Early 360 machines (Was: Front panel switches - what did they do?)

Paul Berger phb.hfx at gmail.com
Thu May 26 13:45:02 CDT 2016

On 2016-05-26 1:43 PM, Jon Elson wrote:
> On 05/26/2016 08:54 AM, Paul Koning wrote:
>> Speaking of ribbons, in college I occasionally used a type of ribbon 
>> I've never seen on line printers since: a film ribbon. Think of the 
>> "letter quality" ribbons used on professional typewriters, or daisy 
>> wheel printers, a thin plastic film with some carbon-like coating on 
>> one side.  Now make one the width of a line printer ribbon.
>> Our 360/44 normally used a regular cloth ribbon, but a film ribbon 
>> could be mounted if desired.  I did so to print my honor's thesis, 
>> using the film ribbon and the upper/lower case print train (TN 
>> train?) to print the final text (from RUNOFF on our PDP-11 system, 
>> which had no line printer).
> Yes, that's exactly the purpose they were for.  You mounted the text 
> train and a film ribbon, and got a fairly nice looking printout. IBM's 
> early manuals were all printed this way, the look was pretty iconic.  
> The printed output was then photographed to make offset printing 
> plates.  (Later they used IBM composer word processing printers, and 
> they looked nicer, with proportional spacing.)
> Jon
Not just manuals but also the ALD logic diagrams they where printed on a 
1403 with a special print train.


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