Memories of Australia

by admin on March 12, 2008

True conversation between a Creo Canadian and a Creo Aussie:

Canuck: So our countries were both former British colonies right?
Aussie: Yeah, that's right.
Canuck: Didn't the Brits ship all the convicts to your continent?
Aussie: Well, at least we kept out the French.

I did a three-month tour of duty with Creo Australia way back in 2001, I had a fantastic time and my wife enjoyed herself even more, if that's possible. I was reminded of my Creo Australia days when Dennis of Melbourne commented on one my posts which triggered a few rounds of emails.

It turns out that he works on a Prinergy system that I upgraded from version one to version 2 back in 2001.  Small world, prepress.

I upgraded that system in a little town called Dubbo about 200 km north of Sydney, maybe more. It was 40 degree centigrade when I was there, at the end of a very long drought. The locusts had been driven into town crazed by the lack of moisture. They were everywhere, getting in the servers and ruining press runs by diving into the ink keys. I won't tell you what the washrooms looked like. In my last week there, the drought broke and I saw the heaviest thunderstorm of my life (And being an old Ottawa boy, that is saying something.)

Nutty upgrade. Not really an upgrade, technically speaking, the original gear was out of spec, so I was sent up with another server and told to port the Oracle database from one server to another. No official procedure to do that, but the GM of Australia had made a commitment and the local workflow specialists had declined the job. Which is where I entered the picture. After cracking a couple of Oracle reference books, it didn't turn out to be that hard.

Well, I don't remember anybody complaining afterwards. Anyways, it was the FIRST Prinergy one to version two upgrade, done at Alpine Press in Sydney, that took 36 hours and the customer had one CTP (out of three) down for 3 days until we got the firmware upgraded (done by the local team, like I had any clue about firmware).

Interestingly enough, the Dubbo shop and the Sydney shop had brothers as sys admins, Steve and Micheal Minney. Michael worked at the Dubbo shop and then the plant was closed down and the gear moved to Melbourne. Dennis told me he commuted out of Dubbo for a couple of years until he couldn't take the grind anymore. That's too bad, when a plant shuts down in a small town.

Steve's a good guy, he's been a Creo (now Kodak) customer like FOREVER, he was around when Creo was offering Platemaster with Allegro DEC Alpha workstations, and shows up at GUA conferences regularly.

One note about Australians, you have to be careful about drinking with them, because most of them can drink a LOT. And the Minney brothers had a reputation  for being able to handle their drink, Michael especially. So if you are in the bar with Steve at the same, maybe order two drinks early in case he drinks the bar dry.

And don't forget to swallow two Tylenol before you pass out.


Steve Minney March 12, 2008 at 9:34 pm

Nice story. I remember that little 36hr upgrade, it was a killer. And yes you will find me in the bar at the GUA conference again this year.

Dennis March 18, 2008 at 1:17 pm

Good Luck drinking Las Vegas dry Steve….

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