Who are you? (solicitation for information about desktop publishing; includes information about new products)
by Robert Bixby
Specialty paper supplier will make any desktop easier and more attractive.
As the hit song by The Who says, "I really want to know." I'd be interested to know what software you're using and what you're using it for. If you have a moment to spare, drop me a letter or postcard to tip me off. Desktop publishing has become so widespread, and desktop publishers are engaged in such a broad array of activities, I feel the need to focus on the things that are of most benefit to you. I want to provide information that will directly assist you in the kinds of projects you are pursuing. If you have tips or ideas that make publishing easier or more rewarding, I'm interested in hearing those, too. If I use your tip in the column, I'll give you full credit (and maybe something extra besides).
Here's what I've been up to. Recently I've been involved in making my books more visually interesting by using different kinds of paper. In the beginning, I simply used a cardstock cover, usually in buff or gray because those were the most attractive cardstocks available from my printer.
What finally drove me to search for alternative sources of paper was a book I was putting together for a poet who used very long lines. I decided the easiest way to present her material was by using saddle-stitched legal-size paper to yield a 7- x 8 1/2-inch page (as opposed to my standard 5 1/2- x 8 1/2-inch page. I could find legal-size paper in many different colors and textures, but I also needed cardstock in a precut 8 1/2- x 14-inch size to make the cover. I couldn't find anyone who stocked it, and no one would provide it in the quantity needed (75 sheets).
Finally, serendipity took a hand in my quest when I received, unsolicited, the Paper Direct catalog (Paper Direct, 205 Chubb Avenue, Lyndhurst, New Jersey 07071; 800-272-7377). If you haven't seen this little collection of specialty papers, you're in for a treat. All you need to do is call to get a free catalog.
About half of the catalog is filled with specially printed paper for letterhead, invitations, presentations, and pamphlets. If you think you can't afford to print up a four-color pamphlet, buy a box of beautifully colored pamphlets from Paper Direct and fill them in with your information.
The other half of the catalog is a desktop publisher's dream. I won't say that every weight and color of paper is available (only three colors of cardstock were available in the size I wanted, for example--white, pale gray, and pale blue), but a wide enough variety is available to meet virtually any need. Paper Direct has many different kinds of recycled paper, textured paper, and even translucent velum in many different styles.
Because its primary customers are desktop publishers, Paper Direct also provides tips on using its papers, maintenance supplies for Hewlett-Packard laser printers, and interesting, hard-to-find items like foil, a pamphlet folder, and a paper recycle you can use to make your own paper out of scrap. A minimum order is $30 (plus $6 for UPS shipping; the charge is slightly more for overnight delivery). With your first order, you can request a sampler containing a sheet of each type of paper offered by the company and a fan of paper strips to simplify ordering.
A couple of months ago, I mentioned the nVIEW line of video projectors. Since then a couple of other very interesting product announcements have crossed my desk. The Eiki (pronounced "achy" as in "achy, breaky wallet") LC-300 provides up to a 300-inch projection picture (diagonal measure) of any composite video image for $4,395. To use this with a computer, you would also need a VGA-to-composite converter. The LC-200 provides a 200-inch picture for $3,995. Expensive, yes. But a video display 15 x 20 feet in size (10 x 13.3 feet for the LC-200) is bound to impress. To find out more, write or call Eiki International at 26794 Vista Terrace Drive, Lake Forest, California 92630; (714) 457-0200.
Another product that will interest people making traveling presentations is the Cruiser notebook computer. This computer features a detachable translucent LCD screen that can be used with an overhead projector. It has a 25-MHz 386SL chip, built-in trackball, fax/data modem, removable hard disk, and an optional external 16-bit expansion bus. To learn more, contact Rever Computer at 8F, Number 2, Alley 6, Lane 235, Pao Chiao Road, Hsin Tien, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.