What do you imagine when you hear "letter press" or "typesetter"? You might think of the Gutenberg Bible or a hip print shop in Brooklyn, but typesetting machines attracted many engineers' creative curiosity long before everyone had their own home printer or a website.
The typesetting machine was invented out of "don't repeat yourself" mentality, and was one of the first machines to be automated. Before we had computer screens, programmers were making domain-specific languages to print images with code. Ken Thompson once hacked on a typesetter to create emoji for his chess machine. Modern software like WYSIWIG editors would not exist if these creative programmers hadn't put ink on their fingers. Let's look back at the part of computing history that underlies daily activities like writing documentation in Markdown and reacting with emoji!