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Old 06-16-2005, 06:40 AM   #1
ktinkel
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Default Steve Jobs, computers, and fonts

A relevant snippet from Steve Job’s commencement speech at Stanford. You can read the whole speech, which was interesting, at the Stanford site.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jobs
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

   
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Old 06-16-2005, 11:23 AM   #2
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Nice speech....I didn't know anything about his parents and stuff...

Loved this about The Whole Earth Catalog (still have one by the way):

"It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions."

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Old 06-16-2005, 12:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrie
Nice speech....I didn't know anything about his parents and stuff...

Loved this about The Whole Earth Catalog (still have one by the way):

"It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions."
I have if not all then several of the Whole Earth Catalogs. Not in great shape — the paper is worse than newsprint, now a deep brown and it cracks if you stress it at all.

I thought it was a great speech to give to Stanford grads, but the comments on fonts were a bit, well, hyperbolic. Oh, well — that’s show biz!

   
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Old 06-16-2005, 01:58 PM   #4
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>>kt: I have if not all then several of the Whole Earth Catalogs. Not in great shape — the paper is worse than newsprint, now a deep brown and it cracks if you stress it at all.

Mine's in a box...I would guess it's in the same condition as yours are...'-}}


>>I thought it was a great speech to give to Stanford grads, but the comments on fonts were a bit, well, hyperbolic. Oh, well — that’s show biz!

And he is nothing if not a showman...

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Old 06-16-2005, 04:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrie
And he is nothing if not a showman...
Oh, yeah!

   
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Old 06-17-2005, 08:10 AM   #6
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One of my first online experiences was with WELL, Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link, which replaced the print version in the lates 80s. Unfortunately, the cost of phone service to Frisco was outrageous, and I had to give it up (discovered CompuServe soon after, and Tapcis made that usable.)

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Old 06-18-2005, 03:19 PM   #7
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>>donmcc: One of my first online experiences was with WELL,

I remember that and wanted to take a look at them but I don't think I ever figured out how to get there from cserve...

Does it still exist?

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