I have just managed to purchase a Teletype on Ebay - something I have been yearning to
obtain for a long time!
However, the item in question is located in Ohio, US and I would like to ship it to
Clearly it will need properly crating up by someone and freighting (I assume by sea?)
across the pond to me.
The vendor no doubt does not want to get involved in much of this.
So, my question to all of you out there is - do any of you know of a shipping company that
can package up an item like this suitably and arrange transportation? The ASR33 is
(thankfully) complete with all accessories such as stand, paper holder etc. I can probably
persuade the vendor to remove these accessories from the main unit, but probably not much
I am hoping some of you will have faced similar issues and might be able to provide good
All recommendations gratefully received!
Given the nature of this forum I am sure I don't have to explain why I would be
purchasing such an item. But as a bit of background I was fortunate to go to a school in
SE London (Alleyn's) in the early 70s that had an ASR33 and an acoustic modem link to
Queen Mary College (QMC) - a dual ICL 1904S system running QMC Maximop as I remember. I
hate to think what the phone bill was like, as the ASR was in use continuously all day
every day. This resource created a number of very talented young programmers at the
school. One guy wrote a complete Monopoly program in Basic. I learnt a language that
fascinated me by its quirkiness - Snobol4 (and Spitbol). I did an 'O' level
project that was a line editor program written in Snobol4.
In about 1975 the school obtained an IBM card punch machine that was used to prepare batch
jobs that were taken by hand to be run on an IBM 360 (I can't remember where). I still
remember marvelling at the tall vertical deck of cards being swallowed at a rapid rate by
the reader, with forced air being used to separate the cards. Great stuff!
We were also donated an Elliot machine (I think it was a 903 from photos I have found on
the web) that had a high speed optical paper tape reader and punch sitting on the top. The
main machine itself looked like a very large, double width washing machine. Removing the
front panels revealed the magnetic core store. The system was booted by entering the
initial instructions via toggle switches on the control panel, after which further
programs could be loaded by tape. The process of creating and running a program was very
tedious, as compiling, linking etc each required the individual program to be loaded and
an output tape created that was used as the input to the next stage. This all required
continuous use of the desk mounted paper tape winding machine that was hand operated and
geared up to enable rapid winding. However, accidents (and broken tape) were a constant
danger of using this device. We were always having to make duplicate tapes of Fortran
The last arrival at the school was a CDC VDU terminal that had a high speed (I guess a few
kbps) synchronous connection to a commercial computer bureau in London that had a major
CDC Cyber mainframe, not sure which model? As I remember the company was called
"SIA" or something similar. I once visited the control room and marvelled at the
control console, which looked like something out of a space ship! Time on this computer
was very expensive, so the school had a strict limit on CPU time.
Unfortunately all this history came to a sorry end when a fire in the building that housed
the computer room destroyed all the equipment - very sad.
That's might bit of computing history, and is why I was attracted into the fantastic
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