Oct 30, 2006

How Adobe launched a revolution

Source: Mercury News
Written by Ryan Blitstein

It’s hard to believe that just 25 years ago, most people couldn’t print out documents from their personal computers — in fact, hardly anyone owned a personal computer.

Printing was done with special-purpose typesetters, and basic machines cost $150,000. Much of the final production work was done manually, with people sitting over light tables, physically assembling pieces of film.

Then John Warnock and Charles “Chuck” Geschke came along and launched the desktop publishing revolution.

The pair created a programming language called PostScript, which simplified communication between PCs and printers and allowed the printing of text and images on a single page.

Warnock and Geschke, both computer science Ph.D’s and fortysomething family men, were then researchers at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center. Xerox, now notorious for inventing great technologies at PARC and letting them languish, stalled on commercializing PostScript, so Warnock and Geschke struck out on their own to found Adobe Systems in December 1982.

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Read the article on The Seattle Times (no registration required)

Read the Q&A with Adobe Systems founders John Warnock and Charles “Chuck” Geschke

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