Tag Archives: technology

Digital Beginnings – The New Technology


Combine the capabilities of the ThunderScan 72ppi monochrome scanner with Apple Computer, Inc.’s brand new Apple LaserWriter, what you get is a far superior product for the new era’s “desktop publisher.”

The technology was brand new and not yet perfected, but I knew immediately that this was what I had been waiting for, preparing for, and drawn to since the field trip to the Bank of America corporate headquarters twenty-some-odd years earlier in the 1960s. 

The year was 1985 when my photojournalism instructor suggested computers and printers could be used for more than creating the crude graphic images of the ’70s. It was spring, and Apple Computer, Inc. had just introduced their first Laser Printer boasting an incredible 300 dots per inch resolution.


The ThunderSsan was not a grayscale scanner and could only produce the appearance of a halftone. Consider that the only image editing software at the time was Apple’s MacPaint, a 72dpi monochrome (black and white) gem of a starter program for a personal computer user in 1985.

The demonstration took place in a room seating about 50 people. It was during this presentation I learned that the computer could be used as a typesetting machine, a process camera, and a drafting table all in one, and one could buy a printer that could output type and graphics at high enough resolution to be reproduced on a printing press with excellent quality. All that and it would all fit on a desktop.

On the ride home my instructor engaged me in conversation and we discussed the potential of this revolutionary combination of hardware and software, which completely turned the traditional graphics design and production workflow on its head.  Instead of contracting one vendor for type galleys, a second for camera work and then cutting everything apart and pasting it up on boards, a graphic designer could output the laser prints from home (or more precisely, from the corner of one’s bedroom) on a single 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper and hand the layouts off to the printer for reproduction.

This Macintosh, ThunderScan, LaserWriter combo was as big in 1985 as was the mind-blowing Macintosh in 1984. Count me in.

The LaserWriter filled the roles of both typesetting and process camera with its debut in 1985.

The LaserWriter filled the roles of both typesetting and process camera with its debut in 1985.

Jumpin’ on the Throwback Thursday Bandwagon

Reporter's First Place WinI thought the day would never come when I would start posting old photos, but here I am in 2014, and mysteriously, this 30-year old gem rose to the top of my flat files.

For weeks I’ve been seeing Throwback Thursday images sneak into my Facebook and LinkedIn feeds. Old photos continue to pop up, so what’s the point of making the excuse that all my photos are old? Of course they’re all old—it’s just a matter of degree.

Throwback Thursday can really take you back. The photo I chose to post shows me being hoisted by the Three Bearded Men early in my Photojournalism education.

While Editor-In-Chief of The Reporter, Moorpark College’s student-published newspaper, our staff grabbed a First Place General Excellence trophy at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges southern California conference.

That was the spring of ’84 when journalists were still using typewriters, film cameras, Compugraphic Editwriters and the old process camera.

Just one year later in the spring of ’85 Apple introduced the LaserWriter, the first desktop “type and image setting” machine, changing My World and The World forever.