Our "Indian Summer" is here, the kids are back in school, and I'm reminded of something I should have brought up in FlyBy some time ago: Morning Flight in the Classroom. Can anyone think of a better use for the Free Edition?
The big story this month is the making of our new website. It's not totally ready for primetime, but we decided to take the site live so you can look over our shoulder (and post comments) as we finish putting it together. Until we're done, the existing Printfire site will stay active.
I do have a question, though. When we announced the demolition of our current site two months ago, that link got the most hits. Was it because everyone thought our site had seen better days, or because lots of printers are thinking of getting into website development?
Unitac International Inc.
Our new Website, going up!
There are a number of lessons I've had to learn here, but two stand out. The first is to never again build a static HTML website. I've built seven. Or a site not supported by a framework. "The whole point of getting things done is knowing what to leave undone." It really is, and I should have remembered that.
In my defense, the tools and frameworks for building dynamic sites using a framework such as Drupal or Wordpress have only matured during the last few years.
The second lesson is to start any website project by first finishing the structure, then filling in the contents, and only then worrying about how the site will look. Not the other way around. Content is King, and while I'm no fan of the visual pollution going on around us, it's amazing how much easier it is to paint a picture of how a message will look when we know what the message is. We all do that without thinking when we pick the right typeface for a headline.
Morning Flight in the Classroom
Appalachian State University is among the first to recognize the educational benefits Morning Flight software can bring to the classroom. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and a TIME Magazine "College of the Year," ASU made the Free Edition a requirement for their Print Production Analysis and Control undergraduate course. Thank you, ASU.
For the record: While it is illegal to make copies of any Morning Flight edition for resale, educational institutions and their faculty are at liberty to make unlimited copies of the Free Edition for distribution to their students. All we ask is that any fees for such copies not significantly exceed the cost of duplication. Exchange of the program among the students themselves is not only unrestricted, it's encouraged.
iPhone becomes a HUD
This relates only marginally to printing, but if you're still wondering whether the iPhone and iPad can make it as serious business tools, Dave Hirschman reports in AOPA Pilot that there's now an app that will show pilots not only their altitude, position, airspeed, and pitch and bank, but also the runway "as it appears in real life!"
Where was that when I struggled to find my way in the skies over Texas, flying a Piper Cub without so much as a radio.
Tip of the Month
Two tips, technically, this month.
Tip Number 1
Don't rush out to upgrade to Windows 8 (or whatever it will be called when Microsoft begins to offer it on October 26). I've been working with an early release of the new OS for a few months, and while there's much to like, Windows 8 is clearly geared more for touch-screen tablets than for desktop PCs.
My main gripe is with the lack of a feature, one that I can't imagine doing without: They've killed off the Start Menu! We're all asked to load programs from the taskbar. Oh really! I easily have more than a hundred programs installed on my main computer, some of which I use maybe once or twice a month, if that. How big a taskbar does Microsoft think I have that they want me to pin a hundred or so programs to?
Coming from Vista, I'm happy to be using Windows 7. Think I'll stay with that for a while. Maybe they'll change their mind about the Start Menu thing. Is it just me or are too many folks shooting themselves in the foot these days?
Tip Number 2
Save, don't Run, the Morning Flight setup.exe while downloading the program. Preferably to a flash drive.
Here is why: The download link on the Printfire Store is good for a year, the setup file on the flash drive forever. That also makes it easier to install Morning Flight on more than one computer. If you think that's strange advice coming from the manufacturer, you should read the rest of ...