ENSURING stable file sharing and exchange between the two offices at Dorset House in Quarry Bay and the Morning Post Centre in Tai Po in an economical way has become the most critical issue for the Editorial Technology Department. Setting two different networks to serve each side was not a problem with the present computer technology but maintaining the file sharing without incurring much extra cost posed a challenge, said Joseph Leung Wai-chun, editorial technology manager. On the image side, the department looks after the picture reception and storage from local and wires for the Tai Po and Quarry Bay sites. On text data the department pulls out published articles, faxes, E-mail and photo assignment request forms from the Atex system, the main editorial front-end system, into the Novell 3.12 network, processes them and sends them to various destinations by electronic means or printed to network printers. Mr Leung said the image sharing was made simple thanks to the AP Archive system, called AP Preserver. He said the simplest way to connect two remote networks was via routers and a high-speed lease line but that solution was too costly for a small-scale network. He said that real-time update was not so crucial in his tasks, so, instead of buying costly solution outside, his staff had written programmes and stripes to exchange files between the two networks. Although it was more difficult than simply buying network equipment, it was more economical. Only two extra normal telephone lines and modems were needed, he said. Every five minutes, the programs on both sides will transfer the copy typists' files to the Atex computer system while pulling out faxes, E-mail and photo request forms. Then, the computer at the Tai Po office will make connection with Quarry Bay via a telephone line. Any files meant for the opposite office will be exchanged and photo request forms will be printed to the network printer at Dorset House where the photo department resides. 'These tasks may sound trivial but they are essential in ensuring smooth operation,' Mr Leung said. The biggest problem in moving to the new offices was the limited time available to set up the computers. 'We were allowed to start setting things up only two days before the move,' he said. 'All of my staff needed to work around the clock to meet the deadline.'