Justape at The Dominion, NZ, 1967

Many thanks to John Nixon for sending in this article. Says John: "The attached article appeared in The Imprint magazine, which was a printing union publication in New Zealand.

"The contributor, Tom Atkinson, was the Deputy Day Printer when I started my apprenticeship in 1970.

"Tom is still actively involved with the Printing Museum here in Wellington, NZ. Check out: www.theprintingmuseum.org.nz to see how we are going with finding a home for this fabulous collection.

A Battery of Elektrons

A Battery of Elektrons

Here's the original wording of the 1967 article: "The Wellington Publishing Company, publishers of The Dominion and Sunday Times, has installed a computer (trade name Justape) in the composing room of their building in Mercer Street, Wellington.

Installation technicians were Lyall Cunich, of Australia and Dick Holland, of Auckland. Dick also looks after the New Zealand Herald's inslallation in Auckland.

At the present time five TTS perforators are used, manned by two operators on nights and three on days.

All five perforator operators are lino operators. Three Elektrons handle all the output tape.

The Computer

The Computer

The Justape system comprises three basic units; a Justape computer, a bidirectional tape reader and a tape punch.

The Justape system's function is to convert unjustified perforated tape into tape justified to any selected line measure for any type face.

The unjustified tape may be prepared on any tape perforator that produces a 6-level TTS coded tape.

This input tape contains a series of words and spaces w1th codes indicating paragraph endings.

The output tape contatns the same series of words divided into lines that will justify when transcribed on a type setting machine.

This tape will drive any typesetting machine operating from 6-level TTS coded tape. Fairchild perforators are used on this system.

The basic Justape system does not provide for hyphenated line endings, accomplishing justification by adding space between words, letters, or both as required.

It can, however, be fitted with modifications to provide either automatic hyphenation or a display for manual hyphenation decisions.

The Dominion's Justape systemis fitted with automatic hyphenation and manual controls to (a) select the desired line length (b) set the maximum allowable spacing to be used between words before resorting to letterspacing (e.g. space band only; space band plus thin space; space band plus en space; and (C) control the type and amount of indention.

Operator TTS Perforating

Operator TTS Perforating

This system has two sets of indention programme controls which can both operate in any one take at once if needed.

The Justape is equipped to accept a width plug wired to represent the brass widths of the particular typeface for which the output tape is to be justified.

The computer, which consists of two units, (computor and output director), works between the perforators and in a separate room, the Elektrons.

Tape from the perforators is fed tnto the reader (the only moving part of the computer) line measure is set, also any indentions, then a punch by one of the three Elektrons is selected through lbe output director and the take is punched at the rate of 110 characters per second.

The output director counts each machine's total number of lines to be cast. then takes them off so as to give an accurate progress check at all times.

Keyboard shorthand saves an immense amount of time when perforating, especially the end of paragraphs when the only keys pressed are full point, an en space and then Quad left and return.

The computer will then punch on the output tape sufficient data to finish the paragraph indent the next paragraph cap the first letter of the first word, drop the rest of the first word in lower case and all the rest of the paragraph unless preceded by a shift code punched on the input tape. This speeds up perforating as does the cancel word programme. In this if a mistake is made in a word, it is only necessary to punch an elevate code and then punch the entire word again.

On reading an elevate code, the computer will delete all characters back to the previous spaceband preceding this code.

Also when setting exam results full of names, initials, etc., no keyboard spacing is inserted by the perforator just punching the return code puts in space and caps the first letter of the word.

Quad left and Quad centre lines are produced by striking the appropriate key prior to the return code at the end of the line. However, Quad right lines are produced by punching Quad left, Quad centre and return codes successively.

Stop codes can be inserted in the input tape by the perforator to enable the computer monitor to alter line length or indention in the case of run arounds, for example. Tabulated texts can also be handled.

Copyright © Dave Hughes 2000-2015. All rights reserved.