From the Diaries: Postscript in Norway, February 1998

by admin on December 3, 2008

The other day I was looking for some financial papers at home and I found an old Creo logbook with some journal entries. I was a member of the Prescript team back in early 1998, the forerunner to the Normalizer tool in Prinergy. This is what I did as an application specialist for that team.

European Diary: Tuesday, 10th of February, 12:05 am

Olavsgoord Hotel, 20 km east of Oslo, Norway.

Long day. Got up this morning at 5:30 am to make an 8:00 am meeting with Matthieu, team leader of software support in Europe (Creo). He described the layout of the first client on my list, PDC of Norway. Their set-up is a bit interesting. They have a Platesetter 3244 with an Osgood [sic?] imagesetter and they are trying to migrate from an Unix OPI system to Windows NT. Whoa, great, Unix, just what I wanted to hear.
So I'm looking at the diagram of their workflow and fumbling for my cyanide capsule, and Matthieu whips out an eight page flat showing the Prescript bug. Seen it before, it's the missing-fill-in-tupe bug. The very same missing-fill-in-type bug that has been reported at five other sites. Absolutely no way to fix it in a separated workflow, the best I could do was to try some composite postscript at the site and cross my fingers, hard.
We didn't have much time to talk briefly before I had to go to the airport and catch my 9:30 am. I got up too early for the hotel breakfast so I had to wait until I got on the plane before grabbing a bite to eat. I'll say one for the Belgians, their airlines serve good breakfast food, or maybe I was just really hungry.
Bang, I get off the plane and it's nothing but hassles, hassles, getting some local currency, picking up my rental car, and making a phone to Halvor, my contact at PDC.
Norway is a beautiful country, or at least the party I saw from the highway. I managed to drive through the roundabouts without killing anybody, athough an old lady cut me off and gave me a dirty look.
I got to the site just before 2 o'clock and met with Halvor. Of course, he doesn't have just Prescript problems, he has a million Postscript problems, like every other lead hand of a pre-press shop in the world today. He gives me a tour, I ask him some questions and he gives me some answers, the next thing I know, I'm the one doing all the talking and there's a bunch of Norweigans crowding around, hanging on my every word like I'm the second coming of John the Baptist. Oooooo, smart move, big mouth. And of course, at that particular time, they get a Postscript error at the RIP.
Fortunately, it's the Unix RIP, but they ask me if I know what's wrong. I make a lucky guess (Actually no, I look up the Postscript error in the Red book) and it turns out to be an image not linking up properly.
Eventually, I settle down to business, after the morning shift goes home. The key to troubleshooting systems is simple and has worked so far to date. I make every mistake possible until the correct solution magically appears. The trick is to make your mistake quickly, never make the same mistake twice (wastes time) and don't screw up the system. As you can probably guess, I don't like an audience when I'm working, because to the uninformed it appears that I don't have a clue about what I'm doing.
To make a long boring story short, I get two of their files to work pouring composite Postscript along with examples of them not working when poured in separated fashion.
Now tomorrow, today I should say, all I have to do is get the pagelinks to do an OPI merge after imposing in Preps, which may be no easy thing to do. Their OPI workflow is still a bit of a mystery to me, and macvolume on the RAID is impossible to configure for job context in Prescript.
But before I try to figure that out, I'll have to try for a few hours sleep at least.


tom clifford December 3, 2008 at 7:06 pm

Long live PreScript!

Dave K December 4, 2008 at 11:09 am

PreScript – a character-builiding product designed for DJ.


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