Paul Brainerd discusses his career beginning in the newspaper business with the Minneapolis Star and Tribune; then with Atex, a company that made terminal-based text-editing and processing systems for newspapers and magazines; and then as the founder and CEO of Aldus Corporation. Aldus was founded in 1984 with its PageMaker software program introduced in July 1985 providing the "killer application" that helped make Apple Macintosh and the LaserWriter successful. He describes how the term "desktop publishing" and the creation of the desktop publishing industry came about based on the "three-legged stool" of Aldus PageMaker, Adobe PostScript and the Macintosh. He discusses the evolution of PageMaker and other early graphics products and the software market, and how Aldus' growth and profitability began to slow in the early '90s, leading to the sale of the company to Adobe Systems in 1994. Since leaving the computer-software industry, he has established the Brainerd Foundation to protect the environmental quality of the Northwest and build broad support for environmental protection. He has also started other entrepreneurial non-profit organizations such as ONE/Northwest (Online Networking for the Environment) and Social Venture Partners.
Brainerd, Paul, Interviewee
Crocker, Suzanne, Interviewer; Editor
Computer History Museum
Deprecated ITCHP Number
Software business history; Brainerd, Paul; Aldus; Atex; PageMaker; Adobe; PostScript; Apple; Macintosh (Computer); Graphical User Interface (GUI); Page layout; Desktop publishing; TIFF; OPI; Prepress; Vanguard