Modern typesetting

I first used Microsoft Word in 1984, about three decades (a generation) ago, on a Hewlett-Packard 110 laptop computer, one of the very first. I wish I could tell you which version of Word – definitely, one-point-something. (I’m ok with not resurrecting the computer itself. It had lead-acid batteries; its mass was 4 kg, fairly heavy for a lap. It ran MS-DOS 2.11. …

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Linotype Syntax (Next, SC/Small Caps, etc.)

I have written, illustrated, laid-out, and typeset three books. (I have not typeset books written by anyone else.) In 1996, when I was polishing up my first book for publication, I invested several hundred dollars in a typeface (colloquially, font): Syntax, from Linotype. By 2003, as I was polishing up my second book, I really really wanted one or two additional weights. …

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“Mid”-grey, why not 50%?

If you visit your local photography store, they will happily sell you a mid grey (gray) test card. Many brands are available; let’s take Kodak’s R‑27 as an example. Such cards do not have 50% reflectance. They typically have reflectance close to 18%. This information can be found in the relevant Wikipedia articles (Middle gray, …

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