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Mac’s ABCs (1996) 7.25 by 5.5 inches. $800

We believe a time will come when computers get so fast that they run out of things to do. We can imagine they will take up reading to fill their spare time. Young computers will need to have "children’s books". Anticipating this need, we have created a book for those little computers. It is a binary ABC: the A’s, B’s and C’s are all in 1’s and 0’s; 01000001 is A, 01000010 is B and so on. Each page is illustrated with a calligraphic rendering of the letter. We imagine young computers will scan these images to discover the visual representation of the binary digits. It is not much harder to imagine that MAC’s ABCs, along with other the books we might create (like Dos and Mac: "Look Mac. See Dos. Dos can run. Run windows run."), will become classics of the genre, and that some day in the future these books will be found on every virtual book shelf in the world.

This single copy of MAC’s ABCs was created by Peter and Donna Thomas with technical assistance from Michael Beeson, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at San Jose State. The leather binding, constructed by Donna to resemble a computer, uses leather onlays to create the disc drive, logo and black monitor rim. The monitor's screen is made from sheepskin parchment; the title was letterpress printed. The pages accordion fold out of the book like computer paper from a dot matrix printer. The paper was handmade by Peter Thomas. It was printed letterpress using handset Weiss Titling Series II types and then punctured and perforated to resemble computer paper. The illustrations which accompany the printed binary letters were hand painted by Donna Thomas.


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© 2002 Peter and Donna Thomas