Alan W. Runfeldt
Bao Nguoi Viet
As a developer of customer publishing systems with Independent Technical Services of Victoria, BC, Alan teamed up with Vietnamese computer engineer Nguyen Viet to develop a PC-based Vietnamese-Language publishing system for the Vietnamese Daily News - "Nhat Bao Nguoi Viet" - of Orange County, California.
Prior to the development of the "Lang Tu" System, Vietnamese newspapers were published using one of two very difficult and tedious processes:
The Lang Tu system utilized Diplomat Software's PC system for text entry using multiple keystrokes to generate screen-viewable Vietnamese accented characters. Using the ITS interface to the Varityper phototypesetter, and a highly-configurable text editor, Alan created the keyboarding front-end "desktop publishing" system as well as the data conversion and transfer software to directly send Vietnamese text from the PC to the phototypesetter, and even back sending files from the typesetter back to the PC, for editing. This same system evolved into a front-end link to the Hewlett Packard LaserJet (Series II) when HP introduced the first laser printer capable of using a full international character set of software-downloadable fonts.
- One was to add Vietnamese accents and "tone-marks" by hand ("dao ban tai") to every word on every line of every story published in the Vietnamese language.
- The only other option at the time was to purchase a very expensive Varityper phototypesetter and keyboard which would allow entry of complex and virtually unreadable codes with no readable Vietnamese text displayed on screen.
In 1986, the first ever Vietnamese PC-to-PC data transfer was effected between the office of Nhat Bao Nguoi Viet in Orange County California and the Vietnamese community near New Orleans, Louisiana. Shortly thereafter, a permanent link was established with the San Jose, California office of Bao Nguoi Viet.
This system revolutionized the publishing of Vietnamese text for newspapers, books and magazines throughout the free world. The Lang Tu/Diplomat system set the standard for Vietnamese publishing software and lead to the development of a wide range of similar systems as the Vietnamese people adopted the PC as a tool of communication and publishing.