thought I'd wrapped up this topic on Friday but, still writing under the
duress of the worst head cold I've had in, perhaps, ever, I'm taking the path
of least resistance and turning up yet a few more leftovers on last week's
topicpublishing technology in my early lifeto meet today's word quota.
exposure to Linotype machines before they became obsolete (with, I'm sure, some
exceptional cases) helped me anticipate the most important technology in my life:
the computer. I was always fascinated by reports of computer developments, despite
my general indifference toward scientific areas academically, because their potential
for publishing were always apparent to me. When I watched Linotype machines operate,
I was transfixed at how complicated they were and how well they did so many operations.
Part of that fascination was realizing that the Linotype, though more mechanical
than electronic, had a built-in computer function.
days" almost all newspaper and magazine columns were "justified."
That means that the right side of the column was as straight as the left one.
The column you're reading now is what newspaper layout people call "ragged
right"; every line of type ends wherever the last word that fits in the line
ends, so there's an uneven raggedappearance to the right side of the
column. Most newspaper columns still use justified columns, because "justification"forcing
every line to fill out the maximum available width for the lines of type
gets more words in the same length column than the ragged approach.
justify every line of type "on the fly," the Linotype had to figure
out how many letters, and how many letters of a certain width (i's, n's, and m's
are discrete widths, for example), would occur in any line and perfectly distribute
whatever space would have been left at the end of the line if it were not
justified, in the spaces between words and, in some cases, even extra equal spacing
between letters. It still amazes me how the Linotype was able to do this, but
of course in the 2000s we take such calculationscomputationsfor granted.
point is that when a computer/word processor was first described to me, I was
ready for it. I couldn't wait to be able to afford my first computer (and as a
result threw away almost a thousand 1985 dollars on my first, which didn't have
as much computing power as myor anyone else'scell phone does now!).
A complete index of Jon Kennedy's Jonals for 2001 - 2005
of a good testimony
I was at a stop light,
behind a car with a bumper sticker that said "Honk if you love Jesus." So I honked.
The driver leaned out his window, gave me an very impolite gesture, and yelled,
"Can't you see the light is still red, you MORON!?"