Monday February 13, 2006

We've Come a Long Way, Baby

When I wrote my Masters Thesis in 1984, I used nroff (a text formatting program) under Unix on a Sun 1 workstation (ser number 285). Rich wrote a driver for an IBM selectric typewriter which we connected as a printer. I hand-fed each sheet of paper, aligned it, pushed the button, checked the result, and reprinted the page if anything was wrong.

It was all pretty high tech for the time. The Macintosh had only been announced in January of that year (and we didn't have one). The laser printer, now so common, would have been prohibitively expensive at that time (even if our computer could use it). A thesis printed on a "standard" dot-matrix printer would have been unacceptable. I was doing pretty well not to hire a typist!

Fast forward...

Recently I was reading an article on blogging and came across James Torio's 1999 Master’s thesis on the social phenomenon of blogs, Blogs - A Global Conversation [PDF]. In many ways, it looks like my thesis - doublespaced, serifed font. But Torio has color! And text wrapped around graphics. And really snazzy chapter headings.

I like his cover page too.

We've Come a Long Way, Baby ( in category Retrospectoscope ) - posted at Mon, 13 Feb, 08:15 Pacific | «e»