Can anyone identify this IBM magnetic tape cartridge?&In-Reply-To=a06010204bbdf7cfbe966@[

From: Steve Eichner <>
Date: Fri Jan 7 16:11:45 2005

I'm responding to a very old posting that I came upon quite
accidentally. The tape in question is a "Precon" tape used by the IBM
Magnetic Tape Selectric Composer system introducted by IBM in 67. I
worked for IBM at the time and subsequently used a lot of this equipment
in my graphic arts/typesetting business.
The tape was used to "pre-condition" the IBM MT/SC based on what you
were trying to do, i.e., set straight text type, set tabular type, set
type using an outline format, or set horizontal rules. It was sort of a
"download" of code to get the machine set up for what you were about to
do because all of the code could not be resident in the MT/SC at the
same time. The Precon 256 was used for straight columnar text type; the
Precon 260 was used for text in outline format (1.(a).1 etc), Precon 261
was used for tabular work--columns and Precon 259 was used to create
automatic horizontal rules specifically for use in classified ads.
Precon 263 was a diagnostic Precon. There were many other Special
Feature Precons such as 340, 341, 342 and 343 for automatic letter
writing functions and automatic paragraph selection, etc. Interesting
stuff. Good equipment--I liked using it very much. P.S.--The tape has no
value--other than memories. At the time the tape cost about 40
bucks--the MT/SC cost about $35,000!
Steve Eichner
Manager, Business Systems
    Standards & Assurance
Rainbow Information Systems
Received on Fri Jan 07 2005 - 16:11:45 GMT

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