Thursday, April 10, 2008

Crisis Averted!

What crisis, you ask? Well, the fact that no one knows (except those of you who read this) is a sign that the problem was solved at the last minute.

Ward went to a gaming convention in Columbus, departing on Wednesday after uploading the stuffit file of the next issue of CSN to the Quebecor site. He asked me to look at the proofs and okay them; I kept checking the site, but no proofs. Finally, I wrote to ask about them, and received this note: "The file is corrupted. We need a new file in order to prepare the issue."

Problem is, I don't have that file--only Ward does. I called Maria, his wife, who told me that he did not take his computer with him, so there was nothing Ward could do from his end.

I downloaded the .sit file and unstuffed it... and got the same "corrupt file" message that Quebecor had gotten. As I analyzed the file, I discovered that five .tif files of the 22 used to prepare the issue had somehow gotten corrupted in the stuffing process; the other 17 were fine, as was the original Quark file. Their older version of Stuffit was ab-ending when it hit the first corrupt file, which was the 6th of the 22 art files; as far as Quebecor was concerned, 17 art files were missing.

I went through the .sit file with a more robust decompression program and was able to extract the other good files and determine which of the 17 were wonky. I then called Maria, who was willing to use Ward's computer to upload those files, one at a time, to the Quebecor FTP site; she found all 5 and did the drag-and-drop thing, while I uploaded the other twelve files that Quebecor needed. I then called Jasmin, told him the files were there, and he seemed both appreciative and surprised that someone was working on this after midnight.

Ten minutes later, the proof was available, the issue was okayed, and we're back on schedule. That's a good thing, because Ward's slogan for CSN is "on time or we'll eat a bug." For a little while there, I had a feeling he was about to have a bad taste in his mouth...


Janice said...

Glad it all worked out! BTW, read this the day after I discovered a copy of CSN on my Australian husband's desk :->

Lanny said... work around. Kudos!

I'm curious, though...

Is there a reason you don't use the PDF workflow?

cliff said...

I wish I could give you an answer for that, but only Ward could explain it. Brett asked the same thing when he was preparing a couple of issues of CSN when Ward was on vacation. Quebecor sends us proofs as PDF files, but Ward submits the issue as a Quark file with .tif images accompanying it.

Lanny said...

It may have to do with how your printer is ripping the files to their image setter if not a plate burner.

It could be that they are using older equipment.

It's probably more likely that they like the ability to fix things if they encounter a problem which can be limited by a PDF. The last printing company I worked for was like that. Once a job was internal, we generated PDFs for the direct to plate machine.

Occasionally we got PDFs but if a serious image retouch needed to be done it was not the most fun to pull the image out of the PDF and edit it.

As I'm sure you know, it usually works out better for everyone if you do things as the printer requests them to be done.

We do all our comics and newsletters at Brenner in San Antonio and they are quite pleased to get a solid hi-res PDF 'with bleed'. I was actually complimented by our CSR there who deals with TONS of folks who have little idea how to correctly prepare a file for print.

Yeesh...I'm talking about work. Gotta go to bed...