[TUHS] Berkeley Font Catalog

Mary Ann Horton mah at mhorton.net
Fri May 19 07:51:10 AEST 2023

As I fuzzily recall, I put together the original Berkeley Font Catalog 
from various sources (such as Stanford's more complete catalog) to show 
what we had available on the 36" Versatec at Berkeley. Looking at what's 
in 4.1BSD vol 2C, I suspect somebody polished it up.

Most of my effort went into fed, a font editor that worked on Berkeley's 
flakey HP 2648 graphics terminal, and editing the Hershey fonts, which 
were seriously mangled, into a semi-presentable typeface. I could only 
dream of having Times Roman available.


/Mary Ann Horton/ (she/her/ma'am)
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On 5/14/23 12:11, Clem Cole wrote:
> On Sun, May 14, 2023 at 2:17 PM segaloco via TUHS <tuhs at tuhs.org> wrote:
>     Hello, I've just today secured purchase of an original 4BSD manual
>     and papers set and a copy of what I believe is the V6 papers set
>     as well. Of note amongst the tabs I could read from the pictures
>     of the Berkeley binder was a section of fonts that I don't think
>     I've seen before named the Berkeley Font Catalog.  I did a bit of
>     searching around and didn't find anything matching that on first
>     inspection re: scanned and source-available BSD doc collections. 
>     Anyone got the scoop on this?
> Sure
> The Berkeley Font Catalog was a collection of 200 bpi fonts that could 
> be used with vcat - the virtual CAT/4 typesetter and old tools like 
> some of the original EE cad editors like Ken Keller's and another from 
> Tom Ferrin at UCSF. The bulk of them was a copy of the Hershey Fonts 
> [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hershey_fonts] and a number of fonts 
> specialty fonts, such as a set for typing chess, that had been 
> developed originally for the XGP at CMU, MIT, and Stanford.  Between 
> the 3 ARPAnet sites, there was a lot of mixing and matching.  Note: I 
> should have a Xerox copy of them from one of the UCB docs in my files. 
> They are on a BSD tape, I would look in the contributed area, but I 
> don't remember.   There is likely troff input to print the catalog 
> (using vcat), but again I am trying to remember where any of that was 
> in the distribution kits.
> FWIW: a few months back, Rob has corrected the history that the 
> original vcat(1) was Canadian in origin.  I thought that Ferrin had 
> his hand in an early version that came to UCB (This is likely an 
> example of the side comment sometimes used, that joy peed on it to 
> make things smell like UCB, as Tom was across the bay).  I also 
> thought Tom had collected much of the catalog originally; and while I 
> could be smoking something here -- I seem to remember that he also had 
> some sort of Stanford connection with some of his graphics work [the 
> UCSF and Stanford medical schools - were doing 3D graphics for medical 
> diags at some point].  Tom was a graphics guy, and I know he was mixed 
> up in some of that so it would have made sense for him to be somehow 
> involved.  It was not for a few years later, when Barskey showed up at 
> UCB that there was any serious graphics work being done -- before 
> that, only ECAD tools like's Ken and later Oster's.
> Clem
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