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MONOTYPE DAIRY

01-03-2004: status of the Centronics-parallel port

I’M CONSTANTLY PROGRAMMING FOR A FEW MONTHS NOW. THIS MOMENT THE INTERFACE IS BACK AGAIN TO MY FRIENDS REBUILDING THE HARDWARE. Monday March 1st, 2004, par John Cornelisse


The greed of our famous Microsoft "Guru" Billy Gates is the reason why I cannot read the "status" of the "Centronics"-parallel port. They have changed the protocol, now we are trying to sort out how to solve this problem. No documentation available about it at all. It’s all secret and only for a lot of dollars to be bought...

My first prototype ran on an Atari-520 computer, and believe me, that was a far better working system with that "simple" Gem, than all those 2500 Mhz processors they try to sell us today. My next computer will be a "power-Pc" or Macintosh on Unix for sure.

But enough about that.

I would like to inform you all monotype-loving people about the system, I’ve been working on so long now.

It contains 4 programs:

1) first and for all an editor.

2) matrix-manipulation

3) translation-program

4) casting-program

I’m not building an editor myself, there are enough of them around. Most of them are very capable in moulding a text in all desired way’s.

I’m not willing to copy something that’s already here for such a long time. It would take me years, those are already here...

Lots of editors are pretty capable to produce a plain simple ASC-II-file, with a "Hard Carriage return" at the end of the line. Most of us have such devise already on their system. But do not use that feature anymore.

Back to our roots again !

Those editors provide the basis, we can do all manipulation of the text.

Plain and simple commands - three characters long - are incorporated in the text. These commands control all the translation to the Monotype-code.

All these commands start with: ^.

Monotype has no equivalent for it, there the reason I chose this char. In the text this ^ is easily recognized. I’m rather familiar with it now.

The next two characters after this are interpreted by the program, and if they have no meaning, they will be ignored at all. I’ll let them follow hereafter.

I do this with reason. This program must fulfill first and for all my own needs, but I am sure you all have your own needs and wishes.

Within a few weeks I hope to be able spreading the first ’betha" versions of the program. So you can all play with it, and I hope to learn from all comments you will sent me back.

I’ve built in functions for:

chancing roman - italic - SMALL CAPS - bold

control-codes:

^00 change to roman

^01 change to italic

^02 change to small caps

^03 change to bold

Only lower case is translated into small Caps, Capitals will be cast as Roman capitals when they are mixed.

Adding and subtracting units to the next char in the text

control-codes:

^|1 -- ^|9 add 1-9 units to next character

^/1 -- ^/2 remove 1-8 1/4 units

(^|x & ^/y can be combined after each other)

In this way you can do all finetuning, when kerning is desired Substracting units, is limiting to 2 units minimum,

repeat-code

^r1 - ^r9 - ^ra - ^rf

The third char has hexadecimal properties. This extents the possibilities a little.

The program controls the place of the adjustment wedges, and the Monotype-machine is not capable to substract more than 2 inits or .0185". The program will ignore all non-sense if you would like to try this.

As this code is placed directly after a combination ^|n or ^/n, the addition will be repeated 1-15 times.

More than 15 times will be ignored too. If you would like more, than the combination must be repeated.

making margins:

^#n = add 1-9 squares (18 units) into the line (if possible...)

^=n = add 1-9 half squares (9 units) if possible

repeat-code margins:

^m1-f

After this code the next line will start with a margin as long as the length of the current line. After this command the line might continue, or stop. The third digit is haxadecimal again. But more than 15 times is not allowed. If you want more, just repeat the signal just before the repeater is exhausted.

fixed spaces:

^fn -> ’_’ => fixed spaces = 3 + 0xn /4 points n = hex

n = 3 + - 6 points

Hexadecimal command again, the basis is 3 points, Pica, didot or Founier, whatever you like.

0,1,2,3,4, 5,6,7,8, a,b,c,d, e,f => x/4 points added to 3 points

The underscore is recognized as a fixed space by the program. If you did not set the length of the fixed space, a 6 unit-space G2 will be cast.

is recognized as a fixed space

^fd = 6 point ...

control the length of the ligatures

^ln the length of the ligatures

^l1 no ligatures allowed

^l2 only 2 char ligatures allowed

^l3 full length 3 chars

Some languages do not allow the use of a ligature when the ligature is formed by two chars in a word belonging to two different syllables in that word. German is an example of this.

Though the old types formerly widely used in Germany, contain a lot of different ligatures, the present use of ligatures in German is very limited.

Turning ligatures "OFF", "INBETWEEN" or "ON" again, will allow you all control if needed.

After the ^l1 command the program will ignore all ligatures. Until the default is set again. Only 1-3 is allowed, all other chars will set the default.

Centring a piece of text is possible by placing an equal amount of variable spaces at the beginning and the end of the line. I’ve not made a special function for this phenomenon. Something for the future. But this works quite well. Though you will need some feeling for it. When too much 18 unit spaces are cast after each other, the mould will be overheated.

Margins will be made alternating 18 unit-spaces with 9 spaces, the old Monotype-procedure, keeping the mould cool enough and adding speed while casting white.

One thing built in already, is the possibility to choose the basis you would like to work in. You can choose between Pica, Didot or Fournier, the width of the line can be.

The line-length cannot be changed during the casting, so I did not find it useful to design a command for it.

A special function is made to cope with all present Monotype-coding systems.

-  15*15 A-O, 1-15

-  17*15 NI, NL, A-O, 1-15

-  17*16 MNH

-  17*16 MNK

-  17*16 EF = D, D = "shift"

Combined with the possibility of the unit-adding attachment, the possibility of casting a char with the adjustments-wedges, and high spaces.

I’m open for wishes and suggestions. As I mentioned before, I cannot think all possibilities or functions. In due time it all will be "open source", and you will be able to invent your own commands.

Best wishes,

John Cornelisse

Enkidu-Press, letterpress & type-founding, Apa 754 Vaartstraat 23, 4553 AN Philippine, Zeeuws Vlaanderen The Netherlands, +31 (0) 115 49 11 84

So she spoke to him and her word found favour, he knew by instinct, he should seek a friend.


Postcriptum


Notes


Dans la même rubrique :
11-02-2004: testing and controlling...
03-03-2004: extension manual, producing margins
10-01-2004: the day before
12-02-2004: Mac or PC ?
13-01-2004: Making a new box for the interface Diary
17-01-2004: about Monotype code
29-01-2004: about programming
16-02-2004: C-compilers
13-02-2004: can’t cope with file’s above 64k
Murphy’s Law and interfacing



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