Using survey and statistical analysis this study attempts to describe the critical technical issues of on-line page file transfer based on actual industry experience. A random sample of service bureaus that support on-line file transfer was drawn from the 1995 Print Resource Buyer's Guide published in the December 28, 1994 issue of Publishing and Production Executive. A pilot survey of the sample was conducted in the late spring of 1995, to establish final methodology and sampling techniques, followed by a comprehensive survey in the late summer/early fall. The survey polled the sample population over six technical areas: transmission ,file transfer protocols, file formats ,file size, Postscript errors and cross-platform incompatibility to determine the key factors that significantly impact the efficiency of the network segment of their operations, and the data for each factor was tabulated by type for hypothesis testing. The hypothesis posited the frequency and severity of Postscript errors as the primary negative factor on the efficiency of on-line file transfer. In addition, eight related areas, internet connection methods, desktop applications, file formats, markets, file storage, computers, data compression and experience with the technology were surveyed to determine the level of experience of the respondents with this technology and the types of hardware and software they employed. The data from the survey were analyzed and a Chi-Square statistical test was performed to test the hypothesis. Though the test results did not support the hypothesis, a substantial body of data was compiled on the actual experience with the technology by the sample population The survey of hardware and software showed a mixed suite of applications and platforms. Macintosh computers remained the platform of choice, but Windows systems were well represented. Application software for desktop publishing came primarily from Quark and Adobe. The markets served were also diverse, both in types of services purchased and geographic location. While the primary markets are regional, forty percent of the sample reported that they served a national customer base. Transmission errors were the most reported bottleneck for customer files delivered via network, an indication that the carrying capacity or bandwidth of the network is less than satisfactory. Errors attributed to customer files themselves were excessive file size and data compression. Seventy percent of the population sample had three or more years of general experience with network technology. Fully half of the respondents reported receiving 150 or more customer files via network per annum. Modems were the main connection method used but nearly a third of the sample utilized some form of dedicated line -T1,ISDN or Switched 56. Ninety percent of the sample expressed a critical need for comprehensive digital production standards to maximize the potential of all digital workflows and seventy percent projected that file transfer via network will double in the next five years. This perception could have a significant impact on future purchasing patterns for network capability, training and related hardware and software. A comprehensive summary of the data and the conclusions drawn from the analysis is set forth in Chapter 7 of this report. An extensive review of the available literature is also included. This study is intended to serve as a basis for future investigation. Suggested topics for further research are listed.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Digital printing; Computer network protocols; Digital printing presses; Printing industry; Electronics in printing; Electronic publishing
Department, Program, or Center
School of Print Media (CIAS)
Altemueller, John, "Data transmission in printing & publishing: A Survey of the technical issues of on-line file transfer" (1999). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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