pdating a computer system
can be compared to destroying a
tenement to build condos~out with
the old, and in with the new.
So when the Daily Cougar
abandoned the obsolete
Compugraphic data processing and
production system, which had been
used since the mid-1980s to typeset the official campus news source,
a sense of relief sprinkled with apprehension came over the staff.
Fortunately, the new system would be almost solely Macintosh-based, the format journalism
students must learn in their first
reporting class anyway.
First, the newsroom Mac
Classics were installed in the fall
of 1991. Reporters had it made.
They could make their calls, type
in their stories, then leave.
Every reporter had an "account," a diskette which gave the
reporter exclusive access privileges to the system, and an individual file for them to store old
stories. These were all stored in a
file server linked with all the
newsroom and editors' office Mac's
The crossover was gradual,
however. Until the summer of
1992, the newsroom Mac's were
linked with the old Compugraphic
system, in which stories would be
transferred from the Mac's, then
through a PC-compatible computer, which would decode the
Mac format for the Compugraphic
monitors and their hard drive.
Stories went from the
Compugraphic monitors to the
typesetter machines, or "T" machines, which were clunky, ugly,
gray and black processing machines one might see in a stale,
1960s James Bond film.
ANYTHING HAPPEN TODAY?..Daily Cougar
staff members work on finishing their stories for
the nightly deadline. Photo by Noel Stone
These machines, Tl and T2
(no connection-or offense—to the
sci-fi flicks), would transfer the
stories onto film cartridges, which
resembled a cross between a bank's
drive-through window can and the
ghost containment boxes from
The film would be developed in a photo-processing ma
chine, basically an aesthetically
The stories were then
pasted onto the layout sheets, then
sent to the printing plant.
In the summer of 1992, the
full crossover finally occurred.
The compugraphics system became
Daily Cougar history. Since that
summer, all stories transfer from
the newsroom Mac's, through the
PC converter computer, directly to
another Macintosh in the production room, where our productions
manager lays the text out on a computerized layout of the paper using
the Quark Xpress program, basically a more sophisticated
Pagemaker program. Sections of
each page are then printed out on a
LaserWriter printer, then pasted
onto the layout sheets.
Everything has been streamlined gradually into an efficient,
Mac-based production system.
And once the new printer arrives,
all the pages of the paper will
printed out in whole sheets, which
will eliminate any paste-up procedures.
A real breakthrough for the
paper would be color photos, but
the expense cannot be overcome at
this point. Color ads constitute the
most color any reader will see.
However, in the fall of 1991, we
did get the chance to print a color
photo on page 1 due to a multicolor ad on the back page, which is
adjacent to the front page layout-
wise. -Frank Rossi