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553 weeks ago @ - Old Mad Men · 0 replies · +1 points

I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY enjoyed this! I worked as a typesetter, proofreader and copy editor for 8 years and we ran a print shop out of our home back in the late 70's, early 80's. And, in the 90's, I was a secretary for 30 air quality engineers.

Typesetting medical books first, on a keypunch machine which punched cards that fed into a computer, pulling together pages for a printed book. And then, via an IBM Selectric, pages of typed galley sheets, converting (mostly from codes stored in my head) tables, mathematical and scientific equations and specific fonts/sizes into that particular coding as I typed along. These galley pages were then fed into giant compositioner machines which read, converted and printed everything onto a "proof" of each page for the book. Later, as copy editor, one of the tasks was to write out the coding for converting text, tables and equations for other typesetters to type on galleys.

With our at-home printing business, I did a lot of paste-up and choosing of type for the things we printed--a lot of press-on type. We used many of the things you mentioned, too.

In the late 80's, early 90's, I was a secretary for a team of 30 or so air quality engineers who were suddenly presented with PCs of their own and were being forced to type their own work as well as providing enhanced graphics on reports, etc. It was a huge hurdle for them to make going from the typewriter to learning the word processing, graphics and database programs. Most of the older engineers, age 40 and older, had to go from submitting handwritten notes to a secretary right to learning a PC. Talk about down-time!

Because of that, I'm not sure if I'm fine with technology today--whether it has saved time or what it forces on a person. I always felt that, for the engineers in my charge, especially the good ones with all the knowledge and, many, experts in their respective fields, to have to learn modern-day 'tools' and add them to their toolbox, seems to take a lot of time away from what they are good at and who they can help most. They were never going to be proficient on the computer; so, is it really necessary? The same can be applied to artists, children whose families can't afford a computer ... and, so it goes... Necessary for survival today.