Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The poster ordeal

When I woke yesterday morning, my task was simple: Make one small change to the computer file of our 28 Days Later poster, upload the file to my webserver. Shouldn't take more than 10 minutes, tops.

It took all afternoon.

After I uploaded the file to the server, I shot off an email to the other members of the Brown Bookshelf, asking them to download the poster, too. I'm a Mac guy, and I wanted to be double-sure the file would work OK for PC users. It wouldn't. Some people were receiving error messages, while others, worse yet, were freezing up halfway through the download.

I was frantic and much too busy working my underpaintings for Ron. I didn't have time for technical glitches, but the poster was out there live and, I'll be doggone, but it wasn't working! The press releases had been sent. Review journals, librarians, teachers, authors, illustrators, bloggers were watching. A few people had even commented. For a perfectionist like myself, this is a nightmare. So for the next 6 hours, I was obsessed with getting it right.

Later that afternoon, I called my wife at work. She has a very cool computer that runs both Mac and PC. I asked her to download the poster from her PC, and tell me if it worked. "It downloaded OK," she said. "But there's no text or photographs. And it's blinking like a like a Saturday-night disco strobe."

I'll spare you the technical mumbo-jumbo of my ordeal. But the problem culminated even later in the afternoon, with me standing over my computer, butt naked and dripping wet in a puddle of water and English Leather soap suds. The answer to my problem came to me halfway through my shower: Downsize the embedded jpg, convert the fonts to outlines, and it finally worked. Not immediately, however. But after a few more desperate tries later that evening, I finally got it working.

And with my hair three shades grayer than it was yesterday morning, the poster is finally ready for download. I hope. Sigh.


Paula said...

Don, I feel so much closer to you now with the image of you butt naked seared in my brain. LOL

gail said...

I must have been skimming, I missed the naked part and had to go back and read the post again. :)

Computers! When things work they're great, when they don't....!!!!!!

Cool poster!

Don Tate II said...

Every now and then, I have to throw in the word 'naked' just to bump up my readership and page hits.

gail said...

Good thinking!

rindawriter said...

It's your naked mind/mental anguish over all of this that sticks in my you have any tech support with your programs?

We go online usuually to find someone to ask/figure things out or on the message boards, most often.

It can be horrible working between two platforms like that though.

Cloudscome said...

Huh. How did I miss the part about you being butt naked and dripping wet in a puddle of water and English Leather soap suds? I had to go back and read that again...

Oh. Yeah. I was able to download the poster and print it this week. Thanks for all your anxiety and hard work. It looks great and it will keep me on track all month.