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Clancy column . . . the overflow . . . best bits . . .funnies

Friday, 29 August 2003
By Print 21 Online Article

The Plantation Timber Association of Australia (PTAA) and the Australian Paper Industry Council (APIC) have announced a merger of the two organizations. It’s a good synergy – one grows the trees, the other makes them into paper. And there is money in dem dar trees. The turnover of the Australian plantation and paper industry exceeds $12 billion per year.

Ms Belinda Robinson has been appointed Chief Operating Officer to work with both Boards to effect the transition to a merged entity. It is anticipated that the merging of the two entities will take approximately three months.

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Agfa’s turnover in Graphic Systems decreased by 11.7 per cent to AUD $1,398 million (822 million Euros) after six months in 2003. Much of this was due to exchange rate variations. According to the company the actual drop is limited to 3.8 percent and is explained by the continuing weakness of graphic markets. In spite of this, Graphic Systems was able to increase its operating result from $94.7 million (55.7 million Euros) in the first half of 2002 to $103 million (61.0 million Euros), while its return on sales improved from 6.0 percent to 7.4 percent.

Due to the ongoing shift to CTP, the demand for Agfa’s digital printing plates continues to be very strong. The capacity problems for printing plates, with which the company was confronted, will soon be solved, as a new printing plate factory in Wuxi, China, will become operational as from next quarter.

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Sometimes you wonder. A Gold Coast software developer appears to be energetically reinventing the wheel. It is bringing to market the Typéfi Publishing System Version 1.0, to provide a fresh structured workflow to the unstructured environment of existing publishing processes. The invention of Stephen O’Brien, who is identified as a best-selling author of over 25 computer books, he began developing Typéfi after being frustrated by the turnaround time for typesetting.

“By about my twelfth or thirteenth book I became extremely frustrated with the problems in the publishing process,” he said.
Two years ago, after developing a prototype, he teamed up with ‘savvy entrepreneur,’ Steve Huff, a business consultant from the US, and with Peter and Sue Sampson, both with ‘extensive organizational nous,’ to form the Typéfi Systems Pty Ltd Company – which has been named as a national finalist in the Yellow Pages Business Ideas Grants program for 2003.

Well, good luck to them, says Clancy.

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The tempo for digital printing is speeding up with everyone jockeying for position. Even a giant such as HP needs to augment its firepower. It has signed an agreement to OEM Konica print engines under the HP banner. Konica is noted for the industrial strength of its copier engines, which HP needs to expand its imaging and printing offerings.

“By combining Konica’s robust copier engine expertise with HP’s heritage of networking and manageability, we will bring to the market one sophisticated system that is completely integrated with current HP hard copy office products,” said George Mulhern, senior vice president, HP Imaging and Printing Group.

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In another sign of the digital printing times, Océ has been awarded a seven-year, multi-million dollar document management contract by The Boeing Company, the world’s leading aerospace company. The specific value of the contract was not disclosed. With this agreement, Océ becomes Boeing’s primary digital printing supplier.

The deal spans Océ’s entire portfolio including high-speed production printing, central reproduction services, wide format technical document management, document management software, and the personnel to operate the applications. Océ will assume operation of 28 printing centres, which currently employ over 250 people. Océ expects to hire most of these employees on to its payroll.

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There’s a new update available for Adobe Photoshop 7.0.1 to take advantage of Apple’s new Power Mac G5. The update is available as a free download from the Adobe Web site and, for a limited time, also will be included with all Power Mac G5 systems shipped by Apple.

With this new update, customers who purchased Adobe Photoshop 7.0.1 for an Apple G3 or G4 system can transfer their software to a new Power Mac G5 and be assured of getting the best performance from Apple’s fastest system available. The Power Mac G5 delivers performance that will enable Adobe Photoshop 7.0.1 to run up to twice as fast when compared to previous Macintosh models.
Download from www.adobe.com
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And finally . . . which direction are we looking?

Overheard last night while rubbernecking at Mars as it swings close by in the starry sky, a young woman, “I heard on the ABC, that you’d see it in the sky between North East and South East.”

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