Brighton Lions Club is 60 years old this year and way back last autumn I took it upon myself to produce a history of the club during those 60 years. It was an interesting experience to learn just how enterprising were the Lions of Brighton in the years before I joined the club, some of the challenges they took on being quite enormous. At last week's meeting I told the club that the book was finished and ready to go to the printers. What I wanted was a rough idea how many copies to have printed, thinking that twenty or so would be ample. No, I was told, the club thought every member should be given a copy, some should be given to important people like the Mayor, and some should be kept to be given to new members. 60 should be enough. I was flabbergasted but agreed to order 60 copies.
I had said the book was ready to go to the printers, but in fact there was still a little more to do. I had to convert the file to .pdf format and burn it to a disc. Now that would normally cause no problems. Normally. But this time, of course, it did. I decided to finish off the August issue of Jungle Jottings before starting on Diamond Geezers (as the book is called). Now I always send out JJ in .pdf format having produced it in WordPerfect. Conversion is simple enough: I have a freebie program which converts as part of the printing process. But no matter how many times I tried to convert, only half of JJ would emerge in the .pdf document. I finally decided the .wpd (WordPerfect) file must be too large. With several pictures in this issue, it was a pretty big file. I reduced the size of the graphics, and lo and behold - problem solved.
It was the same with Diamond Geezers. No matter what I did, the .pdf file contained less than half the .wpd file - and there was no way I could reduce the size of the file. However, although the printers could not accept WordPerfect files, they could accept Word files as well as .pdf. So, I saved the .wpd file as a .doc file. But that threw up other problems, principally with the formatting.
(This is where I must insert a prescript.)
Flashback twenty years: PCs (personal computers) were not called that in those days - they were desktop computers. It was about then that, in my capacity as general manager of a small company, I bought myself my first computer. Well, the company bought it for me to use in the office. That computer didn't come with all sorts of goodies pre-packaged and any software had to be bought separately. I decided to use WordPerfect as my word processor. I can't remember why I chose WordPerfect: I don't suppose it was simply because I liked the colour of the packaging but it might have been for an equally inane reason. Whatever the reason, WordPerfect it was. And I still use it today. Eventually, of course, I upgraded my computer (several times, even since retirement) but I have loaded good old WordPerfect onto each one. I did try using Word, but because I had become so set in my ways with WP, I just couldn't get to grips with it. And I still think that WP is the better program for some things.
Anyway, Diamond Geezers was now on my desktop in Word format - but everything was skewwhiff! It took me ages to sort out - and I still can't get to grips with section breaks! But sorted out it was, so I burned it to a disc and went off to the printers yesterday afternoon. They checked it out and it looks good for printing, so in three or four weeks' time Diamond Geezers will be in print. And the printers gave me a very good price as well.