method buried in the library of my head, or an esoteric interpretation of regulations (last night it was regulatory aspects of pet cremation!)

I produce a number, or numbers or an opinion, i can write the right stuff, with a narrative that flows, but I don't do visual appeal (ask my wife)

I have no illusion that I can present why and how those numbers appear, other than to fellow engineers. That's  where I bring in our design team or junior  consultants who are in the main of the snowflake generation to make my number look swanky.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: ian on October 08, 2020, 09:43:14 am
The problem is that in many large businesses, anything that can't be tied to revenue is seen as a cost. And we know what happens to costs.

I like pictures because I'm simple so have some empathy with other simples, but to be fair taking complex ideas and turning them into something that someone can just look at and say 'ah!' is a skill. Equally so is making it interesting and approachable.

Honestly, just turning this shit into bullet points and spraying them over slides like they were caught in the middle of a relationship spat between Bonnie and Clyde doesn't help. But it's a lot cheaper. The irony of my career is that the worse I am at a job, the more they pay me.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: citoyen on October 08, 2020, 10:03:54 am
That’s not the Peter principle, is it? I think that’s something slightly different.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on October 08, 2020, 10:39:49 am
I have a very low opinion of graphical designers, based on experience. Every company that I've worked for where they had a designer for layouts and documents made a complete pig's ear of setting standards.
Give them a single document and they could make it look pretty.

Ask them to set standards and they were a complete Dido (as in Dido Harding). Digression; we should flood the net with content using that term; "He made a complete and utter Dido of it." "Less useful than a Dido." etc

Screw ups like writing a layout standard document that specified a colour palette for graphics - then producing graphics not using that palette. Exporting their graphics and not noticing the export had converted a monobloc RGB fill to something completely different. Setting a 'company standard font' that isn't available on Windows PCs.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: ian on October 08, 2020, 10:57:52 am
Well, like any job, the people doing it aren't equal. I'd suggest that if they can't follow their own guidelines, they're just crap.

We used to have a great team then they got replaced with a shit team. Well, they were mostly new graduates from one of those courses that keep minor higher education institutions in business. No experience or eye for design, and like all people that age they wanted to be working on exciting publications and the web and not dull business documents. Of course, everyone thinking they were shit made the business decision to outsource design all the easier*, no one was going to fight to keep them.

There's also the tyranny of web designers who aren't designers, they just know about web pages, CMS, document models, and CSS etc. Which are useful skills, but aren't design. Five minutes on the internet should remind anyone of this.

*this is how it works, isn't it? Downsize or remove the team of good, experienced people, replace them with someone cheaper who does a crap job, and declare a fait accompli.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: Mr Larrington on October 08, 2020, 11:09:31 am
Ask them to set standards and they were a complete Dido (as in Dido Harding). Digression; we should flood the net with content using that term; "He made a complete and utter Dido of it." "Less useful than a Dido." etc

El Reg has taken to calling La Harding Queen Of Carnage.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on October 08, 2020, 11:12:11 am
Well, like any job, the people doing it aren't equal. I'd suggest that if they can't follow their own guidelines, they're just crap.

We used to have a great team then they got replaced with a shit team. Well, they were mostly new graduates from one of those courses that keep minor higher education institutions in business. No experience or eye for design, and like all people that age they wanted to be working on exciting publications and the web and not dull business documents. Of course, everyone thinking they were shit made the business decision to outsource design all the easier*, no one was going to fight to keep them.

There's also the tyranny of web designers who aren't designers, they just know about web pages, CMS, document models, and CSS etc. Which are useful skills, but aren't design. Five minutes on the internet should remind anyone of this.

*this is how it works, isn't it? Downsize or remove the team of good, experienced people, replace them with someone cheaper who does a crap job, and declare a fait accompli.

I have no design skills. Ask me to draw something or think of a creative, attractive layout and I will stare at you, blank faced, blank mind.

However even I know that light blue text on a darker blue background is a shite design. That's what the graphical designer specified for my only help documentation. Took me 1 minute to get approval to completely ignore the 'company design office'.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: ian on October 08, 2020, 12:33:12 pm
Our former leader hated our colour palette very much (sensibly, it stretched even a definition of lurid, you'd wish you were colour blind if you'd seen it). But even she couldn't change it. They've at least jettisoned the bright green now so it's bit less like the afterimages you get after staring at the sun for a while. We still have the vaginal red-pink, though.

Anyway, she resolved her colour palette issues by leaving. I feel sure the group's favourite newspaper won't be getting a bright purple and green overhaul any time soon.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: citoyen on October 08, 2020, 08:19:53 pm
Setting a 'company standard font' that isn't available on Windows PCs.

Eh? Do you mean not included in the default windows set? This is easily overcome by purchasing a licence to use the fonts in question.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: ian on October 08, 2020, 08:33:26 pm
Our bunch got a custom font but not a company-wide licence to use it. The secret service has an elite who are licensed to kill. The mothership has an elite who are licensed to use our weird jaggy corporate font.

The rest of us have Calibri Bland and it's forever unreconciled ligatures.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: citoyen on October 08, 2020, 09:23:02 pm
I may be missing something here, but what's the scenario where everyone in the whole company needs a licence to use the corporate font?
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: ian on October 08, 2020, 09:50:29 pm
To be fair, they don't, but they put it in all the templates, so unless you have an abiding love for Courier, well. Since fixed with every kind of Calibri.

But use is so restrictive, I've never got a licence, not even when I was supposed to have one. It's quite possible the limited number of licences was brand police bullshit. They were the same people who gave us the after-image purple and green colour scheme. It didn't keep me awake at night, but really, if you want people to use a font as your brand identity, making it possible would be a start. When they insisted on it, I sent my stuff to them to change the heading font, which they didn't do because they were 'too busy.' Presumably changing the font of headings. I spent a year being told I was using the 'wrong font.'
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: citoyen on October 08, 2020, 09:55:02 pm
every kind of Calibri

The worst kind.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: ian on October 08, 2020, 09:56:40 pm
We used to use Source Sans Pro which was a lot nicer. And the ligatures work.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on October 09, 2020, 08:36:04 am
Setting a 'company standard font' that isn't available on Windows PCs.

Eh? Do you mean not included in the default windows set? This is easily overcome by purchasing a licence to use the fonts in question.

They specified a specific version of Helvetica; at that time only available via licensing and special drivers.

Helvetica is not very different to Arial (yes I am aware of differences). So this designer decided it would be a sensible use of corporate funds to force purchasing fonts for every single computer and printer in the company (thousands of computers) rather than choose a font that was available for free.

This was in a time when all designers used Macs and resolutely ignored the foibles of Windows PCs.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: citoyen on October 09, 2020, 09:58:35 am
They specified a specific version of Helvetica; at that time only available via licensing and special drivers.

Special drivers? How odd. Is this a truetype vs opentype thing?

Quote
Helvetica is not very different to Arial (yes I am aware of differences).

Indeed. Neither different enough nor interesting enough. Just a clueless choice.

Quote
So this designer decided it would be a sensible use of corporate funds to force purchasing fonts for every single computer and printer in the company (thousands of computers) rather than choose a font that was available for free.

Again, I'm probably missing something but why would the whole company need the corporate font? What were you using it for?

Anyway, sounds like you were very wise to override the designer.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: ian on October 09, 2020, 10:22:28 am
Big blocks of Helvetica (or it's amateur sibling, Arial) scare me. It's a nice heading font, but please not columns of the stuff. There was a while when all organizations thought putting everything in Helvetica made them look edgily contemporary. An outbreak of Helvetica and cappuchino machine in reception. It just gave everyone eyestrain and a need to visit the loo halfway through every meeting.

In ancient times, Helvetica would have been a Adobe Type 1 font, which required wrangling to work on Windows (was it Adobe Type Kit, or somesuch, there's nothing Adobe couldn't make more complicated). These days opentype and ttf work across OS.

Properly thought out style guides will have a standard, readily available font, given that you can't guarantee to have a font available elsewhere, so that great Powerpoint presentation looks even worse (you can embed a font, if the licence allows, and if you remember the technical incantations to make it happen, it's never the bloody default).
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: citoyen on October 09, 2020, 10:46:22 am
In ancient times, Helvetica would have been a Adobe Type 1 font, which required wrangling to work on Windows (was it Adobe Type Kit, or somesuch, there's nothing Adobe couldn't make more complicated).

That does sound familiar now you mention it. Not sure I've ever had to deal with Adobe Type 1 in real life - TrueType has been the default for at least as long as I've been a grown-up.

Quote
Properly thought out style guides will have a standard, readily available font, given that you can't guarantee to have a font available elsewhere, so that great Powerpoint presentation looks even worse (you can embed a font, if the licence allows, and if you remember the technical incantations to make it happen, it's never the bloody default).

Oh! Powerpoint. Now the penny drops.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: ian on October 09, 2020, 10:56:08 am
Type 1 (and 3) were Postscript fonts, so could be sent directly to Postscript RIPs (and Macs could process them for screen display natively – as vector outlines, they have to be rasterized and anti-aliased, Windows initially couldn't without appropriate software). But they were proprietary tech for Adobe, so you (and Apple/Microsoft) had to pay them for the tools. Apple created the initial TTF spec to get around this, and that gain cross-platform support, but licensing deals meant that for a long time, some key fonts were only available as type 1/3.

There you go, publishing nerddom.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: robgul on October 09, 2020, 11:50:06 am
Type 1 (and 3) were Postscript fonts, so could be sent directly to Postscript RIPs (and Macs could process them for screen display natively – as vector outlines, they have to be rasterized and anti-aliased, Windows initially couldn't without appropriate software). But they were proprietary tech for Adobe, so you (and Apple/Microsoft) had to pay them for the tools. Apple created the initial TTF spec to get around this, and that gain cross-platform support, but licensing deals meant that for a long time, some key fonts were only available as type 1/3.

There you go, publishing nerddom.

. . . . I'm getting lost with all this technoclogy stuff - I grew up in the printing industry with hot-metal typesetting, repro pulls and then paste-up* for artwork - followed by camera, negatives, planning and printing down plates for REAL printing machines.

Nobody has mentioned Univers which was the great new typeface that influenced graphic design way back in the 60s 

* oh for the aroma of Cow gum

Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: citoyen on October 09, 2020, 11:55:21 am
I only know about hot metal because of the 80s sitcom.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on October 09, 2020, 11:57:15 am
Basically what Ian said.

I couldn't directly override the designer. This was a large public body and getting this decision changed involved multiple painful meetings. Suggestions of 'Using Arial will save many many thousands' were countered with 'professional designers have decided that every letter, document and missive will be in Helvetica therefore we have to do it.'

Head - Wall
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: ian on October 09, 2020, 12:06:14 pm
I'm too young to have seen hot metal in the wild, I'm a child of DTP. I have seen them do it and it's pretty amazing the level of effort that used to go into typesetting a page and printing an entire publication. If you look at publications in the 1980s, you can see that analogue to digital change.

I have fond memories of making camera-ready copy though. Sticking things to sheets of card, applying headings and captions with Letraset etc. It was like craft club for grown-ups. But with less glitter.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: Mr Larrington on October 09, 2020, 12:18:46 pm
Once the hippies discovered web offset printing everyone* could be a graphic designer, which is why some people still think cerise text on a chartreuse background is somehow “cool”.

* FSVO etc
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: Tim Hall on October 09, 2020, 12:39:43 pm
I had a summer job the year I completed my O levels, so '77, sweeping up at a print shop. There was a hot metal clever thing, with a pot of molten lead, that produced lines of type and noise. A dark room with huge negatives, touched up with what looked like red paint. A machine powered by witchcraft that did litho printing.  A bunch of Scary Women doing folding and finishing and Lewd Remarks.


Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: Jakob W on October 09, 2020, 01:08:59 pm
When I worked for a Certain University Publisher in their online journals team, most of my colleagues had started as apprentice typesetters in the early 80s. Though hot metal was on the way out when they'd started, they'd all trained as Monotype comps, before moving through photosetting and on to the various digital typesetting systems; they were now mostly XML-wranglers. The head of the design team had driven offset litho presses for many years, and was a still a photosetting guru. We still had a library of page negatives for OOP books, that occasionally got dug into for scanning to produce reprints; if they'd gone awol, it was usually a case of guillotining spines and feeding the block through a sheet-fed scanner before cleaning the scans up in an editing programme (oh what a fun job that was...).
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: ian on October 09, 2020, 01:17:04 pm
Certain University Press still has a nice collection of ye olde printing machinery.

Sadly, my first job in publishing involved Framemaker+SGML, QuarkXpress, and 3B2. Years of therapy mean I can now write the names of all three products in the same sentence without having an episode.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: Zipperhead on October 09, 2020, 02:20:32 pm
Certain University Press still has a nice collection of ye olde printing machinery.

Sadly, my first job in publishing involved Framemaker+SGML, QuarkXpress, and 3B2. Years of therapy mean I can now write the names of all three products in the same sentence without having an episode.

I remember how expensive 3B2's were when they first came out, children they only had 100mb disk drives. 100mb - you wouldn't put a phone in your pocket with such a small amount of storage.

Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: robgul on October 09, 2020, 03:31:14 pm
I had a summer job the year I completed my O levels, so '77, sweeping up at a print shop. There was a hot metal clever thing, with a pot of molten lead, that produced lines of type and noise. A dark room with huge negatives, touched up with what looked like red paint. A machine powered by witchcraft that did litho printing.  A bunch of Scary Women doing folding and finishing and Lewd Remarks.

The metal pot and lines of type thing would have either been a Linotype or Intertype machine - where I worked we had 4 of them and the operators used to warm meat pies for their lunch on the edge of the molten lead pot!

Your description sums it all up for me - working in the printing industry from 1963 until about 1982 - even in that time there were massive changes in technologies - and working practices, but that's whole different scenario.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: TheLurker on October 09, 2020, 03:46:47 pm
I remember a (secondary) school  trip in the middle 1970s, possibly '77,  and we were shown this marvellous new computer based typesetting (for books rather than magazines) thing using a PDP series mini.  IIRC it was still in the prototype stage but I know* that the customer was Clays of Bungay and I'm fairly sure it was a PDP-8.


*I was** the sort of obnoxious swot who reads frontispieces and publisher details so when the mannie showing us around said, "...it's for Clays" I piped up with, "Do you mean the Chaucer Press?"  Got a very strange look from both my teacher and the mannie.


**Still am.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: Jakob W on October 09, 2020, 03:55:12 pm
Interesting; these days printers tend to take a (more or less...) print-ready file, and don't bother themselves with the typesetting bit (often outsourced overseas, though I note that some publishers have brought typesetting if not in-house at least back to UK shops - I suppose it means you can shout at someone in the same time zone...)

As I'm apparently amongst fellow nerds, I will leave this link here - a fundraising Poster for the London Centre for Book Arts, which I have been sorely tempted by: https://londonbookarts.org/product/fundraising-edition-output-001-imperial-wallchart/
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: citoyen on October 09, 2020, 03:58:01 pm
the customer was Clays of Bungay

Clays were the printers for the company I worked for in the late 90s. Had a very enjoyable visit and tour of the works. They put us up at their own b&b and gave us dinner, at which I made a tit of myself by knocking over a bottle of red wine.

One of the things I remember from the tour is seeing a person sitting on his own at a computer, painstakingly tidying up scanned pages as per Jakob W's description. It looked an incredibly tedious job - he was doing it literally letter by letter.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: Tim Hall on October 09, 2020, 04:11:10 pm
There's a print shop in the Amberley Chalk Pits museum (open again with the usual Covid restrictions). The guide-behind-the-counter when I visited last year came from a hot metal background and could talk and talk and talk about it.

https://www.amberleymuseum.co.uk/explore/explore-industry/printers-workshop/ (https://www.amberleymuseum.co.uk/explore/explore-industry/printers-workshop/)
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: ian on October 09, 2020, 04:23:36 pm
Certain University Press still has a nice collection of ye olde printing machinery.

Sadly, my first job in publishing involved Framemaker+SGML, QuarkXpress, and 3B2. Years of therapy mean I can now write the names of all three products in the same sentence without having an episode.

I remember how expensive 3B2's were when they first came out, children they only had 100mb disk drives. 100mb - you wouldn't put a phone in your pocket with such a small amount of storage.

This 3B2 was (is) typesetting software (now Arbortext Advanced Print Publisher). Basically a publishing environment that lets you create XML, PDF, HTML, and multiple languages and other versions of documents and publications and juggle them simultaneously (I know, is there any form of juggling). I don't know if the UI has improved, but the first version was written by Finestre herself, who being the Demon of Such things, probably did it for the giggles.

Back in the late 90s/early 00s we made all the UK typesetters update their workflows for this kind of thing. Once they'd done, we outsourced all our work all to India and the Phillipines.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: Jakob W on October 09, 2020, 04:23:57 pm
Clearly Clay's has a long tradition of hospitality - sadly I moved jobs before I got invited along for one of the works tours, though my book production colleagues went every so often (they probably placed £hundreds of thousands in print orders a year, so fair enough...)

Apparently they were there when Clay's were printing the final Harry Potter book - the security precautions were apparently incredibly severe, though there were then tabloid journos offering to buy my colleagues drinks, having somehow figured out they'd been on site that day, so perhaps they were the right side of paranoid...
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: Kim on October 09, 2020, 07:23:00 pm
I had a summer job the year I completed my O levels, so '77, sweeping up at a print shop. There was a hot metal clever thing, with a pot of molten lead, that produced lines of type and noise. A dark room with huge negatives, touched up with what looked like red paint. A machine powered by witchcraft that did litho printing.  A bunch of Scary Women doing folding and finishing and Lewd Remarks.

The metal pot and lines of type thing would have either been a Linotype or Intertype machine - where I worked we had 4 of them and the operators used to warm meat pies for their lunch on the edge of the molten lead pot!

Your description sums it all up for me - working in the printing industry from 1963 until about 1982 - even in that time there were massive changes in technologies - and working practices, but that's whole different scenario.

Having recently watched - with a general sense of awe - a video about how those things actually worked (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzilaRwoMus), I reckon they were perhaps the pinnacle of fiendish and complex mechanical engineering to bodge around the fact that nobody had invented proper computers yet.

The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there...
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: ian on October 09, 2020, 08:27:12 pm
It was quite sad back when digital was taking over, these people had amazing skills. But I knew they were on the cusp of being ctrl-alt-deleted by people like me.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: perpetual dan on October 09, 2020, 10:44:54 pm
At my first graduate job, with a well know Swedish telecoms equipment maker, we used FrameMaker for all our word processing. I came to rather like it, and it took a while in academia before LaTeX became a worthwhile skill to acquire.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: quixoticgeek on October 09, 2020, 10:49:29 pm

Now I'm wondering if I'm the only one round these parts still using LaTeX for writing stuff. Much nicer quality output than anything made with Word et al.

Anyone else a fan of LaTeX  ?

J
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: Gattopardo on October 09, 2020, 11:10:37 pm
No idea what that even is.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: Pingu on October 09, 2020, 11:11:45 pm
The mutant star goat is approaching, so it's time for you all to board the B-Ark.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: Diver300 on October 10, 2020, 12:06:46 am
I had a summer job the year I completed my O levels, so '77, sweeping up at a print shop. There was a hot metal clever thing, with a pot of molten lead, that produced lines of type and noise. A dark room with huge negatives, touched up with what looked like red paint. A machine powered by witchcraft that did litho printing.  A bunch of Scary Women doing folding and finishing and Lewd Remarks.

The metal pot and lines of type thing would have either been a Linotype or Intertype machine - where I worked we had 4 of them and the operators used to warm meat pies for their lunch on the edge of the molten lead pot!

Your description sums it all up for me - working in the printing industry from 1963 until about 1982 - even in that time there were massive changes in technologies - and working practices, but that's whole different scenario.

Having recently watched - with a general sense of awe - a video about how those things actually worked (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzilaRwoMus), I reckon they were perhaps the pinnacle of fiendish and complex mechanical engineering to bodge around the fact that nobody had invented proper computers yet.

The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there...
I find it of general interest that automatic gearboxes for cars contained, and to some extent modern ones still do contain, what is in effect a double sided printed circuit board for hydraulic valves and the pipes that join them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Rk7BNFo-54 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Rk7BNFo-54) shows one.

Early auto boxes could be 3 speed, with throttle input and manual override, without electricity. There are 10 - 20 separate valves needed for that to function, and they have to be assembled into a compact unit at low cost, with little room for error. Loads of separate pipes and connectors just wouldn't be small enough or cheap enough.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: rafletcher on October 10, 2020, 07:52:16 am
I managed to get our winter load of logs from the road, where they’re tipped, round to the back of the house, and stacked,  without getting soaked by rain.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: robgul on October 10, 2020, 08:08:18 am
Clearly Clay's has a long tradition of hospitality - sadly I moved jobs before I got invited along for one of the works tours, though my book production colleagues went every so often (they probably placed £hundreds of thousands in print orders a year, so fair enough...)

Apparently they were there when Clay's were printing the final Harry Potter book - the security precautions were apparently incredibly severe, though there were then tabloid journos offering to buy my colleagues drinks, having somehow figured out they'd been on site that day, so perhaps they were the right side of paranoid...

One of my daughters is Senior Editor at a large publisher and deals with Richard Clay, The Chaucer Press for a lot of her books* - as well as nearby to Bungay printer, William Clowes at Beccles for whom I worked (in London) back in the day.   I understand she is looked after on the visits to Bungay.

* think J K Rowling in her alter-ego and a some other high-profile authors.
Title: Small victories
Post by: perpetual dan on October 10, 2020, 10:28:37 am

Now I'm wondering if I'm the only one round these parts still using LaTeX for writing stuff. Much nicer quality output than anything made with Word et al.

Anyone else a fan of LaTeX  ?

J
Work mostly do things in google drive or markdown, so not as an everyday thing.
I’d reach for LaTeX again for anything substantial, and I think my CV is still in it.
Title: Re: Small victories
Post by: Jakob W on October 10, 2020, 11:20:32 am
I've used LaTeX for some things in the past, but for much of my current writing it has drawbacks: Getting it to play nicely with Windows (and thus my library of better fonts than Computer Modern) is bit of a pain; last I checked there still wasn't a decent reference package for the humanities that allowed for the use of primary sources (at least without much pain); and, most importantly, the workflow for almost all of my pro clients is writing and editing in Word (using Word's change tracking and commenting tools) - it then gets passed to designers, who presumably use InDesign or some other proper layout and typesetting tool. I might investigate and see if anything's changed.