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The MacMono Interface

Tuesday February 17th, 2004, par Rich Hopkins


Monroe Postman of Los Altos, California, created both the software and the hardware that comprise MacMono

Monroe Postman of Los Altos, California, created both the software and the hardware that comprise MacMono. The device was developed with the assis- tance of M&H Type personnel in San Francisco, and the first unit was installed and tested at M&H Type. Monroe has build a system for his own use, and an- other now utilized by Rich Hopkins at his Hill & Dale Private Press and Typefoundry. Monroe is open to the option of building additional units.

MacMono is his means of making the Lanston Monotype Composition Caster (or an English model, for that matter) operate without the need for a punched ribbon from the Monotype Keyboard. His hardware is flawless and operates well. His software is ruidamentary at best; by design, it relies on the justification and counting capabilities of standard word processing sofware, and is restricted by the fact that it does not utilize several of the extensive capabilities of the Monotype Keyboard (letterspacing, unit adding, double justification, etc.). Absence of these capabilities in MacMono restricts its use to basic composition procedures. Preparation of complex files on the computer probably would be more tedious than doing the work at the Monotype Keyboard. But within these restrictions lie a tremendous amount of typesetting, and for this reason, MacMono should be considered by any individual seriously seeking a bridge between the two technologies. Monroe’s stated purpose for using the early Macintosh was its WYSYWIG (what you see is what you get) counting screen appearance, which incidentally is based on an 18-unit EM just as is the Monotype system. WYWYWIG goes out the window, however, when one tries to implement use of italics or small capitals within text files without special work, and thus, counting text using Monroeís basic software in these circumstances is not possible. Items such as quadding out a line, or centering a line, or right justifying are present in Monroeís program, but they are incomplete and donít always perform as one would expect them to. If an entire text is left justified, or if all lines are centered, his quadding options are just fine. But when roman, italic and small caps are intermingled in justified text, I found I desperately needed another option to make the program perform more desirably.

The PC Dimension

The dominance of the Windows-driven PC in the marketplace and my own strong preference for this system has caused me to focus on text preparation on the PC. After I have completely processed a file, I then transport it via floppy disk to the old Macintosh, located next to my caster and dedicated to the MacMono sys- tem. This "platform crossing" (PC to Mac) has been very difficult, but I think I have solved the problem in a way which allows me to operate MacMono far better than ever was possible with Monroeís sofware by itself. Very definitely, I am able to utilize WYSYWIG to its fullest extent on the PC, and have developed a master font which transports all character from the PC platform to the Mac platform.


Postcriptum


Notes


Dans la même rubrique :
Overview of How Files Are Prepared
Text Formatting Macros
Getting A Bit More Technical
Technical Computer Details
Macro Substitutions
Overview of the Composition Caster
How MacMono Works
Physical Changes to the Caster



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