Where have all the Selectrics gone?

Chuck Guzis cclist at sydex.com
Tue Mar 21 11:48:15 CST 2006


On 3/21/2006 at 10:27 AM Joe R. wrote:

>I find piles of Selectrics in the scrap/surplus places and I've been
>looking through them hoping to find one with a computer interface but I
>haven't seen one yet.  I asked a friend of mine that REALLY into the
>surplus about it and he says he hasn't seen one in YEARS.  :-(

That's true--even back in the 70's when the only real alternative for a
printer for your IMSAI or Altair was an ASR-33, the Selectric I/O writers
while not common, but could be found on the surplus market occasionally.  I
think the source was early airline reservation systems that used them to
print on (tractor feed) ticket stock.  IIRC, most of them had been run
nearly to death and required substantial refurbing.

They didn't use ASCII, but rather a "tilt and shift" code.  There were a
couple of articles in some of the early computing mags about interfacing
them.






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