The changing size of displays

You learn something new every day…

One of my clients called me up recently and asked me a question about a book we were typesetting. It turned out that there is some software that would save me countless hours of work: Annotations for InDesign. Now for this to save time, it requires that the editors and proofreaders and often the authors too use Adobe Reader correctly to mark up the PDF.

So finally I decided, rather than spending 20 minutes on the phone each time teaching people and tools such as to screen share the process, I would simply make a little video. So answers to a post on FaceBook gave me a few recommendations and I ended up using ScreencastOMatic which was brilliant.

You can also see text instructions on the Renana Typesetting website. Unfortunately, even though the free Adobe Reader for iPad has improved drastically, most of these features are for Windows or OSX.

Inbox Zero

I receive a lot of email and I was intrigued by a piece of software on my phone called Acompli that among other things allows you to snooze email. In fact it seems that Microsoft were also intrigued and bought the company! However, as much as I enjoy reading emails on my phone, my PC has a larger screen (actually it has 3 screens, but that’s a whole other post) and I much prefer Outlook.

So I decided that there must be a way to do this in Outlook and I found a brilliant post by a guy called Kevin Guyer on how to do this. I encourage you to read his post which includes screenshots etc. It will make you rethink the way you use Outlook. I now have 2 items in my inbox. Not quite inbox zero but the closest I have ever been.

Talking of screens…

nintypeIt is inevitable that many times an email has to be written on your phone. Unfortunately carrying a keyboard as large as my Microsoft keyboard with my phone is somewhat impractical (although the size of phones are increasing…) so I’m always checking out new keyboards on my phone and the latest to impress me Nintype which has now replaced Swype as my favourite phone keyboard. It does have a bit of a learning curve but it’s worth it out since it really is very much faster.

Not just keyboards, but websites too

ktav new logoA new venture of Renana is One of the challenges was creating a website that would adapt to the size of the screen. Fortunately using Magento and a theme called Ultimo this has become very straightforward. You are encouraged to visit from different devices to see how this works or if you have a large screen simply resize your screen to see what happens. Magento has tutorials on this which are worth checking out.

Updates and upgrades

So I make my living from typesetting books, both print and digital. My tools of the trade are InDesign on the PC for print and iBooks Author on the Mac for digital. 

I resisted the temptation to upgrade to Windows 8.1 when it was in preview (although I had no problems when I had done so for Windows 8) deciding it was prudent to allow Microsoft and Adobe to fully test everything. 
My upgrade to 8.1 was fast and smooth. Everything just worked. Well nearly everything. It turned out that a special part of InDesign that is used by a very small number of people called DPS wasn’t actually compatible. Even though the Adobe website said that it was. They lied. 
I had Adobe on the phone for hours. Last Tuesday from 8 am till 3.45 pm with a half an hour break. And then they continued to remote access. By the time they were finished I had no software, no fonts and no files. A far worse situation than I started. I then spent the next couple of days restoring and ten days later, DPS still doesn’t work. Poor show Adobe. 
Well just to make my life more interesting I updated to OSX Mavericks. This is free update was very exciting for me because it brought iBooks to the Mac!
Upgrade very smooth (not so fast) but… oh no my books are broken!
Turns out after reformatting my Mac that the problem is iBooks Author 2.1. The dot release that came a year later doesn’t fix problems – it breaks the font embedding of custom fonts in the books. Apple now knows of the problem thanks to Talking New Media but haven’t taken it down.
Fortunately a colleague found me a copy of 2.0 and sent it to me. 
Well end of rant. Not really sure what to learn from this.