URGENT: 1979 vintage Linoterm system needs home!

From: Bruce Lane <kyrrin_at_bluefeathertech.com>
Date: Sat Apr 27 01:41:52 2002

Hi, gang,

        Even though my interests have swung pretty much back to ham radio, etc., I still get the occasional E-mail advising me of a classic computing system that needs a new home.

        This one's a doozy -- an honest-to-God Mergenthaler 'Linoterm' system. The owner is located in the Puget Sound region, Washington state. Please contact him directly using the info in the following note.

        Note that this one is time-critical. If you can help this fellow, please contact him ASAP.

        Thanks much. Message copy follows.


Hi Bruce -

I have a Mergenthaler Linoterm Model 50M computer phototypesetter, and it
needs a home. It was bought new by the previous owner (a Seattle ad-agency
owner) in 1979 for roughly $52,000.

This machine is the transition between the hot-lead Linotype mechanical
typesetters and the Linotronic, the first of today's computerized
typesetting gear. The Linoterm set what might be the all-time high-water
mark for typographic quality.

There's a combined CRT/keyboard terminal that runs everything (looks like a
Wang VS terminal). The main processor is a big cardcage that holds a bunch
of doormat-sized circuit cards (looks to be TTL) with 16K of RAM, and (2) 8"
floppy drives. The typesetting unit is optical, controlled by a Z80 chip. OS
is supposed to be proprietary, but it seems to respond to typical CP/M
commands, so it's probably CP/M with some custom extensions. Then there's
quite a bit of support equipment and accessories, a good batch of 8"
floppies (old files, training stuff, and the OS), and a complete set of
manuals. I had it cabled up and running about five years ago, so it's all
there and it all works.

We just moved a few weeks ago from Mill Creek (just south of Everett) to
Burlington, which is why I need to find a new home for the Linoterm. It's in
the garage at our old place in Mill Creek, so when that place sells, it
needs to be gone. I also have quite a few other vintage bits and pieces that
might belong in somebody's restoration, but those were small and easily
moved. The Linoterm is good-sized, about a pickup load, and weighs a couple
hundred pounds.

Thanks for any help you can give me on this: I'd hate to have to just scrap

 - Rick Harrison
 - rgh_at_fidalgo.net
 - richardgharrison_at_yahoo.com
 - (360) 707-5989 (land line and answering machine)
 - (425) 330-2084 (cell phone)

PS: I don't have the scanner hooked up at the new place yet, but if some
scans out of the manual will find it a home, I'll get it hooked up, just let
me know.

Bruce Lane, Owner & Head Hardware Heavy,
Blue Feather Technologies -- http://www.bluefeathertech.com
ARS KC7GR (Formerly WD6EOS) since 12-77 -- kyrrin_at_bluefeathertech.com
"I'll get a life when someone demonstrates that it would be superior
to what I have now..." (Taki Kogoma, aka Gym Z. Quirk)
Received on Sat Apr 27 2002 - 01:41:52 BST

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