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Beyond Paper

A two-part special report on a paperless world

Monday, March 5
Defeating the computer's arch enemy: unreadability
People miss planes, burn dinner, and stay up way past bedtime just to read one more page of a good book.
But it's not just the quality of the prose that causes the worm to burrow so deeply into a book. As typographers have long known, the aesthetics of print have a lot to do with keeping the eye on the page.

Tuesday, March 6
Stop the presses
Physicist Nick Sheridon's goal is to make what you are now holding in your hands a thing of the past. Concluding our special report, KIM HONEY looks at the brave new world of the paperless newspaper
Almost 30 years ago, physicist Nick Sheridon was working at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center in California's Silicon Valley, one of the most respected commercial computer-research labs in the country. These were heady times for Xerox: In 1972, Alan Kay had come up with the Dynabook. The computer scientist had envisioned something that would improve upon the qualities of paper, something book-like that you could hold in your lap. But the technology lagged far behind his vision of a flat panel display that you could write on with a pen and read as you sat under a tree.

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