Brent Boyer: Thanksgiving and new technology |

Brent Boyer: Thanksgiving and new technology

Brent Boyer

— Thanksgiving Day is my favorite holiday of the year.

There’s no pressure to buy the right gift, wear the best costume, or put on the best fireworks display. Thanksgiving is about family and friends, football, food and, most importantly, reflection.

I have a lot to be thankful for this year. I earn a steady paycheck; I live in a safe, warm house; I have a refrigerator full of food; and I have a wife and family who love me unconditionally.

Yet I suspect I’m not alone when I say it’s all too easy to overlook the good things in life and focus instead on the things we wish were different. Thanksgiving is a day to push away that negativity and be thankful simply for what we already have.

So, when I gather around the table with good friends this afternoon, I’ll think about my parents, grandmother and sister back in Virginia, and how each has helped make me the person I am today. I’ll be thankful for the opportunity to live in a community full of natural beauty and residents so willing to come to one another’s aid. I’ll recognize how fortunate I am to have access to clean drinking water with the simple turn of a faucet. I’m thankful for my good health and for access to superb medical care should I need it. And I’m grateful to a country that values freedom and to the men and women who sacrifice their own lives to protect that freedom.

There are too many days when I fail to recognize the many things for which I am thankful. Today isn’t one of them. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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Computer to plate

There’s been a flurry of activity in the back of the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s office building. During the past two weeks, the newspaper has been installing machines that increase the efficiency of our printing process. Until last week, we sent pages from a computer to an image setter, which made negatives. The negatives would be used to make metal plates that are then hung on the press. Now, with technology called “computer to plate,” we skip a step and print straight from a computer to the metal plate. We not only save on materials – no more negatives and fewer chemicals – but we also save on time. In the future, that could mean later news deadlines and more relevant, timely content for readers. It also means better color registration from our printing press.

But new systems often bring unanticipated problems. Some readers may have noticed two stories in the past week that we were missing the “jump tag” – the refer that tells you which page the story continues on. I know many readers also were disappointed to find that Monday’s crossword puzzle had clues that appeared to be written in a foreign language.

The errors were the result of the computer to plate transition and our staff becoming accustomed to the different software that operates the new machines.We think we have the issues resolved, and if that’s the worst that happens as a result of the transition, count me as one happy editor.