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'[OT] :Old (ancient) message scrolling'
2002\03\01@155919 by Jinx

face picon face
> That was a time when paper tape was all the rage

Had the idea that the name "ticker tape" was somehow
associated with those displays. I believe the properties of
materials like selenium as a photo-detector, if that's what
was used, were known at the time, and from there then it
would be fairly easy to switch valves or relays

The displays show no flicker or strobing (unlikely that they
are in perfect synch with the camera every time) as they
aren't scanned or "synthesised", but directly driven in almost
a bit-mapping way, and that simplicity is appealing, particularly
as the results are at least equal to what can be accomplished
today

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2002\03\01@171217 by Douglas Butler

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I'll bet it was just paper tape and mechanical finger contacts.  The
ASR33 teletypes I once used worked that way.  The fingers were
retracted, the tape advanced, the fingers extended and found holes or
not, cycle repeats faster than you can see.  Centainly fast enough for
scrolling signs.  The tape would last a few hours, by which time the
news would change anyway.  The key is that the fingers never touch the
edges of the holes.  The contacts driven by the fingers could probably
drive the light bulbs directly, no relays or other amplifiers (1/4A @
110V for a 25W bulb).

Sherpa Doug

> {Original Message removed}

2002\03\01@173137 by Robert Rolf

picon face
They probably used polyester tape (1930?? probably not)
rather than paper. Lasts a lot longer than paper.
I have seen 'archive' programs punched on aluminum tape. Wouldn't burn and
had a much longer reuse life (bootstrap for a Data General computer).

A thick paper tape would probably have done the trick, with direct drive
of the lamps (but they were more likely 100W).

I vaguely remember seeing 1960's program called 'You asked for it' where
they showed banks of relays and small bulbs that were used in the Times Square
display. I don't remember what they showed for the message encoder.

R

Douglas Butler wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> > {Original Message removed}

2002\03\01@180926 by John Ferrell

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face
Its kind of hard to describe without pictures. On all IBM equipment I was
familiar with there were sense pins that mechanically detected the holes and
acted as interposers for mechanically driven contacts that were very robust.
In some cases a 25L6 vacuum tube was used as a relay driver.  Motor driven
cam switches (circuit breakers in IBM speak) broke the current rather than
the more fragile relay contacts. Typical relay operating speeds were in the
millisecond range.

Reading the tape was easy, punching was the real trick!

A well adjusted mechanism was very gentle on the tape and the tape would
last a very long time! You would not believe the tolerance this equipment
had to dirt...

John Ferrell
6241 Phillippi Rd
Julian NC 27283
Phone: (336)685-9606
Dixie Competition Products
NSRCA 479 AMA 4190  W8CCW
"My Competition is Not My Enemy"



----- Original Message -----
From: "Douglas Butler" <.....dbutlerKILLspamspam@spam@IMETRIX.COM>
To: <PICLISTspamKILLspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Friday, March 01, 2002 5:04 PM
Subject: Re: [OT] :Old (ancient) message scrolling


{Quote hidden}

> > {Original Message removed}

2002\03\01@181120 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 03:26 PM 3/1/02 -0700, you wrote:
>They probably used polyester tape (1930?? probably not)
>rather than paper. Lasts a lot longer than paper.
>I have seen 'archive' programs punched on aluminum tape. Wouldn't burn and
>had a much longer reuse life (bootstrap for a Data General computer).
>
>A thick paper tape would probably have done the trick, with direct drive
>of the lamps (but they were more likely 100W).
>
>I vaguely remember seeing 1960's program called 'You asked for it' where
>they showed banks of relays and small bulbs that were used in the Times Square
>display. I don't remember what they showed for the message encoder.

I've cut paper tape on Telex machines, not all that long ago either (maybe
1975).
I understand they used a more oily version to run CNC machines before the mylar
tape became popular. Nothing much electronic in those things (Telexes), pins
and coils and motors and such like. Man, has editing gotten easier (you could
delete characters on the paper tape by punching all the holes as a kind of
NOP, but when you sent the Telex (in my case it would be to Japan or China),
you paid by the second (probably at 50 times the current direct-dial rate
in real terms) for this thing to clack away at 110 baud (not a
misprint), including the error characters (it punched several NOPs for a
carriage
return to allow the mechanical carriage to slam back to the left). A somewhat
similar mechanism to IBM's incredibly popular Selectric "ball" typewriters,
but it used a cylinder that rotated and moved up and down then thunked the
paper. Upper case only and a few characters. "HOW R U? PLS SHIP VIA KOBIYASHI
MARU SEPT 3. BIBI"

One of the original "programming" (sequence programming) method uses the cards
in Jacquard (sp?) looms. You see people hopping the MTR (subway/tube) in
Hong Kong carrying them from time to time. Player pianos are another similar
idea. All pre-electronics, as I suspect these 1930-ish devices were.

Best regards,




{Quote hidden}

> > > {Original Message removed}

2002\03\01@222633 by Dale Botkin

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On Fri, 1 Mar 2002, Douglas Butler wrote:

> I'll bet it was just paper tape and mechanical finger contacts.  The
> ASR33 teletypes I once used worked that way.  The fingers were
> retracted, the tape advanced, the fingers extended and found holes or
> not, cycle repeats faster than you can see.  Centainly fast enough for
> scrolling signs.  The tape would last a few hours, by which time the
> news would change anyway.  The key is that the fingers never touch the
> edges of the holes.  The contacts driven by the fingers could probably
> drive the light bulbs directly, no relays or other amplifiers (1/4A @
> 110V for a 25W bulb).

The old IBM punch card equipment used conductive rollers under the card,
and steel brushes made from fine (30-ish ga.) wire.  In fact, the printer
carriages on the old 1403 printers used paper tape the same way, they'd
last for years.  They might've done it that way.  You could possibly even
use a large drum with multiple sets of brushes...

Dale

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2002\03\01@235821 by Jinx

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> use a large drum with multiple sets of brushes...

Like a music box ?

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2002\03\02@004700 by Dale Botkin

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I was thinking more like several sets arranged around the drum, each set
haveing a brush for each row of lights.  You could do sets in parallel
too...  possibilities are endless.  Blast, now I'll be thinking of
building one!  8-P

Dale
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curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly."
         - Arnold Edinborough


On Sat, 2 Mar 2002, Jinx wrote:

> > use a large drum with multiple sets of brushes...
>
> Like a music box ?

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2002\03\02@041741 by Jinx

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> Blast, now I'll be thinking of building one!  8-P

Rough innit ? I'm always tinkering with nutcase ideas
for no other reason than I want to make something
that no one else has. I did think of making a Polyphon
once (like a flat disk music box) but then thought, WHY ?

I expect we'd all be similarly wasting our time if we were
independently wealthy and didn't have to do that nasty
work stuff

http://www.mbsi.org have some attractive pieces, so do the
horologist's sites if you want to get all misty-eyed

I have a fascination for forgotten technology (often forgotten,
it has to be said, because it was no bloody good) and the
styling of products that used the technology

http://www.database.com/~lemur/dm-links.html

http://www.database.com/~lemur/dm-delightful-machines.html#othersites

and there are many museums on the web for automatons,
phenakistiscopes, thaumascopes, medical antiques, and
so on. The Victorians, for instance, were suckered into
believing that Kellog, of cornflake fame, and his electrical
contraptions, were the bees knees when it came to bodily
restoration and rejuvenation. If you weren't electrocuted to
death of course

The look of modern appliances is obviously price-driven,
and that's hard to argue with, but you can't beat a nice
piece of wood. I'd have a PC in a wooden cabinet in a
minute if I had the time and/or room

A couple of sites that show what PC designers are up to. In
their lunch break by the look of some of them

http://www.intel.com/technology/easeofuse/conceptpc.htm

There's a short delay while the Flash slide-show loads. If you put
the mouse pointer over the pictures as they scroll by they come
up in their proper colours and you can get more details on each
from the list

I notice that the "Entrata" has its CD player vertically. I thought
that was not recommended ?

http://www.soldam.com/products/prism/index.html

The original article where those links came from. A little number
called "PC Plods - why are Americans designing such ugly
computers ?"

http://home/.clear.net.nz/pages/joecolquitt/pc_plods.html

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2002\03\02@041946 by Jinx

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Correst page address. Other one had "/" where it
shouldna oughta been

http://home.clear.net.nz/pages/joecolquitt/pc_plods.html

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2002\03\02@043230 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
>> use a large drum with multiple sets of brushes...
>
>Like a music box ?

Relay shift registers were not unknown in 1930. You don't really believe
that 1000's of contacts would operate in parallel reliably over any kind
of time, do you ? A 5x7 display 20 characters long (theirs were longer)
would require 700 parallel contacts and special machine to make the
tape/drums. Not likely. A 7 track tape punched directly with character
patterns on a special puncher and a single reader followed by a relay or
thyratron shift register would be much more like it.

I don't believe that the information about those things is gone. Who made
them ? Any company names ?

Peter

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2002\03\02@111936 by Alan B. Pearce

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>(you could delete characters on the paper tape by
>punching all the holes as a kind of NOP,

Now you know why the DELETE character in ASCII is all ones (dec 127), it is
for exactly this reason. :)

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2002\03\02@135847 by John Ferrell

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You are talking EAC's (Electric Accounting Machines) as built by IBM and
others. IBM did build and service Scoreboards for awhile. This was a point
in time where the machines were not sold, lease only so current survivors
are not likely.

An IBM 403 Accounting machine had several hundred multicontact relays as I
recall. They were quite reliable. That machine also weighed about 2300
pounds and was programmed with a removable wiring panel.

I cannot imagine anyone wanting to go back to that technology.
Rest
In
Peace!


John Ferrell
6241 Phillippi Rd
Julian NC 27283
Phone: (336)685-9606
Dixie Competition Products
NSRCA 479 AMA 4190  W8CCW
"My Competition is Not My Enemy"



{Original Message removed}

2002\03\02@192143 by michael brown

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> An IBM 403 Accounting machine had several hundred multicontact relays as I
> recall. They were quite reliable. That machine also weighed about 2300
> pounds and was programmed with a removable wiring panel.

IIRC, I saw one of these back in the real early 80's at an "open house" type
exhibit held on Scott AFB.  They pulled it out of storage and put it on
display in a brand new computer facility.  They had to put plywood under it,
with solid wood runners on top to spread the weight out enough to not
collapse or puncture the false floor in the computer room.  ;-D  The machine
I saw was "programmed" by somewhat large panel-boards that were attached to
the end of the machine.  You installed jumper wires on the panel-board to
tell it what columns to use (of the punched cards of course) and what math
to perform.  It also had other features, but it has been so long now that I
don't fully recall.

michael brown

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2002\03\02@213249 by Bob Barr

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On Sat, 2 Mar 2002 22:17:39 +1300, Jinx wrote:

>> Blast, now I'll be thinking of building one!  8-P
>

I was in the other room when it was on but I did catch the name of the
sign on the History Channel. It's called 'The Zipper'.
A Google search on zipper and "times square" turned up over 1000 hits.

I didn't track the history down any further than that but they may
have details on the original mechanism.


Regards, Bob

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2002\03\02@223007 by Dale Botkin

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On Sat, 2 Mar 2002, Bob Barr wrote:

> A Google search on zipper and "times square" turned up over 1000 hits.

Hmmm... yes, given the pre-Rudy history of Times Square I bet it did, but
you probably don't want to look at most of them!  8-P

Dale

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2002\03\03@015617 by Bob Barr

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On Sat, 2 Mar 2002 21:28:25 -0600, Dale Botkin wrote:

>On Sat, 2 Mar 2002, Bob Barr wrote:
>
>> A Google search on zipper and "times square" turned up over 1000 hits.
>
>Hmmm... yes, given the pre-Rudy history of Times Square I bet it did, but
>you probably don't want to look at most of them!  8-P
>

Actually, most of the hits that I glanced at had to do with the SIGN
(but I do know what you mean). :=)

Regards, Bob

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