New World Now–New World Tomorrow

Where To Start

One problem with writing a blog like this is knowing where to start. There is so much about printing, publishing, and mailing that needs to be said. With my nearly forty years in and about the printing business I’m probably the one who needs to say it, but where should I start? What do people need to know the most?

Created More Paper

Rumors of a paperless office leading to the demise of the printing industry have come and gone twenty years ago. The high-tech age dawned and instead of creating less paper created more. Books, manuals, and brochures were all needed to explain the new reality. You’d think by now that we should be very clear on all of the new processes, but we aren’t. Just as soon as we start to get a handle on it, it changes. I remember when I got my first personal computer. It was just after Windows was released. My bookkeeping wife was used to working with computers at her job, so I assumed that she would help me rev up. I was wrong. She had been working with DOS and knew nothing about Windows. Manuals and on-screen tutorials helped me some, and calls to the technical people (who didn’t cost anything but the long-distance phone call way back then) got me over the hump, at least enough so I could work the darn thing. Whether it was my ignorance for not knowing how to do things right, or it was the fault of the software, it seemed to me that the computer would crash more often than it would run smoothly. Did anyone else have that experience–I wonder?

Computers Run Everything

There weren’t any Idiot books to fall back on then either. The manuals were written to explain things to people who already had a basic understanding. I didn’t know what a drop down menu was. It could have been something that happens to a clumsy waitress.

Now, of course, things have changed. The computer revolution has invaded everything. It’s rare nowadays to go into a printer and see a press that isn’t operated from a computer console that adjusts ink levels, fixes registration, straightens the plates, and performs a myriad of diagnostic functions. A multicolor full-size 40″ press used to take three to four people to operate it. Today two operators are common, and if necessary, it can be run by one.

Typing vs Keyboarding

When I was in high school and being presented with class options my father said to me, “I don’t care what classes you take, but you must take typing (keyboarding for those who have never used a typewriter).” He told me it was a skill I would need for the rest of my life. He was right. Neither of us foresaw the high tech computer world as it is today, but I used those skills throughout and beyond my high school needs. In fact, I’m using them right now as I write this blog.

Computer Savvy Out of the Womb

I’m a little jealous of the students in grade schools, Jr. highs, and high schools now. When I was memorizing multiplication tables then, they are learning CSS and HTML today. I swear, they come out of the womb computer savvy. It’s a new world now, and will be another new world tomorrow. My job, as I see it, is to shed some light on how printing, publishing, and mailing are changing and give you some help rolling with it.

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© Bill Ruesch, Talking Through My Hat, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bill Ruesch, Talking Through My Hat with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.