On May 17, 2001, the Montreal
Linux User Group will hold an evening seminar in collaboration
with Fuji Graphic Systems Canada
to introduce Linux to Montreal area printers and pre-press shops. A
Fuji source indicated that many of their clients have shown keen
interest in the platform and this seminar is being organized in
response. Although Fuji has considerable UNIX expertise in-house,
they have turned to MLUG for assistance in introducing GNU/Linux
and the advantages of logiciel libre to their clients.
MLUG members will present general information on Linux, the GPL and
various applications such as Samba, Apache and Zope.
Fuji is a major, world-wide supplier of pre-press consumables
such as film, plate and proofing products as well as scanners,
imagesetters, film and plate processors and the like. In recent
years, as the industry adopted digital technologies, Fuji evolved
into a supply channel for numerous products including Apple
workstations, Sun servers and several software solutions.
The pre-press and desktop publishing industries run primarily on
Apple workstations. Most server functions were originally handled
by Unix, but more recently some of these services have been ported
to the lower-cost NT platform. In many instances this may have been
a false economy due to technical issues related to the Windows OS.
Pre-press shops typically run small networks that handle large
amounts of data and often huge files. In practice, these shops must
reboot their NT boxes on a daily basis to minimize, er, unscheduled
shutdowns. They have been looking for alternative ways to provide
some of these services that will improve reliability and
Enter Linux. Several of the applications that were ported to NT
have been restored to the Unix-style platform. By coming full
circle with Linux they eliminate the technical problems that come
with NT while enjoying an even lower cost.
Pre-press shops' interest may have been sparked by Linux and the
opportunity to move away from NT, but there is a perception that
Linux lacks specific applications for their industry. Fuji will
allay some of these concerns on May 17th. One example is a digital
proofing application called Black
Magic from Serendipity Software. This package, although widely
used on NT, is now available for linux.
There are several other industrial-strength applications now
running on Linux that will be shown on May 17th. MLUG is helping
Fuji to set up Linux boxes running packages for creation, scanning,
imposition and poster production. All were previously available on
NT and well known to the industry. They are production-grade,
mature products that plug in to the desktop publishing or pre-press
environments easily, making the migration to Linux
This industry is a large market for Apple, and applications such
as Photoshop and QuarkXpress are industry workhorses. This is not
likely to change, nor does the industry see a compelling reason to
do so. However, several ancillary areas of the workflow run on Unix
and, more recently, on NT. Now there is an opportunity to upgrade
many of the NT products to Linux versions. Fuji, with some
assistance from MLUG, is helping its clients with the migration
process and for this deserves the commendation and support of the
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