DTP Servers


If you’re unfamiliar with OPI servers, FullPress may be confusing. It takes high-resolution images and makes them in to low-res. The reason for doing this is because, if you’re working in XPress, placing a 1MB file is a lot quicker than placing a 60MB file. Then, when you collect to output, or print on an image setter or colour laser, the images are replaced with the high-res versions – so there’s no need to stuff your hard drive full of images. However, that’s how normal OPI servers work, FullPress is a little different. The usual way of managing big and small documents is via a live folder in which high-res documents are saved, and a low-res folder in which the small files are placed by the server. It isn’t difficult to get confused. Xinet has made the process simpler and quicker than most Mac OPI software – by using Mac OS X Server. Volume trickery
The software creates two different volumes, rather than different folders. At least, that’s how it seems – but actually, something sneakier is going on. The OS X Server is presenting two volumes, but there is really only one, but with different access privileges. The files created by FullPress, when a scan or image is copied to the volume, contain both the high-res and the low-res images in one file. You can restrict access to the high-res volume for people in the layout department, for example, as they need only the low-res images. When the images to print, FullPress takes over and uses the high-res part of the file. Managing folders and files is easy with FullPress, because both resolutions are in the same file. If you delete the high-res one, the low-res version goes too. If you put items in job folders, the low-res images mirror the big files. Another plus is the fact that the XPress preview is magically sharp, instead of a fuzz of blocks. Macworld’s buying advice
There are overheads incurred by using FullPress, though. For a start, the price will shock small businesses, and, when you add the price of OS X Server and the recommended half-day installation, it becomes an extremely expensive set-up. You’ll need to calculate carefully how much time it will save, and how much money that represents. But it’s cheaper than buying more machines because so many others are tied-up printing. WebNative
If you’ve the luxury of FullPress, then WebNative can improve your work life even further. It allows you to offer access to the low-resolution images via the Internet. If your printer or pre-press shop has a FullPress and WebNative set up, then when you send transparencies for high-resolution scanning, they will put the resulting images on the server. The server then gives you access, from your studio, to the low-res images. When the document is finished, it’s sent to the company, where FullPress substitutes the high-res files. This opens up a whole range of uses for WebNative. There’s no more waiting for ISDN or Jaz disks, as the images go onto a secure Web site as soon as they’re scanned. Pictures can be accessed from the office, home, or even overseas. The whole package isn’t cheap, as the plug-in costs £8,500, and a stand-alone version £9,895. However, the convenience for the customer is a business boon.
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