Farewell to Hard Copy Services

by Maria Chin

After serving the CityU community diligently for 14 years, the Hard Copy Services (HCS) will retire on June 30, 2008. The HCS came into service in 1994. You see and walk by its productions everyday, for example, the big banners hanging above the red doors entrance to the Academic Building and those at the University Circle, the different fashion of posters and leaflets you see in various on-campus and off-campus exhibitions and seminars, the printed and digital media your colleagues and students use to articulate their hard work.

In the light of all-round, quality print shops blooming in the consumer market and their easy access, and the popularity of personal production gadgets like camcorder, scanner, laser printer, CD/DVD writer, and a huge selection of PC based multimedia software, etc., the role of the HCS was reviewed, and it was agreed that it is high time for the HCS to end its duty and the resources be redeployed.

In preparation for the closure, a date had to be set. June 30, 2008 was picked to allow time to complete Semester B student orders and a couple of regular staff orders; it is also before jobs for orientations and exhibitions due in August and September come in. Closure announcements were sent to staff and students in April; they were also reminded to look for other suitable print shop soonest so as not to be caught in the last minute. Department and staff requiring assistance on that can email us at cc@cityu.edu.hk

We, the HCS crew, would like to convey our heartfelt thanks to departments, staff, students and alumni (when they were students) who have supported the services in the past years. On completing our last orders in two weeks' time, the roller gate of the HCS Counter will be shut permanently.

A Brief History of the HCS

The HCS, first known as the Hard Copy Centre, was founded in February 1994 to provide mainly colour and slide output, video recording, letter cutting etc. services to departments and students of the university. It was then combined with the Design and Production team of MPU to form the Media Production Service (MPS) in September 1998. In a management re-organization, the MPU (including the MPS) was merged with the University Press and moved to the Festival Walk Office on 1 March 2003. In order to provide multimedia production services to users, the Computing Services Centre (CSC) resumed the original functions of the Hard Copy Centre under the name of Hard Copy Services (HCS).

Why we have the HCS?

With software like CorelDraw, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Freehand, Microsoft PowerPoint and many others, users can easily create high quality and attractive documents and presentation materials on their desktop computer. However, with ordinary colour printers of the older days, it is not easy to produce the desirable printouts. Also, it always takes users two hours or more to print just a few pages of printouts and/or transparencies of photo-quality. Furthermore, users may experience difficulties when they want to

  • include some photos, slides or negative film in their presentations,
  • print a poster as large as 4' x 12',
  • capture video and sound from DV/video tape,
  • print plastic name badge for their department or conference,
  • duplicate a large number of CD-ROMs.

To help staff and students overcome these difficulties, the HCS has equipped with input and output devices, which are usually found in professional print shops. These devices include a 5000 dpi color scanner, 600 dpi color laser copier / printer, 60" width plotting device, CD duplicator and so on.