The printer that I would have loved to have for the Altair would have been an ASR-33 teletype machine.
That was becasue it was a combined Printer/keyboard/paper tape reader/paper tape punch.
You must remember that the original Altair BASIC was ONLY supplied on paper tape.
ROM cards came later.
There were no fonts or font styles on any popular printer at the time.
That would have been a ridiculous luxury for a computer that needed only 8K of memory to run BASIC.
In fact -- most printers of the day -- including the ASR-33 were UPPER CASE only.
I could not afford an ASR-33 at the time.
At first we had a VDM-1 video display module connected to an old TV set and a surplus keyboard (in a wooden box)attached to a parallel port.
To load Altair BASIC, I got an optical paper tape reader on a parallel port.
Each time we loaded Altair BASIC, we had to manully patch it through the front panel switches to work with the VDM-1.
For hard copy, we later got a surplus Friden Flexowriter from Herbach & Rademan in PA and converted it from Baudot to ASCII.
Hope this gives you a better idea what a "personal computer" really was in 1975.
Does your Altair emulator include VDM-1 emulation ?
This had some really cool extended character sets for drawing character graphics on the screen.
Seeing this emulated (with Altair BASIC) would give me flashback chills :-)
From: Cini, Richard [SMTP:RCini@congressfinancial.com]
Sent: Monday, July 30, 2001 3:26 PM
Subject: Printers used with Altair
Well, I'm bored again and am looking at the Altair emulator code.
There's room for enhancement in the line printer support code to support
control characters of certain printers.
So, here's the question. If I were a purchaser of an Altair in 1977,
which printer would I have purchased? What control code would it have
interpreted? Were the early printers sophisticated enough to recognize
"bold", "underline" or "italic"?
Maybe instead of sending the printer output to a text file, I can
create an HTML file on the fly that supports the formatting codes with tags.
I am pretty sure this show, which will undoubtedly be typical
over-sensationalized Learning Channel tripe, is the one where I supplied
many old computers for filming, including an Altair, Imsai, Apple ][,
TRS-80, PET, etc. There may also be semi-sihouletted shots of me typing
on a keyboard.
It's set to air Wednesday (tomorrow) at 10pm on The Learning Channel.
It features John Draper (a.k.a. Cap'n Crunch, a.k.a. freaky weirdo whom
you should cross the street to avoid), Steve Wozniak, and Kevin Mitnick.
Why Woz is included in this group is not entirely clear, but the producers
of the show are British, so that could explain things :) It has a lot to
do with the blue box of course, but Kevin Mitnick is a criminal thug, and
Woz is just Woz.
TLC used to be a great channel to actually LEARN stuff on. But I think I
know enough about high-speed chases and asshole cops already. Can we move
on to another subject, please?
As great as it is, Junkyard Wars doesn't redeem the channel. All the cool
stuff is on The History Channel these days :)
Sellam Ismail Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger http://www.vintage.org
Thanks for all the replies re the desktop VMS setup. Sounds like I need some
type of VAXstation 4000, I haven't seen any pop up on the UK Ebay site but
no doubt a bit of resourceful googling will turn something up :-)
Something I forgot to ask... is the db-15 connector on the VAXstation
2000 the same pinout as that of the DECstation 3100? I'm just
wondering if the same type of cable/monitor used with the DECstation
can be used with the VAXstation.
Copyright (C) 2001 R. D. Davis The difference between humans & other animals:
All Rights Reserved an unnatural belief that we're above Nature &
rdd(a)rddavis.net 410-744-4900 her other creatures, using dogma to justify such
http://www.rddavis.net beliefs and to justify much human cruelty.
On Mon, 30 Jul 2001 16:18:28 -0700 "Chris Kennedy" <chris(a)mainecoon.com>
> > > over either the bus or the half bus/half truck (I forget what they
> > > called).
> > CREWCAB!!!
> Now that I stop to think about it, wasn't that the "Combi"?
Hmm, interesting-- I always thought the 'Kombi' was a windowless
Bus-- you know, kinda like a panel truck. So, what *do* you call
the four door VW pickup truck?
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> On Mon, 30 Jul 2001, Hans Franke wrote:
> > Well, acording to other sources you may substitute any
> > American car brand (at least during the 70s and 80s) and
> > you still get the joke goin'.
> Hans, have you ever driven or ridden in a comfortable large American
> car from the early to mid 1970's, and seen how solidly it was
> constructed, and how it had features missing from today's newer cars?
> Back then, one could even choose from a very wide, by today's
> standards, variety of carpet styles/textures and colors as well as the
> types of seat coverings, styles of seats, etc.
Yeah, I saw *six* Chevy Vega models this weekend... at least, I think
*one* of them was a Cosworth...
Hey, I'm not sure how desirable this, but I figure someone on the list
might have fun with it. I've got:
Tandy 1000 Personal Computer TX w/keyboard
Tandy High Resolution Color Monitor CM-11
Tandy Dot Matrix Printer DMP-132
It is available for pickup in Norman, Oklahoma, or it can be shipped
(taker pays for shipping). If no one wants it here, it will be
put up for auction on eBay.
Jeffrey S. Sharp