Repurposed Art (ahem...)
elson at pico-systems.com
Tue Jul 18 23:42:37 CDT 2017
On 07/18/2017 09:45 PM, ben via cctalk wrote:
> Did any one ever use keypunch to tape or 8' floppy?
I got a Pertec key to tape machine surplus in about 1982 or
so. it had a keyboard and a field of submini lights that
lit up the letters, numbers, etc on a panel. You could
write 80 character records onto tape, verify the data by
retyping it, or read the tape record by record. I pulled
the key-to logic out, and there was a pretty simple
interface level to the basic tape data logic. I made a
mostly software driven interface to my Z-80 CP/M system so i
could have mag tape backup.
It had a 7" 9-track 800 BPI NRZI tape drive with single-gap
head, so you had to back up and reread each block.
I did actually run the thing as intended for a few minutes
to make sure the drive was working before digging into it.
I don't know if anybody else got one of these key to tape
machines running, but it wasn't that hard. The surplus
outfit seemed to have a bunch of them.
I also got a monster from a guy. It was two pieces, one was
a massive Honeywell drum printer, which was what I wanted.
The other piece was a key to tape machine, although it was
more flexible than that. Apparently, State Farm Insurance
used it as an off-line printer. You set some switches,
mounted a tape, hit a button and it would print the contents
of the tape. (I know it was State Farm because the printer
had a core memory buffer, and I managed to tease it to print
out the last record it had processed. The printer had a
format editor in it, so any character could be programmed to
come out anywhere on the page. So, it printed out a
complete dunning letter to some poor guy. Over the years, I
seem to have lost that piece of paper.) But, this set could
be used as a key to tape system.
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