Farewell Etaoin Shrdlu

Chuck Guzis cclist at sydex.com
Wed Jun 17 15:26:42 CDT 2020

On 6/17/20 12:25 PM, Liam Proven via cctalk wrote:
> https://archive.org/details/FarewellEtaoinShrdlu
>  28min documentary on the last ever edition of the NY Times to be
> printed using hot metal -- before they switched to what are now a
> quite choice assortment of late-'70s minicomputers. I think I spotted
> a PDP, a Data General and some IBM device, but I am no expert in this
> era.

When I was in college, I went on a weekend trip with a friend to see
where he worked during the summer.  It was a print-shop, complete with
both letterpress and offset--and a Linotype ("pot" heated with natural
gas).  The local advertising circular was still set with hot type and I
witnessed the operation of that contraption.  Noisy and wonderful.

See the Twilight Zone episode "Printer's Devil" for another sample.

I was told that most newspaper pressmen were alcoholics, as it blunted
the effect of the then-toxic inks used in printing.

Anent ETAOIN:  Early on in the formation of the CDC spinoff, ETA
Systems, I asked Neil Lincoln what "ETA" stood for.  He related the
story of his son and ETAOIN SHRDLU.  Back then, the name of the
supercomputer was referred to as the GF-10; later changed to the ETA-10.

(GF standing for GigaFLOP).


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