IT Times cover, description below
This monthâ€™s cover shot on the theme â€˜Open Sourceâ€™. The model is a literal display of openness, and there are levels of meaning under the surface. Three metaphors are embedded in the image, representing Microsoft Windows, Apple, and Free/Open Source Software.
The Windows level is the … window, modeled after RenÃ© Magritteâ€™s â€˜Telescopeâ€™. The window shows the Colombo sky from the Leisure Times balcony. Much thanks to Deshan Tennekoon for his vital input on this design. Windows (or any OS) literally shows you the world outside. Within the window there is another Magritte painting – â€˜Son of Manâ€™. This man with an apple in front of his face represents… Apple. Both pioneers have shown many things to many people, but they are still very closed systems. The most basic wall they put up is affordability, which is why Rupees paper the walls.
Finally, Thilini represents Free and Open Source Software. Actually, each item of clothing has meaning, as you can read on page 28. In contrast to the buttoned up world of proprietary computing she is more… open.
Publishing a magazine is hard, but fun. Desh asked me why I was going into meatspace, and I guess the best answer that i have is that its fun. There’s a lot of waking up and running around and working with other people (not usually my thing), but in this case I enjoy it. The design part alone is a lot more free than Web Design. I can work with high quality images and control the exact layout of stuff, which isn’t possible using straight code over multiple browsers. All of which is to say, I’ve started editing the magazine IT Times and the first issue has gone to press. Still another week of harassing the print to run my job, but at least one part is done. This contains a (temporary) download of the entire mag and a description of the process.
This was an odd way to do it. One can actually print directly from PDF, called printing to plate, but my publisher doesn’t seem to have/use the facilities. Instead what we have is a dangerously human work-around.
# Layout pages in Adobe InDesign (lovely)
# Export each page as a seperate PDF
# Create another InDesign file of the form, that is a layout the size of 4 full pages
# Embed (Ctrl-D) the PDFs into their appropriate place on the form. Two are upside down, and the order is all jumbled
# Print the forms to Postscript (PS) using the Kantana driver
# Put the PS files on a external hard-disk and run to the printers
# Load the PS files onto the printers ancient Macintosh
# Wait 1 hour
# Come back and look at the roaming (preview)
# Print files to film (each page gets 4 transparent sheets, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and blacK)
# Dunno yet, have to do Monday
Next time it’ll be easier, as all I have to do is put 56 pdfs numbered 01 thru 56 into the forms folder, and the document will update itself. This time I fucked it up many times, including once where I had an extra 5mm internal bleed (margin) which moved the entire publication over 5mm. Had to cancel the film printing and waste like 10 expensive sheets. Mara fuck.
As another story, as I was running around I had a red felt marker in my pocket. I’m in the printer’s output office and someone asks me why my pants are red. I’m like wtf, and I look back to see a big red leak on my right thigh. Finish copying the PS files and run upstairs. Empty out the contents of my pockets (wallet, hard-disk, camera, phone, piece of cake) and go take my pants off in the bathroom. Standing their pantless and scrubbing away when I take a step back to look at my handiwork. Now all the water has spread the red all down the back of my pants and it looks I’m bleeding out my ass. I go home to change.
er, anyways, I’m releasing a full (web compressed) PDF of the issue for a couple of days. I think I could release it indefinitely. I spent a lot of time finding, clearing, and optimizing really high resolution images for the mag, and those are lost in the press version. I think the print version is an entirely different experience because of the quality, and I don’t really care about locking information down. Would talk more, but been travelling to and from Hambantota since 3 in the morning (unrelated) and need some sleeeeep.