I completely forgot to put this in even though Mark reminded me of it. March 17th marked the first annual SPUD, or Shareware Pay Up Day. On SPUD, you go through your software collection and send in all outstanding shareware payments to those dedicated programmers who provide us with excellent programs. In honor of TidBITS' upcoming one year anniversary, I encourage you to send in shareware payments, postcards, or whatever the author asks for. If you have a lot of shareware and can't afford to pay for it, at least send the authors postcards (19[cts] these days in the US) thanking them for their programs and telling them you'll pay when you can.
Glenn Fleishman of Yale University Printing Service writes about Multiple Master from Adobe, "It will not have serif-to-sans-serif masters! You're thinking that this will be like Donald Knuth's TeX thing, Metafont, where all aspects of a font are attached to dials. Multiple Masters will have a normal light, a normal black, an extreme condensed, and an extreme expanded master in each font. By twiddling dials, you can get, for Futura say, Futura Light Condensed, Futura Regular Bold, Futura Expanded Light, etc. But in no imaginable universe take Univers and twiddle a dial and get Univers Serif Roman. Hermann Zapf designed Optima to be a serif face without serifs (i.e., thick and thin strokes, instead of more uniform strokes); how would you turn a dial, and zip-zip-zip, get Optima Serif? I'm not really outraged; I'd very much like a program or utility that did that. But see Douglas Hofstadter's discussion of Metafont and this whole problem (and why it's basically impossible if you allow much variety, much like Goedel's sufficiently powerful number system Incompleteness Theorem) in Metamagical Themas."