FS : IBM Magnetic cards for IBM selectric "compocarte" (?)

Paul Berger phb.hfx at gmail.com
Fri Jan 3 14:50:26 CST 2020

The magcard selectric was capable of a lot of basic word processing 
functions as could the MT/ST before it.  One function it was really 
useful for was creating personalized form letters. The body of the 
letter could be stored and personalizations filled in as it printed.  
The MT/ST and magcard also had a model with a composer version of the 
selectric connected.  The composer version had an escapement mechanism 
that could do proportional spacing, this mechanism was complicated and 
from what OP technician told me tricky to adjust, and it didn't help 
that customer using composers where very picky about the print quality 
as composers where often use to prepare copy for printing.  I have also 
seen selectric mechanisms that used a lead screw to move the print head 
which would be an easier way to implement proportional spacing. Watching 
a video of an electronic composer typing suggests it may have used this 
mechanism as the carriage motion looks smoother that what you get with 
an escapement rack.    There was also a version of magcard machine that 
had a IBM Executive type bar typewriter attached, the Executive also did 
proportional spacing. There was also a selectric called the "Memory 
Typewriter" that could store documents on a wide loop of tape the was 
inside a slightly enlarged selectic.  The last version of the magcard 
machines where equipped with a daisy wheel printer in place of a selectric.


On 2020-01-03 7:51 a.m., Guy Dunphy via cctalk wrote:

> Huh, that's a coincidence. Going through a recent bequeathment to the Australian Computer Museum Society,
> I'd just yesterday opened a box with manuals, some cards, and other bits for the same system.
> See pic, with manual cover illustration of the system.
> It was IBM trying to produce a word processor and email, before the technology was really up to it.
> You typed onto paper, with backspacing and overtyping to get it right, then saved to the mag card.
> That could be read back and printed out, to get a clean copy. Then you could snail mail the mag card
> to someone with another machine. Or just post the printed letter I suppose, but how old fashioned!
> A lease document with the set shows that in 1981 the price was $5000 (AU). Or leased over 48 months,
> total rent of $6682.
> My job now is to find out what happened to the actual machine, since the contents list says it's
> present, but it isn't.
> Fun fact: according to the listing the modified selectric typewriter (heavy) and the magcard 82 processor
> (cabinet in the photo, supposedly about 50 Kg) are linked by a "non-plugged cable". Brilliant.
> Guy
> At 10:46 AM 3/01/2020 +0100, you wrote:
>> A guy, in Europ, sells a box of IBM magnetic cards, used on IBM
>> "Compcarte" ( sorry, french "name" )
>> They seems in medium state, at least,  but I think these are pretty
>> rare. So, if somebody is interested .....
>> https://www.ebay.fr/itm/gro%C3%9Frechner-wechseldatentr%C3%A4ger-magnetkarten/184107517064?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

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