Screen Printing - April/May 2013 - (Page 8)

t h e p r e p r e s s w ire Keeping pAce with DigitAl Mark coudray Coudray looks at software issues and concludes that even writing your own customized apps is completely doable. K eeping up with software upgrades has changed a great deal over the years. Early on, the biggest challenge was learning how to do things in a digital environment. That took a few years before it became the accepted adopted way of doing things. Then, every year, like clockwork, we would get a new version release. The decision to upgrade really wasn’t much of a decision because the improvements were so big and so significant that the choice was mandatory. By the early to mid 2000s, the big technical improvements were reduced to incremental improvements and the shift became one from production prepress to Web-contentcreation tools. Adobe, in particular, has taken the position that print is either dying or dead and the big improvements have been aimed at digital photography and image creation. At the same time, the cost to upgrade when a new version is released has increased substantially to the point where the trade-off between upgrade and incremental feature improvement has not been enough to justify the cost. It was common for most companies to upgrade as each new release came out. Now I see companies who are four, five, and even six full versions behind. This creates a significant problem. Upgrade disruptions Another reason to upgrade besides functionality has to do with processing power. Most companies that haven’t upgraded for several years are using software based on a 32bit processing stream. The newest operating systems on both the PC and Mac side are 64 bit. Consequently, the software and the newest features are designed around a 64-bit computation engine. On the surface, this creates a minor problem. From a productivity perspective, a higher data path means you can process more complex files faster. This is always a good thing. On the downside, many third-party plug-ins are not compatible with the 64-bit depth. I have seen it take more than two years for some of these plug-ins to be updated. Some of my all-time favorite standbys haven’t been upgraded—and may never be. This is another example of how an upgrade can be disruptive to your overall productivity and results. Content created in the latest version often has functionality that cannot be saved to an earlier version. Good 8 screenprinting Mark A. Coudray is president of Coudray Graphic Technologies, San Luis Obispo, CA. He has served as a director of (SGIA) and as chairman of the Academy of Screen Printing Technology. Coudray has authored more than 250 papers and articles over the last 20 years, and he received the SGIA’s Swormstedt Award in 1992 and 1994. He can be reached via e-mail at examples of this in the past have been Gradient Warping and transparency. This leads to more friction between content creators and print providers. The content creators are all looking for new techniques. They are usually on the cutting edge with their design features. The complexity of the files generated creates enormous challenges when a production artist has to attempt to translate the intent of the artist. In talking with my clients, the most common response I get as to why they have not upgraded their software has to do with the limited incremental increases in features and benefits as it relates to print production. When considering the high upgrade costs, the number of seats requiring licenses, and the limited benefits to them, the decision is to opt out. Software As A Service The diminishing number of companies that routinely upgrade has created a trend. This is the move to Software As A Service (SAAS), where you pay a monthly subscription to access the services you need. This is a welcome solution. Currently, Adobe is offering to move everyone with a CS3 or higher license to the cloud-based model for $29.00 per month per seat. I really like this for a number of reasons. The first is you now have a clear path to stay current at an affordable rate. The software resides on your machine, just as it does now, and it pings the Adobe servers to verify your license. This $29 per month allows you to access the entire Creative Suite—everything Adobe makes. This means even more as we move toward additional multimedia content creation and the need to manage brand, color, and content across different media. The second thing about cloud-based SAAS is that Adobe can continuously release progressive bug fixes, new features, and less drastic major upgrades. SAAS moves toward a continuous upgrade process. This helps Adobe and the end users stay current and minimize the shock of major interface redesign. This has been one of my big complaints with Microsoft upgrades to the Office Suite. Whenever I do a major upgrade, it takes me several weeks to learn where everything has gone. With these big upgrades, we have also seen the downgrade phenomenon. We saw this with Adobe CS6, when they

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Screen Printing - April/May 2013

Screen Printing - April/may 2013
Editorial Insights
New Products
Keeping Pace With Digital
Creating Artwork for DTG
Perspectives on UV LED Curing
Form and Function: Digitally Decorated Textiles
Diving Into Digital Workflows
Distributor/Dealer Directory
Opportunity Exchange
Advertising Index
Shop Talk

Screen Printing - April/May 2013