A commenter on the Awful Library Books blog once pointed out that a certain print-on-demand publisher of old public domain books had published a classical book, I think it was Wuthering Heights, with a picture of a bicycle on the cover. This was evident nonsense to them since bicycles had nothing to do with the story. I am taking their word for it since I haven’t read that novel.
However, in browzing Project Gutenberg for material to read, I ran across two Horatio Alger books that exhibited the same problem. Yes I read those. Someday I will get a grand spreadsheet together to exhibit just how formulaic they are. Anyway…
Apple Computer, back in the Apple ii days, made an add-in card tituled, “Super Serial Card”. I found a box that one came in and scanned the cover to display this awesome commercial art from the 70s/80s:
What can we see here? Well, other than the fun old days of Apple Computer, before they turned all stiff and shiny, we have:
- Someone in a biology lab plotting two series of data
- Some music in front of what looks like the Moon
- Some chess pieces
- Programming in BASIC
- A safe dial (Did Apple computers control ATMs or something?)
- Bob Ross balancing his checkbook
- Three students (one of whom is very bored) playing a math game with a portable TV
As an aside, while Apples of this vintage could come with monitors, most of the time they were hooked to TVs (note the dials on #1’s display).
The math game #7 shows is off: The first problem has a double digit addend and a single digit addend and somehow comes up with with a… single digit answer.
Finally, they (Apple) somehow managed to get their FCC ID to actually say “SUPERSER”! I have no idea if that was a special dispensation, or if somehow they were able to request that, or what. Usually they are just randomized digits.
EDIT (May 9, 2016): Added a “read more” line for people on slow connexions.
From my my grand mother’s attic, here is this paper binder cover for a series of juvenile magazines about the current affairs of the day:
I have previously mentioned patronizing Project Gutenberg for interesting and entertaining out of copyright works. This one I’ve no comment on the contents of, but am quite struck by the name and cover of.
First, the name. It’s deceptive. It sounds normal at first, but then becomes a quandary. How can you see things at night when, presumably, all is dark? Is it an oxymoron, or a suggestion of a light source?
Second, the cover design. This is what really took my attention. It has a quality that I can’t really explain. The orange on black lettering, the strange font (note the shape of the letter G) and the arching text combine to make me almost frightened of it, like it was designed for Halloween. I wish the contents of the book were as interesting as the cover is.