The Midnight Writer
By Mike Lloret
As you may have gathered already, Ifm not entirely comfortable with the current all-electronic newsletter. Thatfs mostly because Ifm not familiar enough with the tools I need to use, and havenft been able to find the time to learn all of their arcane secrets. For two months running now, Ifve been unable to get Ann Colvillefs excellent illustration for her Blewtooth Blues series inserted into the .PDF file thatfs available for download on the TPC website. She and you have my apologies, and my assurance that itfs not for lack of trying.
Ifve been using MS Publisher to produce the AJ for many years since I finally gave up on Ami Pro, except for a brief—and very unsatisfactory— venture into using PageMaker, and I havenft had any real trouble with it. As far as I can tell, I still donft; it appears that Ifm having trouble with one of the Adobe products I have to use to produce a .PDF from the .PUB file. Maybe itfs related to PostScript fonts: Ifve gotten some odd error messages about fonts when the picture file did insert properly, and some strangely changed fonts and colors, too. But just because TrueType and PostScript fonts canft seem to get along and play well together, it remains a mystery to me why the insertion of a pretty much standard .JPG file should be affected.
Kevin Ryan has very kindly volunteered to produce an HTML version of the newsletter for those who prefer to read it online and in order to take advantage of active links and the like. Thatfs a great help and a real benefit for the TPC. But that version isnft ideal for printing.
It may be that you readers no longer need or want a version that can be downloaded and printed. Ifd certainly like to hear from you about the...ahem...issue, but meanwhile, Ifd like to ask for some help. What I need is someone who owns and is familiar with Adobe Acrobat (not just the reader, but Distiller and the like) and MS Publisher, and who would be willing to do the conversion every month. It should be a matter of only a few minutesf work, but it has been taking me many hours of retrying...to do unsuccessfully. Doing the editing and layout work for the Publisher version pretty much eats up one weekend a month for me, but it at least is something that I can do passably well. The prospect of spending many more hours trying—perhaps fruitlessly—to perform what should be the relatively simple task of producing a .PDF file is not a happy one. So Ifm asking for help.
Since I agreed to continue as AJ editor even though we went electronic, I intend to keep at it until at least the end of this year. After that, wefll see; Ifm now doing this out of duty rather than love, and if someone competent and motivated should appear and offer to take over the job, he or she could of course use whatever tools they prefer. But for now and at least until the end of the year, I really could use an Adobe wizard who also owns and can use MS Publisher. Please contact me at email@example.com if youfd like to volunteer.
Please donft contact me to suggest that I switch to WinWord, or PageMaker, or some other word processing or DTP application. Publisher is—for me—the best among the programs I know for what Ifm doing, I have tried others and found them either insufficiently powerful or insufficiently intuitive for the task, and I am frankly unwilling to invest a lot of my already scarce free time into learning still another way of producing a newsletter.
So if youfre able and willing to help in making the .PDF conversion easier and better, please contact me. If youfre not able to help but would like to state your opinion about the desirability of continuing production of this printable version of the AJ, please contact me. And if youfd like to submit an article for publication, please contact me (the submission deadline is the 15th of the month before publication).
Ifm looking forward to hearing from you.
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January , 2003
The Newsletter of the Tokyo PC Users Group
Submissions : Editor
Tokyo PC Users Group, Post Office Box 103, Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo 150-8691, JAPAN