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sUzi’

sUzi

Long ago, when I was in college, less humble — more of a dick — I partied a lot. I ended up getting in with the guys who set up the industrial room at a club in the early-to-mid 90s. This was a few years after the infamous club newsletter, and after I had moved back to SF.

A friend of mine gave this guy, newly immigrated from Florida, a sticker we used to print up before clubs to hand out. He gave it to him thinking we were friends. What he didn’t know was that a few weeks prior when he had seen us talking on the roof, we almost got into a fist fight. So, it is natural to assume from a distance that we were talking as friends. Words were exchanged, over a perceived insult, but we both remained calm, and Rose, a mutual friend who introduced us, felt bad that we didn’t hit it off.

Flash forward a month or so, after said sticker is given to the Floridian, his friend invites my best friend and I, (unbeknownst to him at the time) back to his buddy’s flat after the club. He thought the stickers were really cool. They simply said: “No, I’m Not in a Band.”

The backstory on that was we always got asked if we were in a band due to our presence and style of dress. We looked like musicians. While both of us could play, at least somewhat competently, neither of us were in a band.

So we show up, and when I walk in, it is like accidentally walking into a lion’s den. Luckily, they gave me a chance. It was a bit stand-offish at first. I ended up getting along with the Floridian and his friend, X. In fact, X became one of my best friends for a while. He, the Floridian and I became a sort of 3 Musketeers in the club scene. Where there was 1 of us, there were must likely the other 2 wandering around the club.

We set up the very industrial room of the club where I almost got into the fight with the Floridian, and we each took a Moniker: Chromer (X), Booster (Floridian) & Jammer (yours truly & archaic slang for “Fucker”). We had grand adventures, but the preceding was all a setup for the real story…

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Misattribution: To All That Misquote & Just Get Shit Wrong

I just saw the mini post it notes today on ThinkGeek (https://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/supplies/ba1d/). I wish I had thought of a few of those sayings. Oh wait! I did…

An old CDT friend loved these so much he stuck them on his walls.

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Professional Typography & Design: The Path to Technomancy, Part 3

After I was hired to be a DTP monkey, I applied and refined my wild layouts, but had to tone them down quite a bit for business documents. (Wired back then was tame compared to my unrefined layout.) Being a bit of a perfectionist that cares about anything I do—whether paid or not—I started studying proper typography: I learned the difference between the hyphen, N-dash and M-dash, what x-height was and how to match serif and non-serif fonts. I studied the art of graphic design, the concepts and research behind the guidelines so I knew when I could break the rules and get away with it. I found traditional reports stuffy and boring. So, when I got the chance, I started refreshing the look of the company documents.

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DTP Monkey: The Path to Technomancy, Part 2

The unofficial-turned-official club newsletter was directly responsible for me landing my first real job as a DTP monkey. I walked into the interview with my portfolio of club newsletter and stickers I made on my old Mac SE and the Mac IIci my best friend had that were printed on my trusty, 70+ pound LaserWriter II SC with the Canon engine that lasted well over a decade. The guy who interviewed me was a bit skeptical that I made those. I was honest and told him that I didn’t do all the work, and that I had a friend that started the newsletter. I showed him what *** did and what I did — explaining how you could tell our layout and writing styles apart.

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The Second Mac: The Path to Technomancy, Part 1

When I was a sophomore in college, I got a chance to get a new computer. I wanted the Mac SE/30 for the Motorola 68030 32-bit clean CPU and the expansion slot. (secretly known as the “SEx”—the “x” was for eXpandable, along the lines of “IIx,” and “IIcx”, but Apple Marketing decided to sheepishly steer away from that moniker. At least that’s what I was told by a rep. and I had no reason to doubt him.)

Instead my father, who was financing this upgrade decided an SE and a Laserwriter II SC was a better choice. The bill was around $4.5K. I didn’t like that I was overruled since I knew that means I would eventually be unable to run the latest Mac OS, but it was his money. I appreciated it even though I didn’t get exactly what I wanted. Being an Assembly programmer that made some of the first image rasterizing firmware and software, he knew the value of raster laser accurate printing. He told me about Optical drive platters in the late 70s or early 80s before there were any consumer optical disks (y’all know them as “CDs”), so didn’t doubt him. Around 1983 he also predicted that in the future we would have storage technology thousands of times larger and computers in our pockets within his lifetime. At the time, I hadn’t heard of Moore’s law, but it is a good guide to the speed and storage of future generations.

In the long run, the SE and LaserWriter were a much better choice because it added a new capability, pretty much no other people in my demographic had. It came in very handy, and I used it for reports that put other student’s reports to shame the same way my 128K Mac and ImageWriter printed reports in high school put other students’ typed and handwritten reports to shame. I started playing around with graphics and printing because 300dpi (even in black and white) was very cool. I learned how to manipulate angle and density of the line screens for getting different visual effects, etc. This “playing” with what I had access to led to printing up things for fun: stickers and other things, and eventually a newsletter or two.