Martha and I took a vacation in Alaska this past July (2018) to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. It included a land tour starting in Fairbanks and then a cruise from Seward to Vancouver, BC. It was a wonderful experience in a beautiful state.
Martha thought we should be prepared for travel difficulties when going to Alaska. That's why we had an extra day to do sightseeing in Fairbanks. We took a cab ride. The driver, Jason, from the Eagle & Yellow Cab company headed off to our planned destination. He seemed to need a few minutes to work up the courage to ask something that bugged him. "So you want to go to the newspaper? No tourist has ever asked me that before. Why would you want to go there?"
We explained that we owned a business that supplied computer systems to newspapers. It turns out that the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner is one of our customers and has been so since they contracted for Layout-8000 (then still called Layout-80) on June 22, 1984. That's right, the News-Miner became a customer just one year after I joined Martha at SCS in 1983. Even more surprising, the News-Miner is fully updated to new NUCs and current with the latest version of Layout-8000.
Brian said of the most recent upgrade that the equipment came in boxes with an 11-step set of instructions from Frank. It started with unboxing instructions, followed by cable hook-up directions. Everything was very clear. The last item said "Call me." Brian then said, "So I immediately called and Frank said 'I see you. Your installation is complete.'"
"It was by far the slickest upgrade I've ever experienced in over 30 years here. Ann then helped us learn the new system, taking care to go at a pace that our staff was comfortable with. Your people are great."
Brian's first question to me was were we doing more things with Raspberry Pi computers. Seems that he has deployed several at the newspaper. They are used to monitor directories and provide visual signals when pages, plates, etc. are ready for further processing.
Brian had notes on his chalk board. The biggest said "Simplify".
The News-Miner's contract was for Layout-80, ad entry with credit checking, Webpresser, sales analysis and report writer. They currently use Brainworks for retail advertising management and NewsCycle for editorial and pagination with InDesign.
The interface to Layout-8000 is via a cardex from Brainworks. The News-Miner has had Brainworks for a long while. They may have been one of Brainworks earliest customers.
Fairbanks is about as far as one might get from anywhere. It is about 150 miles from the arctic circle.
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Richard J. Cichelli
SCS President & CEO