Sunday, November 08, 2009

FastPencil in the Santa Cruz Sentinel


It was really cool to see an article about FastPencil in the Santa Cruz Sentinel this morning. Especially because I used to work at the Sentinel many years ago and I know how many changes that paper has been through.

There were guys upstairs like Bill and John who had scars on their forearms from the hot lead they had to pour to make newspaper plates. When I joined the Sentinel we were still printing out stories on paper and waxing them onto boards to be photographed. We worked in Picas. I helped make the transition to direct-to-film where we would compose the pages on computer and print them to film. That's when Pixels became important. Just before I left we were implementing a content management system that allowed editors to enter stories directly onto the page... and the internet was taking off.

Today the Sentinel is basically a virtual paper. There is an office in Scotts Valley but the giant metal press, the million-dollar monster that used to occupy half a city block is no longer in Santa Cruz. In it's last hurrah, I heard it fell off the truck at the top of Hwy 17 and closed down traffic for hours!

So this morning I got to be featured in an article about FastPencil and how we are going to revolutionize publishing... the technology is finally ready, the people are ready, the customers are ready. Where will the Sentinel be in 5 years? Maybe using FastPencil?

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