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Old 01-19-2006, 12:04 PM   #1
ElyseC
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Default Upgrade process for small newspaper?

I'm looking for thoughts and tips for helping a small publisher make a plan for and survive the transition of upgrading to new machines and current software. I'm trying to break this down into manageable steps and stages, keeping mindful of a budget befitting their size and the fact that they never have the luxury of "down time."

Picture a small publisher (7-8 Macs, mostly blue & white G3 machines, but at least one beige G3 and one 17" G4 Powerbook) producing a couple of small, weekly newspapers, special inserts and advertisers on regular, unyielding deadlines.

Currently, for a whole variety of reasons (not the least of which is budget) machines in daily production (all but the G4 Powerbook) find themselves still on OS9.2, producing with older versions of Photoshop and QuarkXPress 4. They've pushed these machines about as far as they can and naturally spend (too) much time babying the apps, running one thing at a time, fussing with font troubles and jumping extra hoops to keep on schedule.

They know they must face replacing old machines and go to OSX all around. They also know they're facing a huge cost to upgrade all their apps. Most all the other publishers in the region have switched to InDesign and they're debating such a switch, too, but are rightfully concerned about keeping up with the unyielding deadlines as well as fitting the budget.

They have at least six licenses for QX and something less than that for Photoshop (they don't need to run it on all machines), plus other assorted apps. I'm suggesting that, if they're going to switch to ID, this would be the time for it, because, with all their legacy files being QX4, ID will open them, which is not so for QX5 and 6 files. I'm thinking that, going from QX4 to current will cost them nearly as much out of pocket as switching to ID, but the QX-to-ID learning curve also has a time (and therefore money) cost and there are those pesky deadlines to be met.

As it is now, they PDF everything that goes to press, so they could, conceivably, stick with QX and not care what others like them are doing, because they don't need to interact with them anyway.

Hoping against hope, I searched through Adobe's site and could find no mention of how much it would cost to upgrade from any version of Photoshop older than v7 and CS1, and of course nothing like a cross-grade offer to jump ship from QX.

If you've been there and done that with a small company like this, replacing virtually all their machines and bringing all software to current versions (switching OSs and vital software):
-- what 1-2-3-step options do they have?
-- what worked and didn't work that you tried?

   
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Old 01-19-2006, 02:06 PM   #2
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elysc: I'm thinking that, going from QX4 to current will cost them nearly as much out of pocket as switching to ID, but the QX-to-ID learning curve also has a time (and therefore money) cost and there are those pesky deadlines to be met.
I can't give you any real advice but from reading here and there, I wonder if they might contact Adobe and talk with them about converting and that Adobe might just make them a very nice offer on a package of ID and/or the CS2 suite...it certainly wouldn't hurt to ask...

Adobe might also have suggestions for the transition...perhaps it might be phased in?

Maybe John might know of someone to contact?

Terrie

Last edited by terrie; 01-20-2006 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 01-23-2006, 05:24 PM   #3
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It there any chance they can find InDesign 2? When we made the move, I went to InD 2 on OS 9 first, and we ran both Xpress 4 and InD in parallel for a while. Once we had switched to InD altogether, we made the move to OSX.

But what is the compelling reason for them to abandon Quark? In our case, we had one (no OS X version of Xpress in sight, and our computer replacement cycle is such that we knew we would have to move to OS X.), but those circumstances don't exist now.

If the goal is to reduce the pain, stay with Quark and start a gradual upgrade of hardware. Make sure they have a chance to play with OSX before they go live in production, and emphasize over and over again that IF THEY TRY TO MAKE OS X BEHAVE LIKE OS 9 THEY WILL BE VERY, VERY UNHAPPY! (Yes, I'm yelling... This is EXTREMELY important for them to understand.)

If you want to chat about what we went through here in Toontown, feel free to give me a phone call. I'm in the office this week, but am taking next week off to do a kitchen reno.
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Old 01-25-2006, 01:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by djb
It there any chance they can find InDesign 2? When we made the move, I went to InD 2 on OS 9 first, and we ran both Xpress 4 and InD in parallel for a while. Once we had switched to InD altogether, we made the move to OSX.
I don't know of a way to get ID2, alas.

Quote:
But what is the compelling reason for them to abandon Quark? In our case, we had one (no OS X version of Xpress in sight, and our computer replacement cycle is such that we knew we would have to move to OS X.), but those circumstances don't exist now.

If the goal is to reduce the pain, stay with Quark and start a gradual upgrade of hardware. Make sure they have a chance to play with OSX before they go live in production,...
They're watching other papers, small and large, in the region go to ID and tell them how wonderful it is. I'm using IDCS myself and really like its features. I know there are some things in ID that they'd like and would be easier for them. OTOH, they're already familiar with QX and it would be no trivial thing to switch from it. I think, were they to switch, they'd still want to buy at least one QX upgrade, then start learning ID by creating the special supplements and other stand-alone publications with it. Then, when everyone's had a chance to work with ID a while on those things, switch the rest of the paper. Too bad they don't take one week off during the year. Hm...I wonder if the readership would be forgiving if they announced that they were going to be down and not publish one week to upgrade.

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If you want to chat about what we went through here in Toontown, feel free to give me a phone call. I'm in the office this week, but am taking next week off to do a kitchen reno.
Thanks very much. Offer noted and will probably take you up on it, but not just yet. Best of luck with the kitchen redo.

   
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Old 01-25-2006, 01:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ElyseC
I don't know of a way to get ID2, alas.

They're watching other papers, small and large, in the region go to ID and tell them how wonderful it is. I'm using IDCS myself and really like its features. I know there are some things in ID that they'd like and would be easier for them. OTOH, they're already familiar with QX and it would be no trivial thing to switch from it. I think, were they to switch, they'd still want to buy at least one QX upgrade, then start learning ID by creating the special supplements and other stand-alone publications with it. Then, when everyone's had a chance to work with ID a while on those things, switch the rest of the paper. Too bad they don't take one week off during the year. Hm...I wonder if the readership would be forgiving if they announced that they were going to be down and not publish one week to upgrade.

Thanks very much. Offer noted and will probably take you up on it, but not just yet. Best of luck with the kitchen redo.
I'd want them to come up with a compelling business case for switching to InD. And I suspect that they won't be able to. As much as I'm glad we moved from Xpress to InD, we had a business case at the time. If I had to make the same arguments today they would fall flat and we'd likely stay with Xpress.

Kitchen... Yeah, kitchen... Woo. Hoo.

Ah, well. An excuse to buy that brad nailer, at least, and I already got a belt sander out of the deal. ;-)

Don't hesitate to call if you want to bounce ideas back and forth.
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Old 01-25-2006, 01:46 PM   #6
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Thanks much, will call if needed. Good to hear the thoughts of one who has BTDT in the same industry. They'd be very happy to just upgrade machines and stick with XPress, but I know they'll have to upgrade Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat, as well. The latest version of Photoshop they have is 7 and I don't know about Acrobat, but I think it's 4. Illustrator I think is also v7.

   
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Old 01-30-2006, 09:25 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ElyseC
Thanks much, will call if needed. Good to hear the thoughts of one who has BTDT in the same industry. They'd be very happy to just upgrade machines and stick with XPress, but I know they'll have to upgrade Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat, as well. The latest version of Photoshop they have is 7 and I don't know about Acrobat, but I think it's 4. Illustrator I think is also v7.
Is Adobe still doing the upgrade from PShop to the Suite? That would get them going at a fair price.

If they're going to have to upgrade Illy, PS and Acro anyway, it makes sense to go to CS. If that's the direction, then they need to evaluate whether the cost of switching to InD is less than the additional cost of upgrading Xpress.

How many seats are we talking about? With a small circulation (town of 2500) I'm guessing only a few. That certainly changes the equation, and the personalities of the poeple being upgraded may come into play more than in a larger organization.

I'm really interested in knowing how this goes... Wish I was close enough to drop in for a visit and do some co-consulting.

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Old 01-30-2006, 12:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by djb
Is Adobe still doing the upgrade from PShop to the Suite? That would get them going at a fair price.

If they're going to have to upgrade Illy, PS and Acro anyway, it makes sense to go to CS. If that's the direction, then they need to evaluate whether the cost of switching to InD is less than the additional cost of upgrading Xpress.
I think they are, but don't know for sure.

Quote:
How many seats are we talking about? With a small circulation (town of 2500) I'm guessing only a few. That certainly changes the equation, and the personalities of the poeple being upgraded may come into play more than in a larger organization.
I think no more than five or six seats of QX, fewer of the Adobe apps, because they have one workstation pretty much dedicated to Photoshop work and maybe three machines tops for AI. Acrobat 4 is on at least two machines and the one modern machine, a G4 17" PB, is running QX 6.5 and whatever was current for AI, Photoshop and Acrobat as of six months or so ago. That machine is not for general production use, however.

Oh, and absolutely will personalities come into play in this.

Quote:
I'm really interested in knowing how this goes... Wish I was close enough to drop in for a visit and do some co-consulting.
You might enjoy comparing notes with them, yes. It's a very different situation from the Western Producer, a much smaller operation where everyone wears many hats, whatever hat is needed at that instant.

   
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Old 01-30-2006, 12:39 PM   #9
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Takes me back to my roots... In the mid 80s I worked for a small paper in northern BC as production manager. Six full time staff and a couple of part-timers, if memory serves. Town of 2500, mostly Mennonite and Mormon, maybe 4,000 in the immediate area.

Do I miss it? Nope.
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Old 01-31-2006, 06:57 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by djb
Takes me back to my roots... In the mid 80s I worked for a small paper in northern BC as production manager. Six full time staff and a couple of part-timers, if memory serves. Town of 2500, mostly Mennonite and Mormon, maybe 4,000 in the immediate area.
Sounds very similar, yes indeed, but replace the Mormons with Amish and add tourism based around quilting, antiques and the Amish.

   
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