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The Life of a Soviet Graphic Designer, Pre-Photoshop

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Today, the computer horsepower required to crop, retouch, and manipulate photographs is available everywhere. Even the shoddiest point-and-shoot camera has red eye reduction and most smartphones are able to create effects on the fly.

Aside from quicker processors, it's been years since photo editing giants like Adobe Photoshop and CorelDraw broke out onto the scene. Following their debut, we've seen everything from Picasa to iPhoto to Microsoft Paint speed up all retouch work -- making nearly every effect a one-click process. In comparison, photo manipulation during the mid-'80s looks like a time-sucking nightmare.

BoingBoing posted a YouTube clip of Soviet software engineers as they edit and retouch photos. You'll see relics of the computer industry's past: rotary scanners, magnetic tape, trackballs, and "Z for Zoom." And an unbearable amount of time to get a computer project done.

Take a gander and, afterward, give your laptop a hug. It deserves one.

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