Word processor--vintage computer or typewriter ?

From: rogersda_at_cox.net <(rogersda_at_cox.net)>
Date: Sat Aug 30 10:34:01 2003

> > Over the years I've worked on a number of systems that were sold as "word
> > processors". They were all "computers" in the sense that they had the
> > standard complement of CPU, memory, mass storage and the programming was
> > loaded at boot time, as opposed to being in ROM.
> My Diamond's the same - the ROM only contains enough to load whatever's on the
> system disk. I have various floppies that were labelled as having contents
> other than the standard wordprocessing application software, so although the
> machine was sold by the manufacturer solely as a wordprocessor there were
> obviously 3rd parties who produced other software for it.
> If your definition of computer means that the OS has to be seperate from the
> running application, then no, it doesn't qualify (but that knocks out most 80's
> home micros that would drop straight into BASIC)

   Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that. There were a lot of word processing systems that, even though they had separate system boxes, the O/S was in ROM and couldn't be overridden. I would call that a dedicated-purpose "computer". I thought we were distinguishing between those and GP microcomputers sold as word processors.
> I'd say that a wordprocessor that *looked* like a typewriter probably doesn't
> qualify as a computer though; it's just a microprocessor-controlled typewriter.

   The systems I worked on all used Diablo or Qume daisy-wheel printers for their output. So, with separate system boxes and monitors, they didn't look like typewriters. In fact, that's how I came to work for DEC (later compaqted, then h-PACKardED); I knew how to make those darned printers work.

Dale (the DECdude)
Received on Sat Aug 30 2003 - 10:34:01 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:35:48 BST