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Topics - Ear

Kodak Systems / Magnus 400 not connecting
October 23, 2023, 01:30:19 PM
Hey buddies, I'm back at my original print shop and having trouble with an old Kodak system.

We have a Magnus 400 with an old PC controller. We had to replace the power supply and now the Magnus software won't connect. It tried to initialize then comes up with "XPO error 5164 - TCP/IP error". We have checked cables and everything looks okay... any ideas on things to check on the software end, assuming it isn't just a bad cable? I'm not very familiar with Kodak stuff, especially this old of a masheen.
The Rest... / VDP Software
October 11, 2017, 10:44:00 AM
I'm looking for opinions from those of you who use Variable Data software. We got a digital press last year and are looking to handle VDP better.

I don't like exporting merged, composite, giant PDFs from InDesign merge. I've seen XMPie... I hear a lot of talk about Fusion Pro, and it looks like a good solution. EFI also wants me to demo their stuff, because I have a Fiery running my DP but I'm not a big Fiery fan and their VDP seems more focused on store-front, interactive. But maybe I'm just spoiled on big RIPs.

I'm more interested in having a powerful production tool, to merge records with design, fast output, proper file handling, etc... Is Fusion Pro a lot of bang for the buck? Or should I look at XMPie?
Macintosh / Trackpad II
March 15, 2017, 04:46:07 PM
Ordered myself a MacBook Pro... supposed to arrive tomorrow. I shall name him Necron 99, already ordered a creepy skin and everything. lolz

Anyway, I can't really work on the little trackpad so it's either mouse or Trackpad II. I hated the magic mouse at first, but gesturing is just too slick to not try to get the hang of, so I did. Can't help but think the trackpad would be cool, so long as things like zooming and selecting precise points in Indy and Photoshop, Illy, etc... would be as easy or easier than a mouse. Especially for couch computing.

Anyone have a chance to try production with one of these things? Or is it the new version of the trackballs that were prevalent in the 90s (they sucked, IMO).
General Prepress / Guest Speaker
September 13, 2016, 05:22:45 PM
I am doing a print job for a professor at a local University. She came to review the proof and we started discussing prepress technical stuff. She knows her stuff and was telling me about a project, where she was folding up 16pg sigs and doing things to illustrate ghosting and bleed, etc... actually teaching about the press. I was excited to hear it.

She asked me to prepare a presentation and to come be a guest speaker for a day, in the next couple of weeks. I'm not worried about material, and I can definitely go off on prepress stuff for an hour, but thought it might be good to get input from you guys, since you are my peers. I'm planning on covering the basics of the equipment and mechanics, like bleed and separations, etc...

What would you tell a college class, regarding our profession? What do we want to pass on to our successors? Think about it, I just might open this thread during my lecture.
General Prepress / Trapping and Metallic Ink
April 05, 2016, 02:18:08 PM
I know we have talked about this b4 but it has been a long time and I am currently working on a tricky job. And it's a good topic.

I have a perfect bound cover, to be printed 2 up sheetwise on my Speedmaster (4 color press). It also needs a spot metallic and flood varnish on the A side.

My pressman wants to lay the 4c back first, then run Cyan and Spot Gold, for the front side. He will then come back with M, Y, K & Varnish on the third pass. This makes me ponder trapping. Typically, black is the most dense, so everything traps to Black. In this case, the metallic is opaque, which IMO trumps the black. However, since Black will go on after Gold, I don't want to choke the black, only to have it show on top of the gold edge. It has some fine type.

Let's get a little dialog on this. I'd like to hear how you guys do it. I'm thinking about having Gold and Black be 1 to 1 and trap the CMY... if Sierra will allow such a thing.

I'm attaching a screenshot, zoomed in on a couple of characters, un-rendered. The black is a 60-50-50-100 build, which gives me some freedom on trap settings.
We are currently looking into Digital Tabloid size printers. Xerox, Konica and Oki. They are all pitching EFI Firey for the RIP. We have Web and Sheetfed offset presses but are new to the digital/variable data game and I would like to know what to expect, form the prepress end of things.

We already have a full Xitron Sierra (Fuji XMF) workflow for CTP and I would love to save some $$ and hassle by adding it to an export module to my Sierra workflow.

Is anyone running a digital press, as well as CTP from their main workflow? Pros and cons? Any info is appreciated.
Screen / Humidity Problem
July 20, 2015, 11:02:21 AM
Came in this morning to a "dew condensation" error on my Screen pt-r 8600 platesetter. She won't initialize and says I need to lower the humidity. This is SO Oregon in summer and it's dry as a bone... less than 40% humidity.

I typically leave it on 24/7 but we have been having random power outages so I turned it off for the weekend. I'm guessing the fact that its fans weren't running allowed some condensation in a diode block. I tried running on half-diode mode but it must check all of them on initialize. It says it is in diode block 6.
Quark Xpress / Quark PC glyph problem
September 19, 2014, 03:48:48 PM
Got a strange one on my hands. Grab your time machines.

Client has Quark 4 on a PC. Large catalog. I am opening on a G5 Mac in Quark 6, oldest active version of quark available to me. No PC Quark here. The entire thing is set in TNR-PS font. I have loaded a compatible version and everything else seems fine.

The problem is, the client is using an obscure extension for quick glyph creation, (subset 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, etc..). When I open the file, some of the characters are correct and others are simply showing as fl. Client says he types 1/2, then uses drop-down extension to change it to a subset 1/2. The odd part is that some work and others do not. I'm sure it is a problem with his quick glyph extension not transferring properly but the inconsistency has me vexed.

Has anyone seen this? The catalog is simply too large to manually fix all the problems on my end without a huge time investment and risk of missing many. I would love to simply solve the problem globally.

He has no postscript drivers, nor Acro Pro on his PC and I don't think quark 4 was capable of exporting to PDF directly. I suggested, if I can't find a fix, that he bring the PC here, let me plug it in to my network, share a PS driver and have him print a postscript file, from his PC.

Any other ideas?
CTP - CTF / Plate loaders
January 31, 2013, 05:04:58 PM
Nice. I burned 86 plates today and only walked into the plate room four times... just to toggle the preload button so it would change cassettes on the fly.  :cool:
Pressroom / Plates shifting
May 24, 2012, 03:52:50 PM
This is an odd problem. Pressman is having a hell of a time figuring it out.

Running a Mercury 4-high web press with RGS register system. Printing 4 color, 2 sides on 30" roll, tabloid. Recently, on runs much over 15-20k, the plates start to slip out of position. Usually starts with one, black is the main culprit, then the RGS sees it and everything goes to hell as it tries to keep in register. Pressman thinks maybe water buildup behind the plates, causing them to float. The plates bend and tuck into the cylinder on this press as opposed to locking in like on a sheetfed. Also, they are using mylar packing behind the plates, glued to the cylinder.

Anyone see this b4? Any insight? It's making for a very grumpy press crew.
The Rest... / MOVED: Retrospect revisited - Toy Talk
January 12, 2012, 02:11:14 PM
Fujifilm XMF / Stretch Compensation
May 20, 2011, 10:55:15 AM
Is anyone implementing stretch compensation? My webs get considerable stretch between units and instead of using air bustles, I want to help by using the stretch feature in XMF. I started messing with it but it's proving tricky to get working. I think I have to save it in device profiles or something. Any ideas?
CTP - CTF / Screen PTR 8000 - Trouble in paradise
November 23, 2010, 11:25:02 AM
Does anyone have or have access to the technician's service manual for a Screen PTR 8000? Mine is dead and I'm having trouble getting a tech up here this week. I'm able to fix a lot of problems with it but just ran into a bad one. We have the user manual for it but I'm thinking the techs have a different one.
Xitron Systems / Sierra
August 11, 2010, 09:54:25 AM
I'm in the middle of the install and training on Xenith Sierra. We are migrating from Xenith Xitron Extreme. So far, I'm really liking it. It looks almost exactly like XMF. I even saw a couple of Fuji references when going through settings. Looks like a clone or something.
Macintosh / Apple - FedEx Piracy
August 03, 2010, 01:04:41 PM
Just got off the phone with my Dad. He ordered a new Mac Laptop a couple days ago. FedEx showed up this morning and Dad thought the box felt a little light. He made the driver stand there while he opened the box, only to find a box full of paper and FedEx envelopes, no computer. Fucking jacked in-transit.

I'm sure he'll get it straightened out but he's super pissed right now.
Screen / PTR-8000 Dead
March 02, 2010, 03:06:13 PM
ummm.... does anyone happen to have a spare set of tail clamps for a PTR-8000 that they want to sell me?

Question #2: Can anyone, besides me (new talent), imitate the sound of a platesetter hucking a tail clamp at 1000rpm?  :death: I'll tell ya, it's not too different from a small-block V8 throwing a rod.
Macintosh / Network comparison
December 15, 2009, 11:41:42 AM
I've seen a couple of fairly recent threads, last couple months or so, dealing with networking, Snow Leopard in particular. I am not running Snow Leopard yet because of networking fears and would like some general feedback on what you guys are using and what works best.

Currently, I have a new 24" iMac Core 2 Duo with 10.5.8 and an older G5 dual 2.0 PPC tower running 10.4.10 side by side. They both have 4 gigs of ram. The iMac is a good bit faster with tasks but 10.4 networking seems a shitload faster and more stable than 10.5 on my local network. Internet is fine on the iMac but internal transfers, connection stability and other minor annoyances are bugging the crap out of me in Leopard. Is Snow Leopard worth the upgrade or is it still a networking POS?

I also hate that I can't seem to be able to change the size of the folders in the sidebar of Leopard. I use it for workflow hotfolders and in 10.4 I could make the folders large... 10.5 doesn't seem to let me alter the physical size of the folders. On top of that, I'll drop a PDF in a hot folder and finder will tell me it already exists (which it doesn't). I'll immediately drop it again and it will look like it took it, but won't... usually takes 3 or 4 tries of dropping a PDF on the network hotfolder to recognize it. I try the same task on the 10.4 machine and it works perfectly. WTF.
Tips & Tricks / Brush pack resource
October 30, 2009, 01:50:06 PM
I just ran across this site while looking for brushes. Thousands of free brush packs.
General Prepress / Service Bureau v2
July 02, 2009, 11:27:28 AM
I have a strange one, or maybe not that strange for some of you...

We have a local shop that is too small to be much competition and apparently, too small to justify making their own plates. They want to have us (me) act as a service bureau and run plates for them. They have a digital press of some sort and a GTO but don't have enough GTO work to be able to keep up with the cost of chemistry, etc...

Our platesetter won't take a plate that small so they want us to burn to one of our plates and they will cut it down. This isn't a big deal for me, I already do this for our envelope Halmjet. We also have larger plates that I could put 2 of their plates up on, if they had 2 jobs in house at once.

Anyway, it doesn't bother me, I just thought it was kind of funny and I'm curious to see if anyone else is doing this... pros and cons?