word processor history -- interesting article (Evan Koblentz)

Paul Koning paulkoning at comcast.net
Fri Jul 8 14:33:24 CDT 2016

> On Jul 8, 2016, at 3:13 PM, Chuck Guzis <cclist at sydex.com> wrote:
> On 07/08/2016 11:46 AM, Paul Berger wrote:
>> Before displaywriter the OP division of IBM produced the Office
>> system 6 which had a really cool inkjet printer.... as long as you
>> didn't have to fix them service reps called them "Spray and pray"
>> They where not a thermal inkjet like most modern ones, but rather
>> used a pressurized ink system to force the ink through nozzles on the
>> print head, I saw one operating without the shroud around the
>> printhead that sucked back overspray, it was really cool the print
>> head moved along silently and the character just appeared on the
>> page.
> I recall seeing the IBM inkjet printer at a late 70s NCC.  IIRC it used
> electrostatics to deflect the ink drops to their proper position.

I saw that technology described in a Dutch magazine ("De Ingenieur" = "the engineer") around 1972 or so.  As PB mentioned, it uses a shroud or baffle, since the ink stream is always active; the control voltage steers the drops towards the paper or towards the baffle.  Ink hitting the baffle was recirculated, I think.

> ...
> Initially, I think the biggest advantages of the early wapros was the
> ability to make edits to existing documents and to create multiple
> copies of the same document.  I wonder how many of the young 'uns here
> have experienced the joys of carbon paper (especially when accidentally
> reversed) or having to re-type a whole page of text to make a few simple
> edits.

A bit like editing text (programs) on paper tape...

I may have missed it, but I haven't seen the IBM MT/ST mentioned.  That's certainly a rather old system, dating back to 1964 according to Wikipedia, which says it's the oldest word processor (and references an article about WP history).


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