Word processor--vintage computer or typewriter ?

From: Merle K. Peirce <at258_at_osfn.org>
Date: Sat Aug 30 12:34:00 2003

I know Olivetti made some bizarre looking computers based on their
electronic typewriters. The ETV300 ran CP/M and the ETV2700 ran MS-DOS.
The 300 was a grotesquely beautiful black beast.

Sat, 30 Aug 2003 rogersda_at_cox.net wrote:

> > > 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)

M. K. Peirce

Rhode Island Computer Museum, Inc.
Shady Lea, Rhode Island

"Casta est quam nemo rogavit."
              - Ovid
Received on Sat Aug 30 2003 - 12:34:00 BST

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