The Print’n'Plotter Jotter

In a world where ‘Photoshop’ has become a verb, it’s often hard to remember the lengths one had to go to to generate an image on an early home computer. When you’re working with a machine with only a few K of video RAM the options are quite limited, and of course there was no drawing or painting software available, which meant your masterpiece had to be poked and plotted onto the screen pixel by pixel.

This little gem comes from a November 1982 issue of Popular Computing Weekly and is unique in that it’s neither an ad for hardware nor software, but a pad of paper and a set of pens (“set of seven pens for each computer colour”). Effectively this is a book of gridded tracing paper, which claims to help convert your “illustrations, maps, charts, photos etc” into a set of pixel locations on your 256×192 screen. I never bought one myself, preferring to draw my 8×8 sprites in the back of my maths homework book…

every numbered co-ordinate for the 45,056 pixels!

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