The Midnight Writer - August 1998
by Mike Lloret
This issue of the Algorithmica Japonica is an example of one of life's "good news, bad news" situations.
The good news is that, thanks to the 'net, Publisher Paul Cipywnyk and I are able to put the newsletter together even though he is currently in Canada. The bad news is that he's going to be leaving Japan for good pretty soon, and will be leaving the Publisher's job some time this Fall. Most of the really hard work in producing the AJ, and much of the time-consuming work, is the Publisher's job, and it has honestly been a pleasure to work with him for the last couple of years. I'm really going to miss him; he's done a lot to preserve my last shreds of sanity. For the short term, he has very graciously agreed to stay on for a couple of months working long-distance, but we need a new Publisher very soon.
The way that the team works is that I do the copyediting and make any decisions about what is going to run when (this last is not too difficult, usually, because we rarely have too much material for an issue when the deadline rolls around), while Paul does the layout and graphics. This usually involves me sending copies of every article to him so that he can plug them into the pages roughly (and because he's a pro he does a rough edit, too...very helpful), then he sends me the draft and I do a more careful edit of the contents. I send this "beta" draft back to him, and he fills in the spaces with graphics or fillers, or reduces the font size, or adds pull quotes (like this box to the upper right), so that everything fits in perfectly. Then he sends it back to me, I do a final edit, and (usually) send it back to him for a final check. Then I print it out and get the resultant "camera ready master", together with Ann Colville's Babbitoon (she sends them to me special delivery, with a fax backup) and with the cover - usually produced by Stuart Woodward or Bernd Nurnberger, lately - inserted, to the printers, in time for them to deliver it to me so I can get them to the meeting. They also send some to Roland Hechtenberg so he can mail them to those who couldn't make the meeting.
It's a team effort, and we're all busy folks. I did the Publisher's job for a few issues before Paul generously volunteered for the job, and for awhile I was doing the folding and mailing as well, until first Ken Cotton, and then Roland, volunteered for that. Quite frankly, given my current work and living conditions, I am unable to do the Publisher's part of the job for even one issue. We need a volunteer, ladies and gentlemen, and quickly. I hope to get a flood of e-mail offers soon...
The other upcoming issue is elections. There is a form in this issue for you to fill out and send in with your nominations, and we'll be running a ballot in the September issue. I suggest that you discuss it among yourselves, especially with anyone you are thinking of nominating, in the TPC newsgroups or by e-mail, and get your nominations in soon.
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