WARNING: HEAVY, SEEMINGLY INCOMPETENT, ENDLESS NERD ACTION FOLLOWS - AVERT EYES IF THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE
Recently I picked up an old Imagewriter II dot-matrix printer off Kreggslizzt, because, you know, bad ideas. The guy I bought it from also had bad ideas - in his case, a dream that somehow involved him selling customized dot-matrix Print Shop (R) banners on various Internet sites. "No-one's doing that - could be a business idea." I'm not sure that anyone would pay, you know, actual money for that service, and I'm certain that the collection of various old computers that he had going would not have resulted in him arriving at that dream - but I do admire people who actually consider monetizing their bad ideas. I just pour mine out onto cassettes and give them away.
So dude's motley combo of old iMac and Imagewriter II wasn't going to work, at least not without some sort of expensive widget to hook up the IW to a USB port... I have older computers, I thought, so: to the nerdery!
Attempt #1: Purchase DIN8 serial cable to connect Macintosh Classic (the computer I bought going into college in 1991!) to the IW. Should be easy, right? Well, of course I never installed an Imagewriter II driver on that computer back in college - I had the superior Stylewriter inkjet printer. But wait, I think I have a copy of the system floppy disks in the garage, right?. Stack request! I spent an evening looking, didn't find anything related to what I wanted, though of course I found a lot of other mysterious objects that lead to other pursuits. That's how that sort of thing always works.
Well, I wasn't going to be thwarted so easily. So I found an image of the System 6.0.7 system disks online, bought a USB floppy drive, and did everything in my power to write them onto a floppy disk that my old computer could read. Should be easy on a Linux computer, right? dd if=something of=something. Or so the Internet told me. But oh my cranky old 21-year-old computer didn't want to accept the disks made this way.
Look for my System 9.1 CD so I can unearth the old eMac and boot it up in System 9.1 so I could write a system 6.0.7 floppy for my Mac Classic. At this point, things are getting seriously out of hand, and of course I can't find my System 9.1 CD. I ask Joel at work if he can find his disc, but to no luck - all he can find are Stone Age versions of old design software. Bah!
HIT SNOOZE BAR ON DREAM ATTEMPT #1 TO AVOID INSANITY
Attempt #2: Purchase cable for connecting IW to Apple //c (which my awesome parents bought for me upon moving to Oregon in 1986 and which capably took the place of a social life for many years thereafter). Find my old copy of "The Print Shop." Draw a picture of a football player falling off a cliff. Choose "Tech" font, and why not add 3-D excess to text. Hit "Print," watch psychedelic light show - oh wait, it's actually working. That was easy.
"Is there any way you can increase the kerning on these 3-D letters?" Joanie asks. I am so glad that she is using the word "kerning" and I'm completely in love with her. Of course there isn't. But who cares?
NERD SUCCESS! IT'S 10:30 P.M. ON A SATURDAY NIGHT AND I'M PRINTING ALBUM COVERS ON A 26-YEAR-OLD COMPUTER.
Prototype album cover follows. Real version (on green-and-white-bar paper no less) will be available at show Friday 1/4/12 at Milepost 5 - details to follow.