Oh, sweet relief!

I may just drop dead from the shock, Dell emailed me at work today to say I’d finally be taking delivery of my new laptop. I had almost given up it was coming, and had in recent weeks been creating the ethics booklets (only 46 to create!) within InDesign on my personal MacBook Pro.

The only pain with using my person Mac is that I don’t have any adaptors to support using an external monitor at work, thus when working on the booklets I am laptop screen only, oh the pain! I am hoping that with the new laptop I’ll be able to use both external screens and the laptop screen, three screens in total, the thought of this setup has me salivating.

This new machine will have both solid state drive plus 32GB RAM, when compared to the current desktop computer with a minuscule 8GB RAM (or is it 4GB?) and spindle-based hard disk this new machine is going to be nicknamed ‘Terminator’. My Mac has 16GB RAM with 512 SSD and doesn’t even break a sweat with the InDesign tasks, thus I’m so excited at the prospect of a machine that has double the memory knowing it will no longer be 10 seconds per hyperlink. Can you spot the geek in the room? Sad I know LOL.

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What a week

It has been a busy week in this party of one.

Last week I was told I would be working on refreshing the Research Ethics manuals that are currently under review. My part involves redesigning and making these manuals look fresh, they’ve licensed similar manuals from another university and wanted to use these as a basis for improving our own. The source documents are particularly wordy, especially the comment insert boxes which I think are over-the-top wordy. I sent through an initial design for the first document on day one just hoping for some feedback, little did I expect glowing feedback and no requests for changes, does this ever happen?

The most challenging issue I have with these documents, apparently there will be 46 in total, is that they will all interlink, and will be PDF’d. I did an initial test after creating the second document the following day, queue alarm bells, it just didn’t work within Microsoft Word, the links were trying to call the word documents and in specific locations. Perhaps it is my lack of knowledge within this area, I don’t typically need to do such things. Another annoyance was how the footer was behaving, on some pages text would but up against, on others there would be a decent gap, it was bugging me on so many levels.

I decided today I would move to InDesign and see how this application handled interlinking, I knew for sure I was not going to have the footer issues. It took me hours to get my document in, build the hyperlinks up, and get the commentary boxes in place; it is certainly nowhere near as fast to get the document to the same state as it was in Word, but the look is far better for the extra effort. I now need to prepare the second document to allow me to check linking between the two and InDesign performs – CROSSING FINGERS!

I met this afternoon with representatives of our IT department to discuss process mapping I’d been working on recently within our department. I’ve worked within Visio for a few years, however I’ve always done so without any formal training, they will be training me to work to their formal EPC specifications and storing the diagrams within their server. All is still created within Visio, however to a formal structure with naming conventions to maintain consistency across diagrams. Some of the diagrams we have outside of their system are highly detailed and difficult to read when scaled to fit an A3 page, I noticed they mentioned breaking down but it will be interesting to see how they go about this – will be appreciated by all the ability to read once more.

Been a bit of tiring week too, worked a 14 hour day Wednesday between work, then working at home for one of the schools on their website… utterly exhausted after that one, slept like a log. I am grateful for the weekend now and chance of a sleep-in. Thank heavens is winter and sun not rising early right now! Enjoy the weekend, I shall, not raining – woot!