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

Jon Elson elson at pico-systems.com
Thu May 26 11:43:05 CDT 2016

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.)


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