The system transferred the content of the AA Guide to Golf Courses and the AA Bed & Breakfast 2000 books from the Gipsy mainframe system used by AA publishing to Quark on Apple Mac. This was done so that the pages could be run in and made up quickly using stylesheets. This way of doing bookwork was very effective and meant books could be produced much quicker than having to attach the stylesheets by hand.
The Intermadia is a normal Desktop computer with towers of 4 drives for plus 2 power packs for the different discs, it just had a PCI board fitted that made it do the magic. No CRT for this but any will do. I think I have 3in (Amstrad) 3.5 HiDen, 5.25 HiDDen, 5.25 Normal Density. 8inch NormalDensity drives plus power pack.
Once in the InterMedia system there were several extras that attached to it. Power and drives that read the different discs and there were protocols in the software that would read the different computer discs. It was then put into a coding called IMIC which was the InterMedia Internal Coding this then allowed you to change with tables ASCII, extended ASCII, extraneous codes from the programmes such as Word or Word Perfect etc. and change them into what was needed in other machines. It also allowed you to wild card, flag, special wild card, switch a flag on or off and create other tables in hex or dec to create different stylesheets etc if you wanted to run out to a DTP programme such as Quark or Pagemaker.
This particular machine was used to create automatic Quark pages on Apple Mac from stylesheets created from the files given by AA Publishing in a Gipsy format from a Mainframe put onto 3.5 diskettes. Because of the complexity of the Gipsy format some of the books that I produced had up to 16 different translation tables to get them into an automatic working file.
We do not have the CRT screen for the interMedia but any will do as it was basically a normal machine with added extras. We think it was about £10,000 new, when a PC cost about £3,000.
This system was a very important part of typesetting history in particular. Without them a lot of authors work would have had to be re-keyed from systems as early typesetters and publishers tended to use only Apple Mac or PC and most authors set their work on Amstrad, Commodore, Sinclair, Apricot etc
This model Number is ZBF-3340-EK. Basically an Intermedia Computer 386 with board 3C8915143.
Our system was very kindly donated by Bob Wilson
Date: 13th April 1989
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