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Studio Progress, Studio Non-Progress

I'm working on two applications for Autumn weekend festivals. The lead time for most of these is such that yes, in the Autumn I'm working on the Spring, and in at least late Spring I'm working on the Autumn. At any rate, after going through the process for one of these in the Spring entirely on-line, I'm perhaps a bit jaded. Or some other word. Anyway.

Both Autumn festivals are juried, as in they want to see samples of my work and of the Booth before inviting me in. For one of the two Autumn festivals, those samples may be submitted on a CD, the other however needs hard copy prints. And I'm... Hard copy? Really? And, I sell hard copy, folks, so you're getting potentially sell-able examples of my work (not that on a CD, or e-mailed, or via the web isn't as well).

Still, they're printed from the JPEG versions I use to put on-line for this purpose, so in one sense quality is limited. And, it is practice figuring out how to print using the new Mr. Printy which is important for other Studio 318 Booth related projects, so hey, all good, yes?
Still, there's that interesting, curious feeling. Hard copy? Really?

The other project is printing and packaging for sale Art Greeting Cards, which Herself and I started discussing about this time last year. With a year under the belt of Thinking About It, seems about time to actually be putting together some product and part of the concept is we can put together product pretty much all from here in Studio. No need to hire out printing, we can print our own.

The size prints that the one Autumn Weekend Festival want is on a par with the larger size greeting card we plan to offer. Basically, take a 21.6 by 27.9 cm sheet, fold in half on the shorter axis, and one now holds a 21 by 14 card. Print appropriately and the artwork is on one face of the fold, and information/credits on the opposite face, outside surfaces. Package this with an appropriately sized envelope and price accordingly and c'est voila, an Art Greeting Card.

I doubt we'll put much into Inventory by the next weekend festival (not this coming weekend, next after that), since I also want to replace matted inventory and we've more material on hand for that than we do for the cards. Still, it's good to see that A) we selected and purchased a good printer for the project and B) it is going to pan out, at least the production end.
Prices per card will be on the order of $2-$5 US, with the higher end price being a limited edition run as well as larger cards. Some of the pieces we've photographed will work quite well for smaller cards. Figuring out the printing logistics is not difficult. However, it does open a window on another problem, do I need to re-invest in an application or am I going to be able to do this with current applications.

Current applications does not include software that is so old it no longer runs in the current operating system. That's a different rant, however, about planned obsolescence and all, and I'm not going there today. So far, what I'm working on uses one of the sub-portions of Open Office which is free software, and I do recommend it after using it for a couple years now. At least the word processing and spreadsheet portions, and I use them a good deal. There is a drawing program as well (haven't opened it at all), a presentations program (vis-a-vis Powerpoint® from the Evil Empire) and a data base. I've studied the latter a bit, and the presentation program as well. It's been a while since I've done any public speaking or other teaching using a presentation. However, I think this one does a good job as well.

On the other hand, while it contributes a bit to the ability to print images, it isn't, per se, the best manner to go about document creation and printing. Based on past experience, neither is a word processor, believe it or not. Even though most word processor applications do provide a means to organise and print a document in a manner reflecting a published work, I've found that moving to applications that specialise in document layout is a better route for that.

Which is why I am considering should I upgrade one of the few applications from Microshaft I've ever felt they did a good bit in providing. Powerpoint®, Excel® and Word® dominate the market, though current news indicates that lead is slipping. I've little use for Word, in fact I use it so little and mostly work (as in Hospital) related that it is easy to dismiss on my part. The word processing in Open Office much more meets my needs and expectations, which are based on another major word processing package, WordPerfect®. And it's free (Open Office). Ditto for Excel®.

I got much better with Powerpoint®, and still see that as being one of the standards to reach for. Doesn't mean I like it. Nor did I ever purchase it; again, a big portion of my using this application related to Hospital.

I've very little use for Access® and I've also used that fairly extensively (guess where? Clues above!) and again, not on the planned purchase list. The data base app in Open Office is more akin to dBase® for those who've worked with such applications. I cut my data base teeth on Paradox® which originally Borland published, then sold over to Corel to include in Perfect Office (their response to Microshaft Office).

Publisher® from the Evil Empire, now, that one they did some good. Much more affordable than the Big Name in Publishing Software and with pretty much all the features of that BNiPS and even a few more that it didn't include. However, I'm not sure this Spendthrift Offspring of Unmarried Parents is in the mood to provide any more funding to the Evil Empire.

Not when there are (still unexplored) alternatives currently here on my PC.

Meanwhile, the metal is going up onto the roof of Big House. We are closer to the new roof being done, and it is good.

This entry was originally posted at http://madshutterbug.dreamwidth.org/665728.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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