Sunday, October 25, 2009

When you care enough to print the very best...

You old people like me may remember laboring over making a banner in Print Shop on your Apple II or your Commodore 64, picking the perfect graphic and selecting the right font, only for the damn thing to rip in half when you actually tried to hang it.

This is, of course, assuming you didn't accidentally tear it when you were taking off the pinfeeds.

Do you find yourself feeling oddly nostalgic when you hear the sound of a dot-matrix printer? I inherited our old Commodore 128 (we used it almost exclusively in C64 mode) and discs, and while I was moving the storage bin around the other day, I poked around the inside and found the old reference card for Print Shop.

There were a few years there in the mid-80s when I thought Hallmark was going to fold because I was making so many birthday cards myself. With eight fonts and 50 graphics, I'm surprised with the number of different cards, posters and banners I was able to make. And once we got Print Shop Companion, I had even more options.

My font of choice was Tech. Surprise, surprise. Least favorite: Party. Even to this day I hate that font--and fonts like it. I call it Dingleball.

And my favorite among the graphics? No. 26, the skull. I was told after a few times that while cool, it was not necessarily the best choice for birthday cards. Whatever.

Just looking at this thing brought back so many memories of spending time in front of my trusty Commodore or in front of one of the Apples in my junior high school's computer lab. I liked my Commodore better, of course, since it had a full-color monitor; those Apple monitors were a pain in the ass for me to see, either because they were overused or because of my mild color-blindness.

Plus, one of our neighbors down the street was an avid C64 junkie, and he'd hook my brother and me up with all sorts of games, from Space Taxi to Impossible Mission. It makes me wonder if in the future, my kids will look at the tech of today with a bit of nostalgic love, or if they'll regard it as just another ubiquitous appliance like a toaster.

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1 comment:

  1. I thought I was the only one nostalgic for Print Shop and dot matrix! I used that darn C64 until I went to college in 1992. Since then I've had little luck with printers; in fact, printing problems have been a recurring theme in my life. Plus, without the paper being all joined together, how the heck are you supposed to make giant banners for birthdays and the like?