the non-existence of printer collectors
cclist at sydex.com
Sat Jan 26 21:58:18 CST 2008
Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2008 20:24:36 -0500 (EST)
From: djg at pdp8.net
> Those old line printers had such a nice impressive sound. At least looking
> back and when you will be doing short printouts on a classic computer.
> When you had to listen to it all day not so good.
There is no way that I would want to own and operate a CDC 501 (drum)
or 512 (train) printer. Changing the ribbon, even with the provided
gloves was a messy job (who knows if ribbons could even be found
anymore), and when one of those ribbons got tangled up in the 512
type train, it was an hours-long incredibly messy job digging the
bits and pieces out. Inevitably, you'd find that you'd assembled the
type train with a character swapped here and there.
The old drum printers tended to suffer from the wobbly line syndrome,
where characters would be displaced from a straight line in a
vertical direction. On the other hand, the train printers, while
creating nice straight lines, would often displace characters in a
horizontal direction. The former was far more noticeable than the
In the mid 70's, my lusted after personal printer was one of
aftermarket Teletype model 40(?) band printers. About 300 lpm, I
think and basically a tabletop unit, usually sold in an acoustic
enclosure. Print quality was pretty good (upper- and lowercase),
unless you printed a lot of dumps, whereupon the '0' would get kind
of fuzzy after awhile. I still have a copy of the OEM manual for one
of these if anyone's interested.
I briefly had a Diablo dot-matrix printer--the carriage servo could
crush your hand if you were stupid enough to put it in the wrong
spot. An incredibly noisy screaming demon of a boat anchor. I got
rid of it while I still had my hearing.
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