May 22, 2003
A suitcase full of blues.
I became quite enamored with Mark Simonson’s old bitmap fonts the first time I saw them. Aesthetically pleasing, lovingly hand-crafted, and useful on top of it all. What more could you want? Well, you could hope that they’d work as seamlessly in OS X as they did under OS 9, but you’d be kidding yourself. As it turns out, when Mark called these ‘old bitmap fonts’, he really meant it. They’re so old in fact, that the bitmap data is still stored in FONT resources rather than NFNT resources. To put this in perspective, FONT resources went out of vogue around the same time that Apple realized that there might end up being slightly more than 256 typefaces in the entire world. That would have been around 1990, when Font/DA Mover was still considered an indispensible desktop publishing tool. If you’re at all interested in the history of Macintosh font data formats (and really, who isn’t?), you’re sure to enjoy this Apple developer document entitled A Brief History of Fonts Resources & Font Family IDs. Back to the matter at hand, I spent a goodly part of an hour today converting those vintage FONT resources into OS X-savvy NFNTs — just so I could edit a few bits of Photoshop layered text set in Mark’s 9 point Condensed Gothic. I won’t mention the part about having to boot into OS 9 to run Fontographer because it wouldn’t open or save files under Classic. Suffice it to say, my suitcase of old bitmaps fonts and I are one step closer to staying in X for good.
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