Greetings, all. Please pardon the new gal. This post is long, rambling, and somewhat off-topic, but I do have actual questions I hope you can address. Hopefully, you will be able to find them among my invectives.
I’m a Mac user currently stuck in a Windows work environment. I’m a lowly temp doing page production for a very large company. Our documents have to be perfect when done; else, lawsuits may happen. The work is seasonal, but, personally, I think it’s very stupid to hire a small army of temps to produce these books when they’re so important. I think I’m the only temp ever who has had previous experience in publishing. The managers were, frankly, amazed at how quickly and accurately I could lay out a multi-page document.
Out of every production job I’ve had (4 or 5 now), this is the worst workflow I’ve had the misfortune to be at the end of–even worse than the one I was in during the crash-happy System 7.5/Quark 3.x era. This workflow is also the one that can benefit most from automation. It could save them loads of money. However, we’re using Windows (2000 and NT 4) and, horror of horrors, PainMaker 7, er, PageMaker.
I haven’t written any heavy-duty AppleScripts for about 3 years and none under OS X, but I am confident I could work up to that level fairly quickly. I have looked into PageMaker scripting and found it seriously lacking. Thankfully, now that Adobe has axed PageMaker, our company will move to InDesign CS sometime in the near future. That part of the problem is looking better, but the other part is much more difficult to deal with.
Windows–I hate it. Before I was forced to use it, I was mostly indifferent. Now I am more of a Mac bigot than ever, and I’ve been a MacHead since 1988. One of my questions is does Windows have any equivalent to AppleScript? I know of VB Script. I don’t know what it can do. More importantly, what can’t be scripted in Windows? Is there even anything like Finder AppleScripts? My project coordinator was floored when I showed her the OSA Menu in OS 9. “You mean it can rename files for you? Why can’t we do that with Windows?” she asks. I have no idea. If there is a way, it’s not obvious to me. I’ve only been using Windows since June of last year, and I know more than most of these folks do.
Not that I want to learn to script Windows, quite the contrary. I’m just a low paid temp. I don’t consider it worth the effort to learn how. I’d rather just get another job, one with Macs. (Anyone here hiring?) However, if I could convince the management to move to Macintosh for production, I’d be very interested in writing AppleScripts to speed the workflow. (Our tools are/would be Word, Illustrator, InDesign, and Acrobat.) There are two dual 833 G4s in our office just sitting there neglected. It sickens me. It would be cheaper for them to buy Panther and software for the Macs and set me loose than to hire another army of temps when the season picks up again. But, as you can see, I am ignorant of Windows and have no hard figures with which to make a Mac sales pitch.
Also of note, this division of the company is under scrutiny from their home office because they are not turning a profit. I think they’ve got a year and a half to turn that around or their jobs may be eliminated/given to people at HQ. There is definite incentive for them to improve.
I know this has been a very unfocused call for assistance so thanks to all who read it. Virtual punch and pie for you. End rant.