Skip to main content

View Diary: TANG Typewriter [URGENT]: Is it the Composer? (99 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  That's a good point, (none)
    and one that I've been trying to figure out either way.  First, in his example, he isn't quite lining the two samples on top of each other to begin with -- he's put the 'red' sample noticably to the left of the 'black' sample, and while he's tried to scale the samples so that the memo matches the size of the Composer sample, since the spacing between words is so completely different in the two samples, his efforts at scaling are pretty badly off too.

    Plus, of course, the Composer author used true '1's for his sample, and the memo quite clearly uses lowercase ells in place of ones, which screws up the spacing both of the "1." and of '1972' below it.

    Added up, that's why the only useful formulation here, at the moment, is whether the glyphs themselves are or are not identical.  I am looking closely at the capital "M"s, however... are they different, or is the scaling just off?

    So if someone here is willing to fight with photoshop and do a more credible job of lining and scaling, that would tell us something, but in order to do the true match we need the Composer author to fix his typos and settings.

    •  Hate to ask... (none)
      The M on the Memo certainly does look wider, even with the scaling.  Assuming (from information lower in the thread) that the widest characters on the executive would be 33% narrower than that of the Composer that would pretty much eliminate the executive as a candidate.  Do you tend to agree with this?  
      •  The M is wider in the memo (none)
        because the memo is not Times Roman

        "The military and the monetary... Get together whenever it's necessary" - Gil Scott Heron

        by zane on Sun Sep 12, 2004 at 04:39:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  ummmm... (none)
          If it was typed by the composer the maximum the width could be is 9 units.  If it was typed by the executive the maximum the width could be is 6 units.   The point is that the Composer sample provided didn't seem to be wide enough to match the M of the memo.  The font doesn't matter, there is a maximum width based on the machine.  It could be a scaling issue so the Composer M is wide enough to match the memo but I don't think a 6 unit letter would be enough.  If you are looking at the shape of days site, it would be the equivalent of the letter o in to on the same line eventually scaling to be as wide as the M of the original.  I just don't think that is possible.  But for this discussion the font doesn't matter because the width limits are set by the typewriter.
      •  The M looks wider to me, too (none)
        the more I look at it, as does the 'W'... see the text "IAW AFM" (which, as a side note, shows absolutely no kerning on either copy.)  Everything else looks like a perfect match, Composer-to-memo, but those two characters still seem off to me, and I can't rationalize it with photocopy bleeding or other distortions.

        So it's much better than Word -- at least the letters all have the serifs in the right places -- but not good enough, yet, IMHO.

        Hmm.  We think that the Executive had fewer 'units' of proportionality than the Composer, but we don't know if those 'units' were differently sized than the Composer.  So I'm not sure we can assume the characters would be narrower; in fact, I would really doubt it.  An 'M' 33% narrower than that of the Composer sample would be very, very awkwardly shaped, after all -- it'd look goofy.

        Sigh.  We simply have to find an Executive from that era with Press Roman font.  That's still our best bet.  Supposedly, the things were dumped into the surplus market by the bucketful in the mid/late seventies, so there should be some around.  And damn it, IBM should have one.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site