In Chinese Does The Word For Computer Literally Translate To Electric Brain

In Chinese Does The Word For Computer Literally Translate To Electric Brain – Bruce Rosenblum turned on his Apple II, which sounded a high F note followed by the screeching of a disk drive. After the string

After pressing the buttons, the 12-inch Sanyo monitor starts flashing. The green grid appears to be 16 units wide and 16 units high. It is “Gridmaster”, a program written by Bruce in the BASIC programming language to produce one of the first Chinese digital devices. in the world. He created an experimental machine called the Sinotype III, one of the first computers to process Chinese input and output.

In Chinese Does The Word For Computer Literally Translate To Electric Brain

At that time, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, personal computers were not manufactured in China. So to build a “Chinese” computer, Rosenblum’s team redesigned the Apple II to work with Chinese. The list of things he did was long. He had to design the operating system from scratch because Apple II DOS 3.3 did not allow input and output of Chinese characters. He also had to design his own Chinese word processing system and work tirelessly for months.

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A photograph of a Sinotype III monitor showing the Gridmaster program and the digitization process of the Chinese character 电 (dian, electricity).

Although GridMaster may be a simple program, using it to create digital bitmaps of thousands of Chinese characters has created design problems. In fact, creating the Sinotype III font on a machine developed by the Graphics Arts Research Foundation (GARF) in Cambridge, Massachusetts took more time than designing the computer itself. Without text, it is not possible to display Chinese characters on the screen or output them to the machine’s dot matrix printer.

For each Chinese character, designers must make 256 different decisions, one for each pixel in the bitmap. (A bitmap is a way of storing images digitally using a grid of pixels that make up a symbol or image—whether it’s JPEG, GIF, BMP, or another file format.) Multiplied by thousands of characters, there are literally hundreds of thousands. I made a decision in a development process that took more than two years.

The Gridmaster program—which Rosenblum previously described to me as “useless”—allowed his father, Louis Rosenblum, and GarF to take charge of creating a digital foundation. Using any Apple II machine, running GridMaster from disk, input data can be programmed remotely and saved to the latest Chinese bitrates. Once these bitmaps were created and stored, the Rosenblums were able to enter them into the Sinotype III using a program (designed by Bruce) that entered them with the appropriate entry codes into the system’s memory. .

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The Sinotype III was never released commercially. But his groundbreaking work, including his development of the Chinese bitmap script, was at the center of a complex worldwide effort to solve a perplexing engineering problem: how to program a computer to handle one of the world’s most widely used languages. . , Chinese. On the ground

With the advent of computers and word processing in the West, engineers and designers discovered that a small digital text for English could be produced on a 5 x 7 bitmap grid, requiring five bytes of memory per character. Storing all 128 lowercase characters in the American Standard for Information Interchange (ASCII), which includes all the English alphabets, numbers 0 through 9, and standard symbols, requires only 640 bytes of memory – a tiny fraction . for example, the Apple II has 64 kilobytes of internal memory.

But there are tens of thousands of Chinese characters and the 5×7 grid is too small to write them. Chinese requires a grid of 16 x 16 or larger, ie at least 32 bytes of memory (256 bits) per character. If you imagine a font containing 70,000 lowercase Chinese characters, the total memory requirement would exceed two megabytes. Even a text containing at most 8000 Chinese characters only requires about 256 kilobytes to store bitmaps. This is four times the memory capacity of most computers available in the early 1980s.

As serious as these memory problems are, aesthetics and design were the main problems of China’s high-quality text production in the 1970s and 1980s. Even before anyone sat down with a program like GridMaster, the bulk of the work was done it on the computer, using pen, paper, and correction fluid.

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Designers have struggled for years to develop bitrates that meet the minimum memory requirements and maintain call quality. Lily Huan-ming Ling (凌留銘) and Ellen Di Giovanni are among those who created this character design by hand drawing or creating draft bitmaps for specific Chinese characters.

The main problem faced by designers is the translation between two ways of writing Chinese: a hand-drawn character made with a pencil or brush, and a bitmap, which consists of a series of pixels arranged along two axes. . Designers must decide how to try to recreate certain features of handwritten Chinese characters, such as input lines, inline lines, and outline lines.

For the Sinotype III font, the design and calculation process for the Chinese low-value font is well documented. One of the best archival sources from this period is a binder full of columns of hand-drawn hash marks – drawings that would later be created as bitmaps of thousands of Chinese characters. All of these characters were carefully typed and, in most cases, edited by Louis Rosenblum and GARF, using the editor to erase any “bits” the editor didn’t agree with. Above the first set of green hashtags, another set of red hashtags indicates the “final” draft. Just start the process with data entry.

Close up draft of the Bee system (背, back, back) with fluid changes.

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Considering the number of bitmaps the team needs for design – at least 3,000 (and many more) if the machine has any hope of meeting the needs of customers – it’s safe to assume that designers are looking for ways to streamline their work. Another way they can do this is, for example, by copying Chinese radicals – the actual elements of a character – when they appear in the same place, size, and direction from one character to another. For example, the GARF team could (and in theory should) create a standard bitmap by creating a dozen standard Chinese characters that contain the “feminine radical” (女). This fanaticism is evident in him.

But as the artifacts show, such a decision was not made automatically. Louis Rosenblum, on the other hand, insists that designers adjust all these elements – often almost imperceptibly – to ensure that they fit the overall situation.

(to fix, to fix), for example – each of them contains radical feminist ideas – it has this real change. By nature

, the center of radical women occupies six pixels, compared to five pixels for the character.

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. However, the lower right curve of the female radical adds only one pixel to the character.

Bitmap characters of juan (娟, bold) and mian (剧, to deliver) from Sinotype III script reproduced by the author.

If we compare the draft bitmap with their final form, we can see that there have been more changes. Year in document

), for example, the bottom left line extends down at a 45° angle before the correct version of the field line is pressed. However, in the final version the curve is “broken”, starting at 45 ° but then leveling off.

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Despite the small space that the designers worked with, they had to make many amazing choices. All of these decisions affect every decision they make for a character, as even adding one pixel changes the entire scale horizontally and vertically.

The unforgiving size of the grid has hindered designers’ work in some unexpected ways. We see this clearly in the devil’s problem of achieving balance. Logical systems, which are common in Chinese characters, are very difficult to describe in miniatures because the mathematical rules require spatial dimensions to create values. A two-dimensional map grid (such as a 16 x 16 grid) makes it impossible to align them. GARF was able to achieve consistency in most cases by using only one general area: 15 x 15 areas in the overall 16 x 16 grid. This further reduced the amount of space used.

Symmetry and asymmetry in the characters Shan (山, confirmation), Zhong (中, center), Ri (日, sun), and Tian (田, field).

The story gets more complicated when you start comparing bitmaps created by different companies or creators for different tasks. Note the radical water stroke (氵) that appears in the Sinotype III font (below right), in contrast to an early Chinese type that H.C. Tian (left), A

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