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September 2013



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Technology and a person like me...

Nora's book cover, originally uploaded by Cathy (Kate) Johnson.

...don't necessarily mix. Mind you, I've used computers for 20 years, back when we used to think 64 has a huge number...now I have a 38 GIG hard drive and it's nowhere near big enough.

Recently, I upgraded to the newest WordPerfect program, X3 (they were smart to call it that rather than, gasp, WordPerfect 13, which is actually is. Some folks get a little squirrelly about that number! Not me, of course...) It's lovely, anyway, and allows me to make PDFs MUCH more easily and professionally. I had a rough time with that before, with lots of incompatibilities and problems and glitches. WP X3 is great!

But it doesn't like my old printer, looks like. I have a wonderful ancient workhorse of a printer, an HP Laserjet 5, and for some reason I just could NOT print out my godchild Nora's present in booklet form the other day. I have a 1" stack of discarded attempts to show for it!

I looked in the help file, I wrote to my WordPerfect Users Yahoogroup, and I followed every word anyone suggested. Still nada.

Used to be that WP would format a booklet so it would print half the pages, in their proper order, then you'd flip them over and print the other side. Then all you had to do was fold, sew (or staple, or send to a Real Printer), and voila, done, a booklet! Or a book, even.

Well, it must have been back when I was using WP 8 or 9 when I last printed a booklet, and the other day it just was NOT happening! I probably took 10-15 tries at it, and the pages refused to print out in any sort of usable order.

I was hoping I could just get a new printer driver to download, but it appears they're not offering them any more for my good old dependable dinosaur (I must be the last living person without a color printer, a lack I feel quite often!)

Sooooo...I printed out the booklet on nice cream paper and collaged the pages in place, in order, on heavier card stock and then proceeded to bind into a book for Nora, wavy pages and all!

Uh oh...wavy pages...

I guess it has a certain wonky charm. Soooo...I just went with it, and added "stains" and distressing...kind of goes with the theme!

My dear friend Roz Stendahl of http://rozworks.com suggested using Tyvek instead of bookcloth for the cover (and also generously sent me bookcloth scraps to use on the spines, as here) and I loved how the Tyvek handled! Thin, strong, and takes a wash of color beautifully, looking almost like marble...I'm thinking the corners will withstand wear well, too...

And of course the BEST thing is that Nora was pleased with her birthday present. I loved doing something special for her...and this was something she'd actually asked for, though she just wanted to hear some of the old tales I'd told her and her sisters years ago.  A bound book of them really surprised her!

Now to figure out what to do about the new software/middle-aged computer/ancient printer incompatibility. I need a marriage counsellor for my work!  (And someone to translate computerese...it's not geek, it's Greek to me!)


What a beautiful book! It's a gift she will surely treasure all her life.

It's been a long time since I used WordPerfect, but one used to be able to "save as" an older version, and the file would then be formatted to work with that version. Perhaps you can "save as" in the WP 8 or 9 format? Just guessing.
What a great idea, Brie, I'll try that too...

And yes, those were Nora's exact words. I LOVE it when I manage to give just the right thing. I think I was even more delighted than she was!