Slashing the letter O (Was: Re: Service bureaus (Was: Tek 4051 firmware listing))

Chuck Guzis cclist at
Thu Dec 16 17:43:25 CST 2010

On 16 Dec 2010 at 14:52, Al Kossow wrote:

> There was an attempt at establishing what can roughly be described as
> an upside down Q for a slashed O. The only example I know of where
> someone used this are in line printer listings from SDS in the late
> 60's. I would have to do some serious digging in magazines to find who
> was pushing this as a standard. They end up looking like misformed 
> 8's.
> It does terrible things to OCR.

I may even have a few old listings with the "0" hand-adjusted in this 
manner for publication.

I think I still might have an old CDC coding form that has "0 = zero 
and slashed O = oh" pre-printed on it.  I'll have to dig some.

None of this compares with the extreme measure that CDC embarked on 
in the late 60's and early 70's--use of OCR-A for all correspondence. 
Those ugly, ugly characters--they were on all of the typewriters, 
regardless of vendor.  Was it square = zero and diamond = oh?  I 
don't remember, except for hating the blasted font, except for 
realizing that there were slight differences in the font between, say 
Olivetti and Remington.

OCR-B was much more readable.


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