History of Desktop Publishing by Frank J Romano

25 Feb

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Most people would agree that desktop publishing started in earnest in 1985 when three companies, all beginning with the letter A, come together with a solution for a new way to prepare artwork for publishing. Adobe provided the device independent page description language PostScript, Aldus provided the ground-breaking layout software PageMaker and Apple provided both the computer, the Macintosh, and a revolutionary operating system with an intuitive user interface to the job. Apple also (together with Canon) launched the compact Apple LaserWriter to print the proofs, sometimes used for the final print production. But Frank brings us all the way back to the roots of what came before, the foundations to what much later was coined by Paul Brainerd at Aldus as DTP, Desktop Publishing. Among the milestones is Steve Jobs visit to the Xerox research facility PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) in 1979, when he first saw an icon based and very visual user interface on a computer, coupled with a digital pointer later called a “mouse”. But Mr Romano of course then digs deeper, and leads us through what happened in both computing and publishing before this.

Few people are better suited to write this type of book, and if you want exhaustive details on the topic, Frank is your man. For someone who would prefer a bit less details, Frank provides summaries here and there, and you can come back to the details later if you prefer – in that way the books work much like an encyclopaedia.

Professor Frank Romano has published in all 63 books to date, and this book is the third part of a trilogy about typesetting. The previous books were “The history of the Linotype Company” (2014) and “History of the Phototypesetting Era” (2014).

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A Dinka name for red

5 Mar

Just read Victoria’s book “Colour”, and follows her blogg. There is so much stories about colour!

Victoria Finlay

Medici con l'Africa Cuamm Dinka cattle-1Earlier this week I went to a party where I met a woman from South Sudan. Her name, she said, meant “dark red” in Dinka. Was it common in South Sudan to name people after colours, I asked. It wasn’t uncommon, she said. And is her name just for girls? Yes, she said.

So is there an equivalent, maybe “dark blue” for boys, I asked, happy as always to be chatting along a colours theme. And she started to laugh. And she giggled until little tears formed at the corners of her eyes. “The Dinka are cattle herders,” she said as if in explanation, and giggled again. I didn’t quite understand. “My name is the name for a kind of cattle colour…. (another shudder of laughter)… and no cows are dark blue!” And then we both laughed until we cried at the delightful image of dark blue cows grazing in…

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29 May

I started this site just to learn how to use WordPress, and unfortunately there isn’t much interesting here (sorry). Perhaps this will change when I semi-retire, and have more time for blogging.

So see you later, perhaps!