DESKTOP PUBLISHING FOR THE BBC MICROCOMPUTER
Advertisement for Pagemaker (1986)
One of if not the world’s first desktop publishing application, AMX Pagemaker was our first complex commercial product that really did change the world – giving people the power to publish from their home, small business, parish or school.
Blending never seen before functionality with an intuitive interface and ground breaking real-time technology, Pagemaker achieved with an 8bit microcomputer something that many thought impossible.
The Pagemaker MAIN EDITOR
The ‘mode’ icons on the right allow the user to select tool categories. The paint pot icon provided a complete design studio with features (such as airbrushing) that are found in today’s dedicated photo-retouching applications. How many page layout applications around today offer the ability to edit a graphics within the document?
Another technical innovation was the real-time virtual memory: While each page was being worked on, the user could scroll up and down the bitmap in real-time. Pagemaker would read and write the areas off the screen to disk, allowing pages larger than the computer’s memory capacity to be created. The application could only draw upon 32K of RAM in total!
The innovative AUTOFLOW(tm) feature allowed text to flow around rectangular images. AutoFlow was improved in our next product to allow text to wrap around irregular shaped images.
A separate module, the font designer allowed the user to create or edit complete typefaces (at 16 x 16 pixel resolution!) and then immediately use them within Pagemaker. Unique at the time.
This intuitive module allowed users to convert a variety of BBC Microcomputer images into the format accepted by Pagemaker.
With an innovative graphical interface, the printer selector provides actual illustrations of every printer that Pagemaker can drive – including one of the world’s first personal laser printers from Canon.
Yet another innovation, the page previewer provided reduced sized versions of the pages, and could be programmed to print different quantities of each individual page. Something that no page makeup or word processing application available today (AD 2000) is capable of.
AMX Pagemaker demonstrated on the BBC’s Micro Live TV show (1986)
“A straw pole of computer journalists saw the AMX Pagemaker voted the undisputed hit of the November Electron & BBC Micro User Show”
The Micro User Magazine, January 1986
“Pagemaker is phenomenal … this product is worth every penny”
Educational Computing Magazine, January 1986
“As a journlist, I was very impressed with Pagemaker, and as an AMX Mouse user I was absolutely enthralled.”
Pete Lee – Journalist.
“… I like this package. In fact this is one of the most professional packages I have seen for the BBC Micro” “All I can say is go out and buy it…” “This is an excellent package and well worth the money.”
A&B Computing Magazine, April 1986
“So, the big decision: Fleet Street Editor or Pagemaker? My choice would be Pagemaker …”
Acorn User Magazine, June 1986
“… an exciting package like Pagemaker, can be used with great results by mentally and physically handicapped adults”
Learning to Cope Magazine, 1986/87
“Pagemaker is brilliant.”
R.K.N., Warrnambool, Australia
“Hi! I suppose you’ve had many such messages, but I would just like to say that Pagemaker is a masterpiece! I use it for business purposes in the office and to produce weekly newsletters for my son’s football team and for the school at which my wife teaches. I never fail to sing PM’s praises to any one who cares to listen. I look forward to additions to the PM range with great interest and impatience. Cheers, Clive”
(The Griffin Family), Wed Oct 22, 1986 via MICRONET e-mail.
Electronic Design and Typesetting Software
Acorn BBC Microcomputer with 32K RAM
October 1985, England
CONCEPT & DESIGN
Neil Lee, Alex Blok
MARKETING AND DISTRIBUTION
Advanced Memory Systems Ltd, Warrington, England (Subsequently acquired by Logitech.)