It was supposed to be a cool week. It was not. There were no complaints. It was supposed to be a tough week at the office, because we switched over to a new content-management system. It was not. The new system is so clean and clear I want to weep. It’s almost as simple as typing on a typewriter.

Do you want to know what newspapers used to use?

LOOK at that beast. The ATEX system. I suffered under this regime in three jobs. I think this was the streamlined keyboard; the first one probably had sixty-two more buttons.

Clacking keys and green screens. This was how the pioneers put the paper together, son. Dumb terminals with baffling keyboards.




8 LI

Eventually you knew just what you needed to know, and it seemed intutitive and useful - as long as you didn't hit the inscrutible TIEIN# key. To this day I've no idea. Tie-in, probably. What you tied to what I've no idea.

The system was a classic example of giving the user more power than they needed. HERE! YOU CAN DO IT ALL! FORMAT! GET SIGS! No need to type in arcane code; we made you a special button!

Thanks, but I just want to write


Leave me alone I'm tring to write

Of course there were manuals. In binders. Sitting on the shelf of everyone's desk. Never used. Tossed out en masse. I feel a bit of sympathy for the people who wrote them, but that's probably misplaced. A job. They were paid. Wasn't creative. Kept the lights on.

According to ATEX's website, some newspapers in the US still use their services. The Daily News in New York is one of them. No doubt they have a new whiz-bang system, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if they were still banging on those monster keyboards. Somehow that's very New York Newspaper that Is Not the Times. Scrappy! Old style! Breslin would approve! Etc.

It really is better now. You can do all you need to do on a wafer-thin tablet that plucks the connection out of the ether. The office is full of thin monitors and wireless keyboards instead of putty-colored boat-anchor CRTs. But haven't we lost something? The satisfying physical effort of banging on those keys, the racket of inspiration, the sense of gravitas that comes with working with heavy tools?

God no.





The view of the RBC from down Nicollet Avenue.

A milestone this week: the last beam was put in place.

The weekly sweep:

Behold the glorious and exciting parking garage of the thrivent Apartment addition, soon to be entombed forever:

And the Firehouse Project, soon to be another tall apartment tower.



A little bit more here than they're letting on, I think,


Lance is wise in the ways of scarves. Too bad he's been reduced a foot in height by the dialogue.

Solution is here.



As noted, I'm coming to the end of the show's run. There are perhaps fifty eps left, ending with the plaintively named Lum and Abner 54-05-01 Adrift on a Raft on the Quachita River.

That's all we have. It seems apt. But it seems they had a bad patch, because this is how the show ended on May 15, 1953.



That's rather final.

It wasn't: the show resumed in two weeks.






Let's just say that the album art does not match the music. They do give you fair warning.




1975: some still remember this place, I'm sure.


  Thanks for your visits this week! Hope it was worth your time.

Note: Gallery updates may look like repeats, because I think I uploaded an inaccurate redirect last week. Wouldn't have happened if I had an LI 5 button.



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