Where have all the Selectrics gone?

Roy J. Tellason rtellason at blazenet.net
Sat Mar 25 15:32:28 CST 2006

On Saturday 25 March 2006 04:07 pm, Tim Shoppa wrote:
> "Barry Watzman" <Watzman at neo.rr.com> wrote:
> > All selectric mechanisms, at the mechanism level, use tilt/rotate code. 
> > You tilt the ball to select a row, and then rotate it to select a column,
> > then whack the paper through a ribbon (it's a mechanism that Tony Soprano
> > would love).  That is simply how a selectric works, and any other code
> > will ultimately get converted into tilt/rotate before being applied to
> > solenoids in the mechanism.
> I believe that one of Don Lancaster's logic cookbooks shows how to
> convert ASCII to tilt/rotate codes. Either that or some mid-late-70's
> Radio Electronics article that also tells how to use surplus core
> memory...

I remember him doing something with converting either to or from Baudot code 
(5-level),  but not selectric...

Of course,  I still don't have a copy of the RTL cookbook,  and I suppose it 
could be in there.   :-)

> The one Selectric that I saw converted just used a bunch of solenoids
> to whack the keys on a plain old keyboard.

I remember some outfit selling those way back when.

> Did any micro hobbyists actually succesfully use surplus core? I remember
> it somewhat cheap (but not ridiculously cheap)
> in the Meshna catalog etc. but never saw it being used. It is not
> a trivial matter to time and calibrate all the drive and sense lines
> especially when it's some random core plane and the first you ever
> saw.

I never really thought of actually using one,  but thought that it might be 
kind of neat to have one of those to hang on the wall.  :-)  And yeah,  I 
remember those Meshna catalogs too.

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M Dakin

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