About “the Apple”-7. 1985, the LaserWriter and PageMaker

In an era of truly mass media a once important and significant words from too frequent use had been worn down like old coins, and lost their luster. So I will try not to call the chain of events of the revolution.

Day, who shared the history of civilization “before” and “after,” the 23 January 1985. At the annual meeting of shareholders of Apple Computer was announced as LaserWriter and PageMaker, the program is known to nobody company Aldus. The beginning of sales of both new products promised in the spring of the same year.


In LaserWriter used a printing mechanism of a laser printer (LBP) from Canon with a controller (CX) from the same company. Or Canon LBP-CX. The same as the HP LaserJet, released on the market in may 1984. 10 months before the LaserWriter, sales of which began in March 1985.

Managed print “Mac without a display” with a Motorola 68000 processor with a clock frequency of 12 MHz and RAM at half a megabyte. Polumegabayta of RAM was used for controller Canon CX for work PostScript. PostScript itself, along with various libraries and utilities, were sewn up in ROM volume K. the Remaining 512 megabytes of RAM was used for the print buffer.

Thanks utilities, sewn in ROM memory was the LaserWriter printer WYSIWYG, meaning “What You See Is What You Get”, or “What you see (on screen) is what you get (on the printout)”. Despite the fact that the resolution at screens all contemporary Macs was 72 dpi, the LaserWriter and it was approximately 4.17 times greater, 300 dpi, WYSIWYG ensured at any cost.

To print text was used even more advanced algorithms wikislavia the contours of characters and receiving the output the same symbols, but in the form of sets of curves. That’s what was required prohibitive amounts of memory and processor with increased clock frequency. To do this, and to support PostScript.

For comparison: Macs in 1985 was used the Motorola 68000 processor, the RAM size does not exceed 512 K, and the libraries of the operating system and “Toolbox”, including all of its graphical system, fit in 64K of permanent memory.

Have a LaserWriter and HP LaserJet a lot in common: the same mechanism laser printing with the same controller Canon LBP-CX, same print speed 8 pages per minute, the same resolution of 300 dpi (dots per inch). And even the processor of the same type Motorola 68000, but a cheaper version with a clock frequency of 8 MHz, the same as in the then Macs. And RAM in the LaserJet only had 128 K.

And the page description language of their own design, PCL3, is much more limited than PostScript, but it is free and undemanding to resources. For office use – at the time. But as devices for desktop publishing systems came only LaserWriter, and that such system was the purpose of its creation.

And another difference: HP LaserJet cost $ 3495, and in September 1985, also fell to 2995, and LaserWriter cost the buyer at $ 6995. Or, as it is written about in a dozen different sources, “for $ 1000 more expensive than the HP LaserJet”.

Subtract from 3495 6995. Or at least a 3.5 from 7.0.

Three sources and three components of the DTP-revolution

Three sources – Apple Computer, Adobe Systems and Aldus. Without any of them no DTP-revolution in 1985 would not have happened. And about component parts, I wrote exclusively for greater awareness quotes.

Someone recognized her in this form?

Apple: Mac, LocalTalk, and LaserWriter

About Mac I will not tell. I note only that many of the participants in the creation of the DTP, not whether, at the time, Apple Computer this computer simply would not speak to the jobs seriously.

LocalTalk – Ethernet-based AppleTalk Protocol developed by Apple Computer specifically to connect a LaserWriter to a number of Mac am. The speed of data transmission in LocalTalk was amazing. As many as at $ 230.4 kilobits per second. Many, after learning about this feature of LocalTalk, lost interest in him. And for good reason. Any man (and probably even some Pets) could use LocalTalk to connect a LaserWriter to a whole bunch of Macs and all worked. About animals I was joking. The instructions (in pictures) still, it was better to watch. Although many have guessed for yourself.

But very few of those who connected and used the network of an entire era of his life, knew that uses some sort of LocalTalk and that is based on something.

What is important to note, LaserWriter does not require connection to a dedicated computer and settings. He understood himself. If desired, it can be connected to a single Mac. Everything worked.

Officially, the number of connected Macs was limited to 16, but users of Macintosh the documentation is never read and mapped to a single Mac and a LaserWriter, all caught by hand, sometimes 30-40 pieces and everything worked.

Marketers have taken into account the economic component: 6995 dividing by 16, they came to the conclusion that the LaserWriter is worth about $ 437 in terms of the connected user. Checked: converges. And when 30-40 users on a single LaserWriter…

To work with LaserWriter LocalTalk speed was enough. The print quality does not suffer. The number of Macs in a network, the printing speed is not affected in any way. At any point in time was performed only one task.

Waiting in the queue are affected – but it is a “force majeure event”.

Reveal a terrible secret. If we say that exactly the way it was intended and that LocalTalk was selected from some reasonable and selfish reasons, we lie.

In January 1983, after the release of Lisa, Apple Computer has publicly announced work on AppleNet, network, based on the Xerox XNS protocols, data transmission is almost three times less than that of Ethernet, but quite decent – 1 megabit per second. Only trick failed. After several months of testing AppleNet in the headquarters of the company closed down, glad that didn’t want to test its network on users, as was the case with the Apple III.

Adobe Systems PostScript and

PostScript is a programming language, multiparadigmatic, procedural, stack-based, strongly typed, uses reverse Polish notation. The page description language, a very powerful and flexible. Entered the market in 1984. It is a General purpose language, which, if desired, and a good hold, I can write a lot of stuff, not only page description. It is addictive, like a Fort, with the same Reverse Polish Notation.

PostScript was developed in the garage of John Edward Warneka, on the banks of Adobe Creek (stream flowed behind the house of John), in Los Altos, California. The creators of the language had five, I will mention only the main, they are also the founders of Adobe Systems. This is John Warnock and Charles “Chuck” Geschke. Jobs called them “John and Chuck.”

Steve jobs learned about this company from the garage of Robert (Bob) Belville, who prior to joining Apple he worked at Xerox PARC, was friends with both of them and was aware of what they were doing. The Bob BELVIL that from 1982 to 1984, was the Manager of the Macintosh development team, and in 1984, received a promotion, became a Director of Apple Computer engineering. Manager of programmers.

According to one version, the founders of Adobe Systems was going to do something else, but after talking with jobs quickly undertook the development of PostScript. But in this case, it is not clear how the team of five people could so quickly and at such a high level of quality to release the first version of the language. It’s almost a miracle.

And it is almost official point of view, but to me it somehow… “dear leader, comrade Steve jobs pointed out to the comrades on the shortcomings of the…” – agree, that’s another story.

There is another version – the founders of Adobe Systems proposed a new draft of the language manual, Xerox PARC, but have not met understanding and created the company is to continue its development. What I believe anymore.

In 1984, Adobe Systems released the first commercial version of PostScript.

Jobs understood that without the PostScript, his plan will fail and that it is useless (and no time) to look for an alternative.

Steve suggested that John and Chuck to “sell” the Apple for 5 million dollars then. In 1983, Adobe Systems was not worth a tenth of that amount, but he politely and firmly refused.

Within a few months, jobs had tried to negotiate with Adobe Systems about the special terms of use PostScript. Adobe insisted on using his scheme – the payment of royalties from each device installed with PostScript.

Eventually, in December 1983, agreed. By that time, Adobe Systems became a public company (as they did not know, but the arrogance is striking). Jobs acquired 19% stake in Adobe Systems for $ 2.5 million. Without permission, Scully, without a previous investigation by the Board of Directors and approval… But Apple Computer has received the right to install any number of copies PostScript to any number of devices of any type. While a fifth of Adobe Systems in the hands of Apple.

Scully was furious: jobs had no right to sign such deals! A month before the release of the Mac to dismiss the jobs no one dared. Leaving jobs in the ranks of the company, is de facto recognized and the agreement.

Several years later, in 1989 or 1990, when the Apple things didn’t go too well, shares of Adobe was sold for 89 million dollars.

In 1987, jobs had an agreement with Adobe Systems on preferential licensing PostScript for his new company NeXT and on joint development of the DPS, Display PostScript. What’s it cost, is unknown. Clearly, not for free.

But in 1997, when Apple was sinking back jobs, John Warnock refused to rescue drowning and hopeless, in his opinion, company. And did not conclude any preferential agreements. And Display PostScript, developed jointly with the NeXT, was a very important part of NeXTSTEP/OPENSTEP, which Apple Computer, while “deep down”, tried to convert to the new operating system for Macs.

It was a torpedo below the waterline, a fatal blow. But at the end of the century Apple was working really good engineers, and that they have developed (Core Graphics, a marketing name for Quartz) exceeded DisplayPS. But that was then.

And the history of PostScript began in 1976, the legendary company Evans & Sutherland. John Warnock, developing an interpreter for the access to great three-dimensional graphics database that went beyond the task and come up with a universal description language design. Using this language, he chose several problems, testing and modifying it at the expense of the employer.

Two years later, at the research center of Xerox in Palo Alto (Xerox PARC), John Warnock and Martin Newell created the page description language for a new laser printer Xerox. Language called JaM (John and Martin), it has been used in several printer models of the company, and after completion and finishing turned into a commercial product Interpress.

They say that PostScript was created at Xerox PARC, and John, as expected, offered him the management of the company. The user is not interested, and John left to create his own company. It seems to be true, at least not implied notorious “for no reason”.

Aldus PageMaker

Programs that use the unique user interface of the Mac for creating professional-level content, prior to 1984 was not. Even in the project.

Other components for the successful conquest of publishing, marketing and advertising industries have already had or created. There was only one very important link, without which the whole ambitious plan turned into an adventure.

23 January 1985, simultaneously with the LaserWriter, was announced as Aldus PageMaker, the program, which “was not even in the project” just a year before. The program was supposed to go on sale in spring for $ 495. For the time it’s cheap.

Capabilities PageMaker:

  • the program allows you to place the page elements anywhere, with drag-and-drop, i.e. dragging items with the mouse;
  • advanced features text entry;
  • carefully selected tools for painting;
  • the ability to import text and graphics from other programs;
  • the ability with absolute precision to display the page when printing to a printer with a significantly higher (4.17 times, in the case of the LaserWriter) resolution.

Then it was nothing like this. This today programs with a similar set of features more than iPhone and iPad users.

Aldus PageMaker was released in July 1985. Development and debugging of the program, from start to finish, took 16 months.

Where did Aldus and its PageMaker?

If it is very short, there was a man, Paul Brainard. Tried all, as he had to earn a living while in school. He was a journalist, editor-in-chief of the school newspaper the Oregon Daily Emerald with the degree of journalist at the University of Oregon, engaged in programming, worked for Atex, which was for the computerization of the publishing activities.

When I was looking for information about the early years Atex, I came across a very interesting is one of the products of this company. Text ad, 1981 or 1982: “Inexpensive complex medium for publishing houses, only 250 000 dollars.”

In 1984 the company was bought by Kodak, the factory in Washington state where he worked the Floor, was closed, and he decided to open his own business. Of course, in his usual area, but without specifics. In search of specifics he asked the friend, Jonathan Sibolga, who was also a friend of Steve jobs.

Mac struck the Floor, the task was quite impossible and difficult to for her to take, and the company Aldus developed PageMaker. By the way, Paul Brainard blessed of native speakers of American English, and then all of humanity, both progressive and not, the term “Desktop Publishing”. In Russian translation it sounds like “desktop publishing”, but it seems to me, is more often used even more Russian option, “Desktop publishing”.

The history of the company Aldus and its PageMaker unbearably want to write in detail and slowly… of the Material already, and every day it more and more. But another time. Consider this another teaser…

Why the emergence of “Desktop publishing” is called a revolution

In the 70s and early 80-ies of the last century three great and vital industry of the capitalist world lived a painfully difficult and incredibly expensive life.

The font chosen is not the author of the advertisement, and not the designer, and compositor in the printing. To achieve at least close to the intended transmission of text and graphics (and also that of their mutual arrangement which was required) was unreal. Those who sought to fulfill their requirements (threats, blackmail, torture), trying not to be the case, because the customers still did not rebound.

This had to do with any printed materials – magazines, Newspapers, books, advertising posters, posters. The publishing house was rented composing machines (they were very expensive, those “only 250 000” was in fact the best offer), which were more complicated, required special treatment, a qualified professional who them and engaged, and the results were still disappointing.

Desktop publishing systems, introduced in 1985, with the high cost of the component parts of such systems were cheaper on the order of, allowed to do what was unthinkable before, and without any distortion to print mass copies. Because the output PageMaker page was submitted in PostScript commands, which soon became the standard language of the printing world.

But the LaserWriter was used for proof-reading (if we assume a large circulation), or, if circulation is allowed, he turned into a printing press.

Starting in 1985, anyone could personally write and publish their own “media.” And they began to emerge in the thousands.

In the 80s and early 90s actually sold PageMaker Mac I. publishing has become a recognized territory of Apple Computer. Despite the emergence of versions of PageMaker for the IBM PC (including MS/DOS, PageMaker shipped with the runtime of the first versions of Windows) for the PDP and VAX/VMS, IBM OS/2, various Unixes, and let me forgive the adherents of the systems that I was not called.

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