Foxvideo Productions

Media Production

December 2016

Something new, something broken.

With no blog posts or updates for a while I thought I’d better put something together for the two people I know who read my occasional ramblings!

It’s been an interesting November with something new to learn and something old to replace. One of the organisations I support with a website, Facebook, video, photography and computer support has been posting out an A4 printed, and an email PDF newsletter for the last 8 years or so, I’d suggested they think of moving to a newsletter email distribution service to take the pressure of the current authors and their ISP who were not too happy about 500 5Mb PDF’s going out. I’d already checked out MailChimp and it looked more than suitable so I produced a MailChimp version of the current newsletter as a sample, I then took the content and transferred it to a paper newsletter produced in a new program for me, Swift Publisher on a Mac. The MailChimp version took some learning but once you get the hang of it, produces a very professional looking email newsletter with an easy Outlook CSV import feature for distribution lists, Swift Publisher was more intuitive to use than Apple Pages and both newsletter samples have gone forward for a Trustees meeting in early January, from the feedback I’ve had already they should both be accepted.

mailchimp swift

One of the Trustees who’d seen the sample Swift Publisher document then suggested I might be able to produce an ‘Invite’ card for an upcoming Carol Concert at our local Chapel.......

The design was easy enough but I didn’t have the correct card to print on, a browse through Amazon and I found some suggested card with ‘Prime’ delivery next day. A test on the printer I have showed the design didn’t print quite as I’d have liked but the card did go through the printer, a quick redesign of the back to make it more printer friendly and, once I’d got the hang of printing front and back with two copies per sheet (took some doing!) I was off and running. 12 pages in and my Canon gave a B200 error, a look on the web showed it was a common error with several ‘fixes’ none of which worked, so I unplugged it and took the dogs for a walk! Coming back to it an hour later the fault still showed so I tried an old laser printer we have here, the card was too thick but photo paper worked OK and gave an acceptable result, again working out how to print 2 invites front and back took a science engineering degree (which I don’t have) and with many failed attempts plus a tiny pencil mark top right of the paper, it suddenly all made sense and the invites were printed.

carols

Then it was off to the web to find a new printer, I knew I wanted a Canon and it must be able to disk print, I still supply on DVD as not everyone down here in deepest, darkest Gloucestershire has a good enough internet connection for YouTube, or even a computer. I found a Canon iP7250 at Argos for £50, this was one of the printers I’d considered a few years ago when it was twice the price and compatible inks were unavailable, now inks are available with 3 sets of 5 for under £10 from my ink supplier so I bought the printer online, as it happened my wife was going to be passing through Gloucester later that evening and she called in and collected it for me, after a few test prints I’m pleased with it and hopefully it’ll last a few years.

Highlight of the month? I picked up a 20” iMac in mint condition for £100, I installed El Capitan and another 2Gb of RAM and now have very usable Mac for everyday use. I did have a slightly surreal moment a few days later, the iMac is next to a TV on my desk that I have running all day with the news on in the background, using the iMac and half watching the TV at the same time I spotted the previous owner of the iMac on screen as a contributing expert on a TV program!

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