The first book printed in Italy

The First Book Printed in Italy

During my research for an upcoming book* on the life and work of German Renaissance typographer Erhard Ratdolt, I spent quite some time looking at the introduction of printing to Italy (Ratdolt worked in Venice from 1476 to 1486, thereafter returning to his native Augsburg). The first printers in Italy were, unsurprisingly, from Germany, and they likely were associated with Gutenberg, Fust and Schoeffer. I won’t go into the details about the introduction of printing to Italy. Suffice to say, by 1465 Sweynheym and Pannartz had arrived at the Benedictine monastery of Subiaco, about 60 km east of Rome. The same year they printed a Latin Grammar (a schoolbook that had been incredibly popular throughout the Middle Ages) by the fourth-century tutor of Jerome, the Roman Grammarian Aelius Donatus, of which, sadly, no copy has survived.

Some time before the end of September 1465**, they printed Cicero’s De oratore, the first extant book printed on Italian soil. Lastly, before moving their press to Rome, they printed their first dated book (29 October, 1465), Opera by the third-century author, Lactantius.

The page below is from their De oratore of 1465:


Photo credit: University of Barcelona. [For a larger version of the same type (but used in the Lactantius).]

This is the first Roman type. More accurately it is a semi-Roman or semi-Gothic, the letterforms modeled on contemporary Italian bookhands. The capitals are clearly roman; the N is unusual in that its diagonal stroke meets the right stem quite high — like I have seen in some Rustic capitals in later Medieval manuscript books (though Rustic capitals are, of course, more condensed). The G looks almost like a sans serif and has a tiny aperture. In the lowercase there are more than traces of the uncial letter, especially in the form of the h with its toes turned in. The lowercase still retains some of the angularity and lateral compression of the Gothic letter. Though the type is quite dark (and has low contrast), it is tightly spaced and rather condensed, but appears much lighter than a page of Gothic type owing to the relatively long descenders, creating more interlinear white space. Relatively few contractions and ligatures — a t + i ligature and a nice disconnected c + t ligature. The squat ampersand is quite beautiful too.

I think it’s quite incredible that this book and its type has survived, and that just about all of the type we read today owes a debt to prototypographers like Sweynheym and Pannartz.

*Erhard Ratdolt — Renaissance Typographer, to be published later this year — fingers crossed!

**The Leipzig copy, now in Moscow, contains annotations dated 30 September, 1465.

Sponsored by H&FJ.

The first book printed in Italy

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Idén nem volt még ennél nagyobb troll (KTamas osztotta meg)

KTamas shared this story from IDDQD.

A hónap trollja díjat kapja… Master of Luck nevű versenyzőnk, aki a legaljasabb módon aknázta ki az Xbox One azon tulajdonságát, hogy a mikrofont semmilyen körülmények között nem lehet kikapcsolni. Emberünk a COD:Ghosts játékban társait idegesítendő eltorlaszolt egy spawn-helyet úgy, hogy beállt az egyetlen kijáratba és megvárta, amíg a szobában rekedt csapattársai magukból kikelve üvöltözték hogy “Húzzál az ajtóból k***ög!” Persze e kitörés mellé hozzáfűzték az avatárja nevét is, ami nem más, mint (*dobpergés*): “Xbox sign out”.

Senki nem ma kezdte itt a játékot, de ekkora trollságba én még nem szaladtam bele, már csak azért sem, mert valahol mélyen az ötletben ott lakozik a zsenialitás szikrája is. Jókat lehet röhögni a pánikreakciókon, ahogy a játékosok kétségbeesetten próbálják visszanyerni uralmukat a kikapcsolásra készülődő konzol felett. Idén biztos nem volt nagyobb troll, persze még csak január van.

Megosztom Facebookon! Megosztom iWiWen! Megosztom Twitteren! Megosztom Google Buzzon! Megosztom Google Readeren! Megosztom Tumblren!

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A programmer’s legacy

One of my favorite things to do is looking round churches. I’m not a religious man, but whenever I visit a new city invariably the first thing I explore are the local churches or cathedral. To me, they represent timelessness and stability. They also represent a legacy. Somewhere there’s a architect whose life work was poured into that building. And here it is, standing hundreds of years after its designer has long gone for all to see.

Legacy is something we programmers struggle with. It’s rarely discussed, and when it is it carries a negative connotation. Legacy code is a term that runs shivers down our spines. We rarely think of legacy in terms of making a mark.

I think we all have an urge to mark our stamp on this world, to graffiti ‘I was here - don’t forget me’. Yet as a programmer, where is my legacy? Practically every program I’ve ever written has either been re-written by someone else, or discarded entirely. In another decade, there will hardly be a trace of my existence at all.

Perhaps a programmer’s only way to achieve any kind of meaningful legacy is by contributing to some lower abstraction that others build upon, like TCP or Linux. I’m beginning to think though, that the best legacies are companies. They’re a living distillation of the original founders principles, and the best ones long outlive their creators.

The world’s oldest company was Kongō Gumi, a Japanese construction company specializing in building Buddhist temples which operated for over 1,400 years.

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(Reblogged from sophistasmartycat)

SD Card Hack Shows Flash Storage Is Programmable: Unreliable Memory

Ever wonder why SD cards are dirt cheap? At the 2013 Chaos Computer Congress, a hacker going by the moniker Bunnie recently revealed part of the reason: “In reality, all flash memory is riddled with defects — without exception.” But that tidbit is nothing compared to the point of his presentation, in which he and fellow hacker Xobs revealed that SD cards and other flash storage formats contain programmable computers.

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Bunnie also summarized his presentation in a relatively easy to understand post on his blog. The images I’m sharing here are from the slides (pdf) that he and Xobs used in their 30C3 talk. Here’s the full paragraph where Bunnie claims that flash memory is cheap because they’re unreliable: “Flash memory is really cheap. So cheap, in fact, that it’s too good to be true. In reality, all flash memory is riddled with defects — without exception. The illusion of a contiguous, reliable storage media is crafted through sophisticated error correction and bad block management functions…”

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“…This is the result of a constant arms race between the engineers and mother nature; with every fabrication process shrink, memory becomes cheaper but more unreliable. Likewise, with every generation, the engineers come up with more sophisticated and complicated algorithms to compensate for mother nature’s propensity for entropy and randomness at the atomic scale.”

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Simply put, Bunnie claims that flash storage is cheap (partly) because all chips made are used, regardless of their quality. But how do flash storage makers deal with faulty hardware? With software.

Apparently flash storage manufacturers use firmware to manage how data is stored as well as to obscure the chip’s shortcomings. For instance, Bunnie claims that some 16GB chips are so damaged upon manufacture that only 2GB worth of data can be stored on them. But instead of being thrashed, they’re turned into 2GB cards instead. In order to obscure things like that – as well as to handle the aforementioned increasingly complex data abstraction – SD cards are loaded with firmware.

sd card hack by bunnie and xobs 4 620x464magnify

And where does that firmware reside? In a microcontroller, i.e. a very tiny computer. The microcontroller is packed inside a memory card along with the actual chips that store the data. Bunnie and Xobs then proved that it’s possible to hack the microcontroller and make it run unofficial programs. Depending on how cynical you are, that finding is either good news or bad news.

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For their talk, Bunnie and Xobs hacked into two SD card models from a relatively small company called AppoTech. I wish I could say more about their process, but you can read about it on Bunnie’s blog

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…or you can watch their entire presentation in the video below:

Long story short, Bunnie and Xobs found out that the microcontrollers in SD cards can be used to deploy a variety of programs – both good and bad – or at least tweak the card’s original firmware. For instance, while researching in China, Bunnie found SD cards in some electronics shops that had their firmware modified. The vendors “load a firmware that reports the capacity of a card is much larger than the actual available storage.” The fact that those cards were modified supports Bunnie and Xobs’ claim: that other people besides manufacturers can manipulate the firmware in SD cards.

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The slide above outlines the other ways a memory card’s microcontroller can be abused. Malware can be inserted into memory cards to discreetly open files, make data impossible to erase (short of destroying the card itself) and even discreetly scan and replace data. On the other hand, Bunnie and Xobs note that this revelation opens up a new platform for tinkerers and developers. If a memory card is both a storage device and a computer, then it may be powerful enough to control another device on its own.

It’s worth noting that this particular investigation had an extremely small sample size. That being said, Bunnie believes that this vulnerability exists in “the whole family of “managed flash” devices, including microSD, SD, MMC as well as the eMMC and iNAND devices typically soldered onto the mainboards of smartphones and used to store the OS and other private user data. We also note that similar classes of vulnerabilities exist in related devices, such as USB flash drives and SSDs.”

Turns out the memories of our computers are as unreliable as ours.

[via Bunnie via BGR]

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YouTube Minus U


Kedves YouTube!

Aktuális kedvenc jelenségem az, hogy bár mindig be vagyok jelentkezve – tehát pontosan tudod, mikor mit néztem meg –, rendszeresen újként (úgy értem, nem megtekintettként) jelölsz olyan videókat, amiket természetesen korábban (tegnapelőtt, múlt héten, két éve) már láttam, és igen, biztosan láttam, hiszen ott vannak az Előzmények listában. Amikre viszont fel vagyok iratkozva, azokat jelentős spéttel teszed elém, ha egyáltalán.

Tudod, alapvetően azért iratkoznak fel emberek csatornákra, mert nem akarják állandóan kikeresgéni a csatorna videóit a rengeteg irreleváns ajánlat közül, MINT AZ ÁLLATOK. Ehhez képest jelen pillanatban az egyik napi frissítésű csatornán ott mosolyog az elmúlt négy nap termése, amik kétségkívül létező dolgok, hiszen valaki elkészítette és feltöltötte őket, meg is nézte őket közel tízezer felhasználó, csak kurvára nem tudom, honnan szereztek tudomást a létezésükről, ha hozzám a feliratkozásom ellenére sem jutottak még el.

Persze tudom, nyilván kitúrták a csatornát ők is, MINT AZ ÁLLATOK, mert ők már végigmentek ezen az úton és rájöttek, hogy minden hiába.

Azért van annyi becsületed, hogy hetente kiküldjed a levelet a csatornáim heti frissítéseiről, just in case, hátha lemaradtam valamelyikről. Mintha nem tudnád.

De legalább benne vannak azok is, amiket már láttam.

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#HOLIDAYHACKS: DIY Smartphone Projector

Guest blog by We Are Social.

Hello Holidays! We think there’s no better way to get ready for the season than whipping up some DIY projects with your family and friends. From decorating, caroling to card-making, we’ve got a whole series of Holiday Hacks lined up for you.

For a start, cosy up at home with your loved ones while catching your old-time favourite movie, with your very own smartphone projector.


TIP: Before you begin, spray or black tape the inside walls of your shoebox to get the best image quality.

STEP 1: Trace the outer edge of the magnifying glass on the shortest length of the shoebox.

STEP 2: Using a penknife, carve out the outline you have just traced.

STEP 3: Remove the handle from the magnifying glass and align the lens with the hole. Apply duct tape all around the edge of the lens and ensure it is tightly secured to the box.

STEP 4: To make a stand for your smartphone, bend 2 paperclips into the shapes shown in the visual and secure them together with duct tape.

STEP 5: Lock your phone’s screen and flip it upside down to rest against the paperclip stand.

Position your smartphone in the box as shown in the visual. It would…

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Egy szep historia az nagy erös Samsonról, az Biraknac könywében meg vagyon írva…

Egy szep historia az nagy erös Samsonról, az Biraknac könywében meg vagyon írva… / Kákonyi Péter

Régi magyar szövegemlékek magyar irodalom, régi nyomtatvány, históriás ének, bibliai történet, 16. sz.

“Sok erös Vitézek vóltak ez Világban, Mint az erös Hector vala az Troiába, Hercules, Achilles az Görög orszagban Szęp iffiu Philotas Macedoniában.”

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thepeachkids: p0sterchild: v-o-g-u-e-i-s-a-r-t: absolutely…




absolutely incredible… the little prince for blind people




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