I recall in the late sixties my school had a Selectric that had an attachment that both made and ran from punched paper rolls, much the same as a player piano. It was primarily used to type many copies of the same letter, and it paused for an operator to insert each name, address, and salutation to keep the thing from looking like a form letter. It was not a home-built gadget, though; I think it came from IBM proper. Interestingly enough, the Selectric feel is still the de facto standard for keyboards.
Even though I'm a certified dinosaur, I gave up my typewriter the day I got a laser printer that would accept envelopes. Hi-Ho, mail-merge!
Sometimes I think that some people just have too much time on their hands. Converting a manual typewriter (or even an electric one) to act as a keyboard? Really? Or maybe I'm just jealous (nahhhhh!).
If we crawled into the 'wayback' machine (e.g. back to 1978) back to the era when terminals for our new 8-bit computers cost a jillion dollars then maybe it would make sense (in fact it did as I sort of remember similiar ideas back then) but today? Sorry I have too much else to do.
In the early eighties there were mods to the selectric to turn it into a keyboard and a printer for the early eight bit microprocessors and OS's. Dot matrix printers cost over four hundred dollars and key boards were about one hundred. Of course we modified everything from cassettes players (mass storage) to selectrics to save a few bucks. Ah.. the good old days
That will sure give your fingers a good workout for strengthening. I wonder how long a person could use one of those for actual work. When I was in high school, I learned to type on an IBM Selectric. However, my mom, a secretary in her previous life, had a manual as well. I kept away from that thing.
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For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.