Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 33502
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2017/09/25 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2004/9/13 [Science, Science/Electric] UID:33502 Activity:nil
9/13    Superscript and kerning from an "expert".  Notice the cute "I don't
        like Bush" "disclaimer" to excuse this packet of lies...
        \_ You don't need to even read that URL.  Just see the blog entry
           three threads down.  At least one memo is probably fake.
           Don't be a dumb liberal!
2017/09/25 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

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Cache (8192 bytes)
Resume First off, before I start getting a lot of the wrong kind of mail: I am not a fan of George Bush. But I am even less a fan of attempts to commit fraud, and particularly by a complete and utter failure of those we entrust to ensure that if the news is at least accurate. I know it is asking far too much to expect the news to be unbiased. But the people involved should not actually lie to us, or promulgate lies created by hoaxers, through their own incompetence. There has been a lot of activity on the Internet recently concerning the forged CBS documents. I do not even dignify this statement with the traditional weasel-word "alleged", because it takes approximately 30 seconds for anyone who is knowledgeable in the history of electronic document production to recognize this whole collection is certainly a forgery, and approximately five minutes to prove to anyone technically competent that the documents are a forgery. I was able to replicate two of the documents within a few minutes. CBS failed to exercise anything even approximately like due diligence. I am not sure what sort of "expert" they called in to authenticate the document, but anything I say about his qualifications to judge digital typography is likely to be considered libelous (no matter how true they are) and I would not say them in print in a public forum. I was doing work with computer typesetting technology in 1972 (it actually started in late 1969), and I personally created one of the earliest typesetting programs for what later became laser printers, but in 1970 when this work was first done, lasers were not part of the electronic printer technology (my way of expressing this is "I was working with laser printers before they had lasers", which is only a mild stretch of the truth). I have been involved in many aspects of computer typography, including computer music typesetting (1987-1990). I have personally created computer fonts, and helped create programs that created computer fonts. At one time in my life, I was a certified Adobe PostScript developer, and could make laser printers practically stand up and tap dance. I have written about Microsoft Windows font technology in a book I co-authored, and taught courses in it. I therefore assert that I am a qualified expert in computer typography. If someone had come forward presenting a "lost" painting by Leonardo da Vinci, which used acrylic paints including Cadmium Yellow and Titanium White, art experts would roll of the floor laughing at the clumsiness of the forgery. Titanium White was not available as an artist's pigment until 1921). Yet somehow a document which could not be created by any of the common office technology of 1972 is touted as "authentic". "Apologists" that try to claim these documents are authentic have pointed out that there were technologies for doing electronic typesetting, for doing proportional fonts, and even doing something that resembles superscripting. One document cited as proving that a typewriter could do superscripting is a document which is part of the files released by the White House and the Pentagon. Realizing that we are working from several times removed from the "original" document supplied to CBS, it is still worth doing some comparisons. The first element, the 187^th, is from a document I printed on my printer, at 1200dpi and scanned at 600 dpi. Note the "th" is approximately centered on the top line of the "7". The second image is a screen capture from the 18-August-1973 memo. The image I show is a screen capture from the CBS document which claims to be a memo dated 04-May-1972. Note the "th" is approximately bisected by the top line of the 1 So this seems to also be in the same position as the position Microsoft Word uses. But when we look at the "th" of the image which is apparently used to justify the fact that a typewriter could do a superscript, we find that it is not a superscript, but in fact a character that appears to be simply raised from the nominal baseline by approximately 10%, but does not exceed the top of the line. This proves that there was a typewriter that had a "th" key, but it looks so different from the previous three examples that it is hard to believe that such a typewriter could have created the same memos. Now let's look at the comparison of the two 111^th in a calibrated fashion. What I did was create a set of equally-spaced vertical lines, then I stretched the CBS justification image so the characters all lined up. Then above it, I stretched the image from the 04-May-1972 image (in both cases maintaining the aspect ratio) until the digits lined up. Even in proportional fonts, the digits are always designed to have the same width to simplify doing columns of digits. Note how the "th" is not quite aligned right, and the spacing is not uniform. Using arguments like this would be equivalent to someone justifying the "genuine" da Vinci by saying that yellow paint existed, and white paint existed, and ignoring the obvious fact that Cadmium Yellow or Titanium White could not exist. in either case, however, the date is established as being earlier than 1972), it is not unreasonable that it could exist in 1972. Yet I knew most of the sites that, in 1972, had printers and computer-based formatting technology that could have printed a document in proportional-spaced fonts, and these included MIT, Carnegie Mellon (where I did my work), The University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute (USC-ISI), and Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (where the personal computer as we know it was invented). I no longer recall how many XGP printers existed, but I believe the number was not much more than a dozen. None of these printers could print more than about 180 dots per inch, a quality somewhat lower than a contemporary fax, yet the image I downloaded from the CBS site appears to have been printed on a printer of much higher resolution. The only other printer I am aware of in the 1970s that could print at reasonable quality was a research prototype I saw at Xerox PARC, called EARS, which could print at 300 dpi. X and Metafont: New Dimensions in Typesetting") was not printed until 1979, "on experimental printing equipment" at "Xerox Research". Phototypesetters of the era projected one character at a time onto a film, then moved the template containing the photos of the characters, then exposed the next character. They were exceedingly slow relative to, say, a typewriter, and cost a LOT of money. The resulting film had to be developed, and a printer plate had to be created from this negative. It seems unlikely that this technology would have been used to create private memos. My aunt ran the printing division in a local company in the late 1960s, and I know what technology she was using (it was leading edge for its time). It would not have been available to a military base--at least in the administrative offices--in 1972, nor would it have been practical. It used technology that was a precursor of modern laser printers, but it was all purely optical, using VariTypers, large-scale cameras, and a very primitive form of xerographic technology. Some have argued that the documents are forgeries because the characters are "kerned". Kerning is an operation which tucks characters together to compact space. Kerning is a pairwise operation between characters, and each character pair that can be kerned has a specified kerning value. Microsoft fonts and many others come with accompanying kerning data. But kerning is complex, and computationally expensive, and therefore would have slowed down redisplay in a WYSIWYG editor. However, Times New Roman uses a characteristic of Microsoft TrueType fonts called the ABC dimensions, where the C dimension is the offset from the right edge of the bounding box of the character to the next character. If this offset is negative, the character with the negative C offset will overlap the character which follows (in some technologies, the distance from the start of one character to the start of another is called the "escapement", so a negative C offset gives an escapement which is less than the character width). This gives the illusi...