The Transition is Complete: Taking The BG News to the Next Level

We did it. No I did it. And I am very proud of all the hard work. I have put in long hours each day. But the main transition, or phase 1, is complete. I have revamped both the layout process of the Editorial and Production of The News. If that isn't enough, Mac OS 9 is out for Mac OS X, G3's are out for G4's and a G5, and Quark 4 is out for InDesign CS. And if that isnt enough, all our Baseview software (newspaper software) had to be updated to work in OS X, and I also updated out file server to Panther (10.3) Server. This recipe consists of: 2x 500 GB Lacie Big DIsk Firewire Hard Drives 13x 800 Mhz eMacs for BG News, Production, Obsidian, Gavel, and Unigraphics 1 PowerMac G5 for Production 20 seat of Adobe CS Premium with PageMaker Plugin Pack 5 seat of Extensis Suitcase X1 Baseview upgrades (NewsEdit Pro, Admin Pro, DragIn, CopyTools, WireManager Pro) Panther Server upgrade Retrospect Server upgrade Total Training for Adobe CS apps, plus Acrobat 6 The eMacs and G5 were purchased last summer, when this transition was originally going to take place. Everything else was purchased this summer. We originally were going to buy the software last summer, but ended up spreading it out over 2 summers. As you can see from the above list, this is a heck of a lot of variables to be changing at once. I seriously suggest to never attempt any transition with this many variables. Unfortunately (or fortunately) this is one of those all or nothing type deals. Going in I did not think it would work. Not that I do not have faith in myself, but because I know there is never enough time to do things "the right way" and corners are usually cut to get things done. Now that all is complete I am amazed that it all worked without problems at all. Some small snags reared their heads, but all in all everything went A OK. Server Panther Server was the first thing to get working. I have been running 10.1 Server since it came out a couple years ago. It has not been updated just because it has ran and not needed kicked (imagine that, its a Mac). I got to the point where using 10.1 was slowing me down. You cannot administer 10.1 Server remotely via the Server Admin software when the client machines (and more importantly my laptop) are running 10.3). Panther Server is a lot faster, and the Admin apps are far superior to those found in 10.1, hands down. Of course there is no direct way to import users and groups from 10.1 Server to 10.3 Server. That would have been too easy. I got over that fact and recreated all the users and groups. After so long at letting 10.1 Server sit, I needed to clean up the users anyway. For a period of about 6 months we were growing dangerously close to not having enough disk space for all publications and Unigraphics. We were deleting or burning files on Friday to have room on Monday. The file backup process was also becoming out of control. We were using an AIT tape drive, which can take 30 GB native and 60 GB compressed. Our backup had become a 3 tape backup, ballooning from a 1 tape backup in short order. Since we bought the AIT tape drive the cost of Firewire drives has come down so far it is no longer cost effective to use AIT tapes. Not to mention that a 3 tape backup is not the most convenient thing. Now the most important files (60 GB or less) are put on AIT tape, and the full server backups are done to Firewire disk. Three Freebies Thanks to the University's Desktop Replacement Program, we had to give up a PowerMac 7100/66 and 2 Beige 266 Mhz G3's for 3 shiny new 17" Flat Panel iMacs, 1.25 Ghz with SuperDrives. This ended up great as I need to run a new (OS X) version of WireManager Pro because the tagging of the AP News is different into InDesign then the tagging is in Quark. And a 7100/66 would not cut it for too much longer anyhow. Of course since we no longer have a ADB (Serial) Mac, I need a Keyspan Serial to USB Adapter. That has been ordered. The AP Wire will be back up and running soon. Luckily we have access to a AP News Rerun web site that is as current as the text that comes down the satellite. I tell you it was not hard trading those 3 Beige Boxes. Oh the new FP iMacs each came with a 256 MB USB thumb drive too. Gravy. To Be Continued...

Comments (1)


Ah, the joys of updating an entire bad I wasn't there to help you this time around :)

I miss those days and Student Pub, although, I think it was the nightly runs to the Brat with Jeff and Carla...we could never get you to come out with us :(

Best of luck with the new setup. You'll have to keep me posted on how smooth the transition works, and how many tech support calls you get regarding using ID CS. Something tells me the staff might not be too "hip" to the change :)

I'll have to come up for a visit and see the new office with all the new equipment. Just promise me Bob isn't going to volunteer for any more web design if he hasn't learned already :)

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