1960-1980 printers

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Matej Porubčan's picture
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Joined: 11 Oct 2010 - 11:06am
1960-1980 printers
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I have questions about first computer printers. What they were? What technology did they use, how long dit it take to print a page? What fonts was in use in that time?
I will be thankfull for any informations about producers and models of early computer printers.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Do you mean personal computers or computers in general?
In the case of the former, they were dot-matrix printers*,
and I suspect the same was true for earlier computers.
Although the very first ones were probably mechanical
typewriters "hotwired" to work with computers...

* I had a Star 1080. :-)

In terms of fonts, the main choice one had (for low-end
printers) was wide ("10 pitch" = 10 characters per inch)
versus narrow ("12 pitch") often called "Elite", maybe
because they looked classier (narrow = classy). These
were sans designs with visible gaps between the dots.

Speed: If memory serves the bidirectional models printed
at about 1 second per line, so maybe around a minute for
a full page. Just a rough estimate.

hhp

Matej Porubčan's picture
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Joined: 11 Oct 2010 - 11:06am
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Thank you very much. Do you have any information about literature or web about old computer printers?

David Yoon's picture
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Joined: 17 Apr 2006 - 7:58pm
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For earlier computers, here are a couple of Wikipedia articles that might help:

[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line_printer]]
[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teleprinter]]

Samuel Goldstein's picture
Joined: 25 Jan 2012 - 7:47pm
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I've just been working on a font to simulate the dot-matrix output of an Epson MX-80 9-pin printer from the mid 80s.

I wasted much of my youth creating fonts using a package called GEAP on the TRS-80 to try to print blackletter on that particular dot matrix printer.

Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dot_matrix_printer as well.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Samuel, cool - blackletter rules. Have you kept any images?
My brother and I made Armenian and Arabic fonts for our
Star 1080 (using our C64 :-). BTW, you know what we used
to call the TRS-80, right? ;->

BTW, you're in LA too, eh?

hhp

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am
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For the few that remember CP/M, its design assumed paper tapes and teletypes as the only available I/O devices.

When you read tales of old computers, the name [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friden_Flexowriter|Flexowriter]] appears often. It was a particular brand of teleprinter.

But, come to think of it, maybe this chipchat belongs in General instead of Design…