Fair price and ways to find a teletype

Dave Wade dave.g4ugm at gmail.com
Thu Oct 15 11:57:06 CDT 2015

> -----Original Message-----
> From: cctalk [mailto:cctalk-bounces at classiccmp.org] On Behalf Of
> drlegendre .
> Sent: 15 October 2015 00:35
> To: General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
> <cctalk at classiccmp.org>
> Subject: Re: Fair price and ways to find a teletype
> Brad,
> A few montns ago, with a fair bit of help of the folks on this list, I did up an
> Altair 8800 rebuild. And apparently you & I both saw the same videos, as I got
> all hot and bothered about getting an ASR33 and using it to load software -
> BASIC, for starters - into  the Altair. And again, on members'
> suggestion, I joined the Greenkeys list.
> Too bad, but I was totally +shocked+ at the 'value' placed on ASR33 these
> days!! Thousand dollars and more, not all all unusual.. and my resources just
> can't justify that level of expenditure for what is generally a 'cheap' DIY
> hobby of sorts. Meanwhile, a Greenkeys member in St. Louis, MO popped
> up with a very nice M15 (ex-Bell) that was Free to Good Home. I have (or at
> least had, ha!) a good friend in St. Louis, and he was able to take care of the
> pickup for me - and several months later, i arranged to have it delivered to
> my house by a relative.
> Now the M15 isn't a 33ASR, and lacks the paper tape punch & reader (though
> devices do exist). But what it is, is a truly fantastic piece of electro-mechanical
> engineering that borders on the "tight metal" genre of some earlier business
> machines, such as the Felt & Tarrant Comptometer. If you have general
> mechanical experience, I'd say the M15 is roughly on a par with a 2-spd or
> even 3-spd automatic transmission, in terms of mechanical complexity (the
> the tranny will have a higher parts count.. I think!).
> So while they can be worked with, and documentation is plentiful, they are a
> bit intimidating the first time you see one in action - or inaction, as it may be -
> and they do NOT respond kindly to false moves or other ham-fistery. But
> they are well worth learning, and don't yet seem to have joined their later
> progeny in the financial stratosphere.
> -Bill

I think you would be surprised to know that M15 and other Baudot teletypes were used with early computers. 
Not sure about the Altair but I certainly used a Creed 7B with my 6809 based system. Again no paper tape, I had an Audio tape system.
They were also widely used in the UK on early computers in the UK. The Manchester MK1, Ferranti Pegasus, Ferranti Mercury, Cambridge ENIAC
all used 5-level Creed teleprinters as output devices. As I am sure I have said before, Mercury and Pegasus actually output 5-level tape on a high speed punch
which was then feed into a storage bin under the counter, and then read on a slower reader connected to the Teleprinter. So physical buffering...


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