What did computers without screens do?

Chuck Guzis cclist at sydex.com
Mon Dec 14 23:27:03 CST 2015

On 12/14/2015 04:31 PM, Mike wrote:

> What would you do with a home no screen computer? I mean what could
> be done with one that would benefit your work / hobby. I mean NO
> DISREPECT by asking this question.

I saw plenty of early home computers with TTY or Selectric I/O. If you 
could find a timesharing service to hook your home up in the 60s and 
early 70s, it was probably with a TTY.  (Anyone remember Call Computer 
in Mountain View?)

Consider, for example the Honeywell H-316 "kitchen computer" from 1969:


To the best of my knowledge, it was more of a concept than a real 
product.  But no screen, notice?

Legions of high-school and college students before about the mid-70s had 
no access to screens.  If you didn't use punched cards, you probably 
used a TTY.

But then, video output was rare for employees of the computer 
manufacturers.  Too expensive.

Paper--lots of it.  You did your serious programming with pencil and 
paper, then punched or entered it.  That was the old IDE.  Considering 
the amount of code written, it wasn't too bad.


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