On Friday, Donna Nelson and I were discussing our pending conversion to all new computers and all new software. We talked about the many challenges that would face us as we converted every page, every ad, every headline, every graphic. We worried about the problems we knew we would have, and we wondered if there really was a good time to make the leap.
And then, we decided to just go ahead and do it!
Since we didn't have a game on Friday night, I began the computer upgrades on Friday afternoon and stayed late into the evening to finish that part of the job.
On Saturday, I arrived back in the office and finished up the transfer of files and settings from our old PCs over to the new ones we had been storing in the office. It took most of Saturday to complete the transfer and upgrade, and much of the time was spent verifying that everything we needed was now on the new PCs.
After church on Sunday, I returned to the office and tackled the conversion of the final files from our old software to the new software. It's a tedious process involving opening, then saving the files in the new format, in the correct location. Over and over again. By late Sunday, that part of the process was as far as I could take it.
Monday was one of the more difficult days I've ever had at the newspaper. Donna and I began the painful process of figuring out what was going to work, and what wasn't. Unfortunately, we were finding more problems than we were finding successes. Images were fuzzy, text was hard to read, pages wouldn't print.
I left around 6:45 p.m. on Monday. Donna stayed until 1:00 a.m.
Now it's Tuesday, and we are preparing the first newspaper with the new software, on the new computers. Donna is a perfectionist and is loathe to let anything leave her desk that doesn't meet her exacting standards. I'm more of a pragmatist, and realize that we're going to have to work out the kinks as we go along in the next few weeks. That means that we're going to have to finish upgrading all the ads and all the layout later.... today, we just need to figure out how to get our paper put together and sent to press so that our readers will be able to have something in their hands on Wednesday.
For one or two weeks, we would ask your indulgence and understanding. Everything that we're doing is an effort to provide a better quality publication to you. It's just going to take a bit of time.
There are going to be "odd" spacing issues. There's going to be some type that is fuzzy and hard to read. And, some of the photos won't have the quality that we would desire. But, we will get there as quickly as we can.
I think all of you will understand that, for at least week, I'm going to keep this column brief so that I can return my attention to finishing the newspaper and getting it to press. See you next week, and hopefully in better focus and detail.
It’s all just my opinion.