Borklog: One entry

22 September 2004

Back in High School in the mid-80's, we had a Photo Typesetter in the journalism room (an AM Varitype Comp/Set 510-II). I loved that machine. Took 8" floppies. Had a totally arcane user interface, but was still surprisingly user-friendly for the time. There are some small pictures in the right-hand column of this page in French. Take a look at the keyboard picture. All the orange keys were special markup keys. So there was a special key for primary leading, secondary leading, point size, as well as cursor keys (the cursor didn't scroll vertically, just wrapped around to the top or bottom of the screen), plus single-character and word-delete, and a dozen or so other functions I forget. I still remember the keystrokes for saving files. Each of these are independent keys. File, Write, (letter from A-R indicating what file on the drive to save the text in, no more than ~20K). that wrote it. To commit the write, it was File, Write, Single-erase. I probably remember that because it's so bizarre. If you didn't do the File, Write, Single-erase, your data would not get saved. It also had different programs for editing (one called "Edit/Scroll") and one for actual typesetting (called the "Counting Program"). Reset, Mem, G would reboot the machine and bring up Edit/Scrool, Reset, Mem, A would bring up the Counting program. Reset, Mem, other letters would bring up bizarre half-working versions of the previous programs. I could go on and on more about this silly machine.