Technical Stuff

All of the computer graphics in these images were created in raw postscript, using the Free Software "ghostscript" package. Postscript is generally known as "the protocol your Mac uses to drive your laser printer", but it is actually capable of much more than simply being a printer control protocol. Postscript is a full programming language, and was designed to be easily hand-coded by programmers.

Instead of using a drawing program like Illistrator, I use a simple text editor (vi), and write my postscript "programs" by hand. I do this because it is easier for me to describe the image I have in my mind to the computer using geometry (numbers, equations, codes) than by drawing freehand.

This is what postscript looks like:

% Radiation symbol
% by David Fischer

72.0 dup scale % work in inches

4.5 5.5 translate % center of 8.5 x 11 page
2.0 dup scale

% Three 60 degree arc triangles, with 60 degrees between them.
3 {
	0.0 0.0 moveto
	0 0 1.5 0 60 arc closepath fill
	120 rotate
} repeat

% center space & dot thingy
0 0 0.30 0 360 arc 1.0 setgray fill
0 0 0.20 0 360 arc 0.0 setgray fill


This program creates a standard radiation warning symbol. That code creates this image:

The computer I used to use for ghostscript work is an RS/6000 Powerserver 930 running AIX 3.2.5. This machine has been replaced with a couple of Sun Sparcstation-2s running OpenBSD. The RS/6000 is actually a more powerfull machine, but OpenBSD is not available for it, and I really really really prefer that to AIX.

Up untill the summer of 2000, I accessed my computers via text terminals. Most of the computer graphics on this site were created by typing on a vt220. Then finally, around September of 2000, I aquired an NCD X terminal, which allows me to preview my postscript creations without wasting so much paper. I also have a Sun ELC (sort of like an iMac - it's a diskless sun workstation crammed into a mono monitor) which I plan on using as a dedicated postscript viewer, but haven't actually played around with too much yet.

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