Reading MT/ST Tapes

Paul Berger phb.hfx at
Fri Jul 30 20:22:01 CDT 2021

On 2021-07-30 9:39 p.m., Chuck Guzis via cctalk wrote:
> One of the shortcomings of the MT/ST when compared to word processors is
> the lack of a good "mailmerge" option.   You could code a stop code on
> the tape, where the typewriter would allow for manual fill-in-the-blanks
> operation, but that gets pretty cumbersome when dealing with hundreds of
> copies.
> Superseded by the MC/ST system, the "mag card" Selectric in 1969.  Far
> more convenient and better integrated into the typewriter itself (no
> separate keypad).  The MC/ST II in 1973 introduced the ability to
> "batch" up to 50 cards.
> Here's a promo film from the period, narrated by the guy driving his
> road yacht with the AM radio and chatting about it.
> --Chuck
The MT/ST did pretty good for being a electro-mechanical device,all the 
logic was relays in it.  I seem to recall many years ago one of the old 
OP guys telling me that it write in stripes across the tape. It would 
have to be some very simple format because it would be hard to have the 
thing sync on headers with only a little relay logic.

The mag card machines had the advantage of by the time it came along 
electronics was a lot more compact so they could stuff a much more 
capable controller in the box.  Towards the end of the mag card days 
there was even a machine that had a daisy wheel typewriter on it.


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