.............In 1983 the death of Dwight Krehbeil of Kreonite forced a job search that landed me in Tampa, Florida at Alphatype/Berthold. A few months after I arrived, I married Jo Nucifora and soon after my father died. Press for Jim Green's Home Page.The seagulls around Tampa Bay are happiest when fed fresh French bread. Press for Tampa Guide.....
Alphatype/Berthold, Tampa, Florida || Language Translation
* Chief Engineer and Group Leader for System Architecture,
08/1984-06/1985, 09/1982-09/1983. Music[2]: Sailing by Chris Cross.

Soon after my arrival in Tampa in 1993 Jo Nucifora and I were married in Clearwater.
Jim Green in 1983 at AlphaType/Berthold in Tampa.
The terminal shown supported Bourne-Shell UNIX.
I wrote 4 big notebooks full of application software
in C shown on the shelf and collected applicable
textbooks and manufacturer's catalogs of components.

During my 2nd year of engineering design work at Alphatype/Berthold I prepared graphical servo simulations in the C programming language in a UNIX environment, and produced mathematical modeling of servo performance in C for a very high-resolution servo system with micron positioning accuracy that was capable of fast motions to support Berthold's High-Speed CRS typesetter. A spacial frequency multiplier using phase difference techniques and built with analog comparators was responsible for boosting the resolution of the optical shaft angle encoder in the system to achieve extremely fine positioning control. It did this by dividing the optical shaft angles into subintervals 1/16 or 1/32 as wide as the resolution interval provided by the manufacturer of the shaft angle encoder in the first place. I designed a Multibus interface for the XY servo positioning system for the paper feed and lens position axes involving digital logic and parallel interfaces that connected to an existing servo amplifier card in which the amplifier was built with bipolar transistor technology. Today integrated power op amps can often be used to this job. The twin servo amplifier

Typical DC Servo Motors,
with or without integral
DC tachometers and/or
shaft angle encoders.



A shaft angle encoder
typically outputs two
signals with a phase shift.

behaved like a pair of power op amps that could source high currents for driving the DC servo motors. Also, I redesigned the old Eurocard servo controllers into a form that was easily analyzed mathematically as a second-order servo with a tachometer-controlled rate loop inside a position loop, which provides excellent holding torque. The behavior of the system was easy to simulate, as the 2nd order servo is mathematically described as a 2nd order polynomial with two complex roots that is well-defined. There was a fast positioning mode with different 2nd order polynomial description, but the intial conditions were well-specified and the mode-switching problem was analytically straightforward. This system demonstrated higher performance and superior characteristics. Two cards were used, one to control film feed and another to control lens movement, each separately tuned for its unique inertial load, which I had to compute from calculus and the density of materials, because the inertial moments appeared in the constants of the 2nd order equations describing the system.

Also, I designed a servo simulator test instrument and a phase measurement instrument for making adjustments to the servo system. The servo worked just as the mathematical model based on Laplace transform analysis predicted, since the servo bandwidth was under 200 Hz. A mode-switched servo design was employed using a tachometer-stabilized system that could be mode-switched to change the feedback characteristics of the servo loops. Modeling used a time-domain continuation approach using initial conditions in the Laplacian representation that were well-determined from previous phases of the motion. An alternative simulation model used classical state-space methods.

Finally, I developed a 6809-based servo simulator, controller, and analog I/O multiplexing card for production testing of servo controllers, and made proposals for phase-locked loop velocity regulation. Most of the hardware was built up and checked out by me personally. The servo controller typeset the most demanding jobs with a positioning accuracy of 1 micron, at higher speed than the previous system. I probably deserved a raise!

My first textbook in The C Programming Language, upgraded to an ANSI standard.Earlier, as a C programmer in a UNIX environment, I worked on character generation algorithms for phototypesetters and conversion of vector-outline characters to a form suitable for an interactive computer graphics terminal, the spectacular Berthold Magic System. My software contribution included character representation re-coding and smart character fill routines and produced handsome output on a printer, spinning out character sets as a batch system that converted alphabet after alphabet from vector-outline form to run-length-encoded form without human intervention. This went unsabotaged, probably because it seemed within the reach of ordinary human intelligence.

Dr. Peter Krumhauer came up with some novel and ingenious methods for applying the theory of cubic splines to character generation during my first year at AlphaType/Berthold. These were chains of curves described by third-order polynomials featuring four constants per polynomial and enough degrees of freedom to specify one tangent vector at each end of every cubic seqment. This was sufficient to fluidly describe virtually any character outline with small set of functions. I wrote programs for applying the spline theory to the generation of large multipage images that generated a beautiful, curvaceous "W" character that could be size-magnified to any degree and output as a multipart printed piece that could be stitched together and shown to executives back in Berlin as a giant wall hanging. I took my wife with me to Berlin with the software and gave my technical German a workout at lunchtimes for a couple of weeks, chit-chating with staff educated at the Sorbonne and other prestige institutions in Europe as we sipped glasses of wine over sandwiches. Beer was vended in the hallways there, but I skipped it to keep a steady head on my shoulders. Polynomial splines were also used in two dimensions to represent surfaces in computer graphics for automobile and 3D component design. Using spline theory to generate two-dimensional characters had already occurred to myself and other design engineers, but Dr. Peter Krumhauer had brilliantly rediscovered some things that are hard to prove, and carried them further forwards than ever with ingenious refinements and experiments on the achievable density of the representations and compaction on his PC. I proposed implementing the difference equations generating the splines with a 68000 and actually building a suitable typesetter graphics engine, but our principal results were magnified graphical images that proved the utility of the method. The difference engine approach to generating polynomials solely by additions of differences led to fast algorithms for character generation from very compact data sets. Flawless characters the size of billboards could be produced.

Perhaps the most entertaining days I had at that time were the ones in which I investigated the way polynomial spline characters can be transformed to produce various distortions, such as barrel distortion, pincushion distortion, and other special effects.

The video memory planes and character scaling hardware in the pipeline character processor were redone by me for The Fox series of typesetters as standard format Multibus cards. This way, our special-purpose card(s) could be mixed with standard-issue Intel CPU, memory, and I/O cards to rapidly generate prototype system to be displayed a trade shows. Production systems might feature custom CPU, memory, and I/O cards for cost reduction. I worked on my piece of the typesetter graphics engine while the other engineering staff worked on other components of the entire product line, which featured more than one typesetter and a front-end system with multiple terminals. I was in the same room during the first year with Charlie Hayek, another MSEE working on an exotic servo scheme that avoided a tachometer in the rate servo loop, but had poor holding torque. Charlie had discovered this weak spot in an academic proposal written up in an applications textbook. Without a tachometer in an inner rate loop, the sans-tacholmeter servo did not have a springy hold on the target position, but could be broken loose into a spin. Charlie drilled it into me to always put a tachometer in the inner servo rate loop to get solid holding torque, and never mind theoretical savings from not using it. To that I owe my eventual success in producing a better servo controller than Charlie could produce with his manager insisting on a cost-saving scheme that turned out to have an unacceptable weak spot that could not be repaired without adding a tachometer, although the up-front analysis and cost justification looked at first quite reasonable. Thus Charlie fixed the book design by demonstrating the analytical solution to the holding torque with small deflection problem, winning for inclusion of a tachometer in the system.

The third man in the room was an engineer who finished his project by jumping up and down on his card, somewhat distressing our faith in the inevitable progress of cooperating international characters of suitable refinement.

(Charles River Data Systems: UNOS, UNIX Version 7, Berkeley UNIX with the CSHELL, also the Bourne Shell, digital video design, servo system design and simulation, analog design, microprocessor system design, and computer graphics.)

H.Berthold AG, once the largest manufacturer of phototypesetting equipment in Europe, folded in Berlin in 1993. I believe that pressure from inexpensive ink jet printers and laser printers producting results comparable to those obtained with high-priced videosetters and old-fashioned phototypesetters was a factor. Another was that inexpensive Windows PCs, with the introduction of the electronic mouse, made it possible to do things with fast general-purpose PCs that had previously been limited to machines with special keyboards and tablets such as page makeup workstations like the massive and elaborate Berthold Magic System. Remnants of AlphaType and Berthold survive today as font shops. For Berthold in the movies, see The Adventures of Baron von Munchausen (1988). In 1878 H. Berthold defined picas and points with 1m = 2,660 typographic points.

During my first stint at AlphaType/Berthold my wife Jo and I lived in Palm Harbor north of Tampa, then moved to King Arthur's Court in Dunedin while I worked at ABA Electromechanical Systems, which became General Defense. We were still living there a year later when I returned to AlphaType/Berthold and applied servo methods I had practiced at General Defense to our line of phototypesetters. When I went to Berlin to install character translation software for the Berthold Magic System, Jo came along. Like the Baron von Munchausen, I seemed to enter and leave the company riding on a cannon ball, toting off perhaps as much treasure as the strongest man could carry. Dr. Peter Krumhaur, who hired me to work with him on fast spline character generation techniques for a new generation of High-Speed CRS typesetters, sported a full beard that might remind you of the Sultan in the movie.


The History of Typesetting | History of Typography | History of Newspaper Production
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The Seybold Report - Disruptive Technologies: Will you be ready for the next one?
The History of Personal Computers | History of Computers | History of Microprocessors | ICs
A Brief History of UNIX | UNIX History and Timeline
A Typical DC Torque Servo Motor with Integral Tachometer | Control Theory
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