Thursday, August 12, 2010

Zine Zone Updated

Over at my Website,, I've updated the Zine Zone archives once again for my snail mail zine. I've simplified the layout to save time for myself. The latest issues of the Ray X X-Rayer, #75 and #76, will be found in the 2010 file. After you click on that file you will find links in ascending order, oldest to the newest, the latest issues at the end, of course.

For those unaware of my zine, it collects posts from this blog into an easy-to-print format (PDF). I used to put links on the main page for my Website but I'm getting burnt out with computers, HTML and all the rest. I trying to keep things as simple as possible. The main page will announce when a new zine has been archived but without a link.

Speaking of computer burn out, I almost threw my HP printer out the window. Even though I had converted a color image into grayscale and the set the printer to grayscale, pink blotches were showing up in the B&W images. After wasting a lot of time, ink and paper, I found the solution: the stupid HP printer has to be told to print grayscale images using only black ink. I had to check the box for Use Black Ink. Yes, computers save time, especially with user-unfriendly programs and useless Help files.

I was using Open Office and while I support free open source programs, I want to use programs that WORK. Open Office is supposed to be compatible with Word documents but it kept screwing up. In fact, it would even screw up with a RTF (rich text document) file, wrecking the format, making it unfixable. So I uninstalled Open Office. Good riddance.

I do miss one feature with Open Office, the option to convert a .doc file into PDF. That worked great. But when the file is screwed up, who wants to covert it to PDF? I use CutePDF to convert and it's OK. I might just stop screwing around with PDF and archive my zine files as plain RFT so that any word processing program can open them.

Then again I might stop print zining. I'm down to a handful of subscribers -- actually swappers -- and in a few cases what I receive in return is semi-readable junk, print too small or poor overall quality. Maybe that sounds elitist to you. I don't expect a zine have slick, high production standards. If it's a bit rough around the edges, OK, but it should at least have minimal quality. And with these aging orbs, I don't need the eyestrain.

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ADDENDUM: Forget RTF. I always thought that format would give you a smaller file than a .doc file. But after some eXperimenting I found that when I converted a Word document of around 800k to RTF, the RTF one bloated to over 10 MB. It seems that images really blow up the file. And even when I start from scratch, starting with a RFT file and adding images, it ends up being much bigger than a .doc file. Amazing. I always thought RTF had less bloat than a Word document. And with limited space at my Website, the smaller the better when it comes to uploads.

With RFT I lose formatting and my headers (issue # and page #). But with PDF conversion I end up with a smaller file that retains all formatting. Good thing I checked this out now than waiting to do it later when I wanted to archive my next zine.

1 comment:

X. Dell said...

I remember the good old days with PageMaker and Quark.

I use Primo to convert any file to a PDF. You call it up from the print menu, as though you were selecting a printer.