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Thursday, January 16, 2003

January 16, 2003

Well, it's been nearly a month since the last news item, so I figured I'd bring it up to speed. After a much-busy Christmas and the beginning-middle of the One-Act season (which is really why I haven't been updating this more often -- see the One-Act Wiki), I'm back in school again for the last semester! Eight credits to go...

Anyway, after Christmas I managed to swap out my old 'static' website (on our home network) with the TWiki system. This is a private system inaccessible from the 'outside world,' but which has lots of (easy to edit!) information for mainly myself. Beth really has no interest in it at this time -- but I'm just convinced it's because she hasn't had to use it! smile Along with that, I had to start using my Mac much more intently with One-Act, mainly for MacDraft, which I use for groundplans and light plots for the show. This is the same as last year, with the exception that I no longer have a laser printer with PostScript support (my old HP LJ IIIP had a little PS cartridge in it that made it PostScript compatible) -- since my HP LaserJet5 was the 'cheap' version. So, for a while I was converting everything to pictures and sending them across the network to my good machine to was a mess.

The main problem I was having was converting PS print jobs to non-PS print jobs (which the printer can understand). Being too cheap to buy a $50-100 PostScript SIMM module for the printer, I decided that Ghostscript would be my friend. Ghostscript converts from PS to non-PS. The trick is to get it working...with different print queues and such. After about three weeks of testing around...and lots of FAQ reading...and some downloading/installing, I finally got my server box to print PostScript jobs to my LaserJet5! This means that the pages printed actually look the way they should (the other ones were somewhat dithered due to the conversion to picture)...and I also have about 6 less steps to do when printing from the Mac. The problem: Something's wrong with my Mac and its printing system. It has a tendency to 'hang'...and not actually execute items in the print queue until after a restart (!?!?!?!!) -- I don't ask why, but that's what's happening. Items will stay in the queue all day...but as soon as you restart the Mac, they start getting pushed out. So, what I have to do right now is 'print to file'...saving those files on the server box, then using lpr at the command line to push the jobs through. It's only two steps...but at this point in time, that's better than what I was doing...and it's printing nicely.

One-Act Competition begins in a little over two weeks (1 Feb 2003), and I believe we're on track with where we want to be at this point in time. Things are going pretty well with that endeavor.

This post was upgraded to the MZ Online Blog on 8/20/07

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