Selectric Typewriter conversions

From: John Lawson <>
Date: Tue Feb 4 10:54:00 2003

On Tue, 4 Feb 2003, Peter C. Wallace wrote:

> On Tue, 4 Feb 2003, Joe wrote:

[much snippage]

> > Teletypes the other day and he told me that he had thrown out an old "word
> > processor" (my term not his). He said that it was a desk sized mechanical
> > unit that had a keyboard and mechanical printer along with a paper tape
> > punch/reader. He said that you could type in a letter and insert a pause any

  I had the 'desk' part of one of these when I was in High School... it
had been converted by an older Ham friend of mine to do RTTY, and then
given to me. At this remove of time, I don't remember if it was 5-level
native, or whether it was 8-level and just didn't use all the holes. I'd
like to say it was an IBM product. It had Friden readers (2) and a BRPE
punch, with reels for the tape mounted on it's front. I used mainly
thyratrons (2D21) to fire the punches and do logic.

  I had several 'canned' tapes pre-punched, with mysterious-sounding 'TOP
SECRET!!!' messages I had written. When friends were over, Ihave
everything cued up and running, and at the right time, would secretly hit
the 'read' switch, and the "Secret" message would begin printing on my
Model 15. Then of course, I'd let them read enough of it to think I was a
spy before I threw them out of my room until the 'secret' message was
finished printing... then of course I'd refuse to acknowledge it...

  Jeeezzzz what a Nerd!

  Anyway... this was in the late 60s, and the device was probably made
early in the decade... it had that rounded-corner, grey crackle-finish
look to it.


Received on Tue Feb 04 2003 - 10:54:00 GMT

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