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From the editor

August 6, 2010
By Per Peterson

We are creatures of habits, and, as we at the Independent have found out so far this week, when those habits are taken away and our routines crushed and discarded like an empty pop can, we turn into real creatures. At least editors do.

There's a reason you might have noticed some subtle differences in Tuesday's paper. Simple explanation: We have new computers. Not just new monitors, but a whole new, updated system. In the long run, it'll be sweet - faster downloading of just about everything, more options to do more things, etc. But at a newspaper, it's difficult sometimes to look at things in the long run. In the newsroom we have to focus on the short run - the next day.

Everything we knew, well, most everything we knew about our previous computer system has changed. It's still the same, but it's changed. Know what I mean? It's like learning how to drive a stick when you've been driving an automatic for 10 years. We're gonna rock back and forth a little, maybe grind a gear here and there, but eventually, things will smooth out and we'll be cruising again.

This piece is being written on a new computer. On paper, it looks pretty much the same as any other column I've written. What you don't know is that I had to put this together in record time, because time is of the essence this week in the newsroom. We don't have time to think. Our schedules have been rewired. Our brains, too. Putting a page together was something I used to be able to do in my sleep (and sometimes did, see Election Night). Now, however, the simplest of tasks have become daunting.

We're still using the same program for putting our pages together. Only difference is, it's been radically updated and there's a lot to get used to.

At times this week, I've felt like I had never even used a computer before. Early on, it felt like I?was attending some community services course on computers - "Computers for Idiot Editors."

We're slowly getting the hang of things around the office. And by slowly, I mean S-L-L-L-O-O-O-W-L-L-L-Y. But it's coming. All I ask of you is to be patient for a while until things settle back down to normal. We'll do our best to make sure things look the same as they did last week. And, of course, using new computers doesn't change our ultimate goal of gathering the news -?the good, the bad, and the ugly news. Getting the news out to readers is still our No. 1 priority. We're still a newspaper. Getting the news from the mouths of our subjects, to the minds, notepads and recorders of our reporters hasn't changed. Getting that onto the pages of the paper, however, has evolved, and we're evolving with it.

We're proud of the product we put out six days a week - from the newsroom, to the ad department, to the pressroom. And it's because of that pride and our dedication to our craft that we'll continue to work hard to get this paper on your doorstep or into your mailbox on a daily basis.

Getting there, however, isn't half the fun right now.



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