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Old 01-19-2006, 01:04 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: southeastern Iowa, in the technology corridor
Posts: 2,190
Default Upgrade process for small newspaper?

I'm looking for thoughts and tips for helping a small publisher make a plan for and survive the transition of upgrading to new machines and current software. I'm trying to break this down into manageable steps and stages, keeping mindful of a budget befitting their size and the fact that they never have the luxury of "down time."

Picture a small publisher (7-8 Macs, mostly blue & white G3 machines, but at least one beige G3 and one 17" G4 Powerbook) producing a couple of small, weekly newspapers, special inserts and advertisers on regular, unyielding deadlines.

Currently, for a whole variety of reasons (not the least of which is budget) machines in daily production (all but the G4 Powerbook) find themselves still on OS9.2, producing with older versions of Photoshop and QuarkXPress 4. They've pushed these machines about as far as they can and naturally spend (too) much time babying the apps, running one thing at a time, fussing with font troubles and jumping extra hoops to keep on schedule.

They know they must face replacing old machines and go to OSX all around. They also know they're facing a huge cost to upgrade all their apps. Most all the other publishers in the region have switched to InDesign and they're debating such a switch, too, but are rightfully concerned about keeping up with the unyielding deadlines as well as fitting the budget.

They have at least six licenses for QX and something less than that for Photoshop (they don't need to run it on all machines), plus other assorted apps. I'm suggesting that, if they're going to switch to ID, this would be the time for it, because, with all their legacy files being QX4, ID will open them, which is not so for QX5 and 6 files. I'm thinking that, going from QX4 to current will cost them nearly as much out of pocket as switching to ID, but the QX-to-ID learning curve also has a time (and therefore money) cost and there are those pesky deadlines to be met.

As it is now, they PDF everything that goes to press, so they could, conceivably, stick with QX and not care what others like them are doing, because they don't need to interact with them anyway.

Hoping against hope, I searched through Adobe's site and could find no mention of how much it would cost to upgrade from any version of Photoshop older than v7 and CS1, and of course nothing like a cross-grade offer to jump ship from QX.

If you've been there and done that with a small company like this, replacing virtually all their machines and bringing all software to current versions (switching OSs and vital software):
-- what 1-2-3-step options do they have?
-- what worked and didn't work that you tried?

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