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Dirk Laurie <> wrote:

> "High-speed" printers (heck, some of them could do several pages
> per minute) had 132 columns. The IBM printer at our university in
> 1966 had 132 hammers and a slidebar with about 50 glyphs . As the
> correct glyph passed the hammer, it would strike. The sequence
> was carefully scrambled to make the moments of impact more or
> less random, so that printing a line would sound like somone
> riffling a deck of cards. Of course, the students (which may or may
> not have included me) figured out what that sequence was and
> made the printer print it. The hammers did not quite strike at the
> same instant, it took maybe 0.05 of a second, but printing a page
> of those lines made the printer sound like a very loud metronome.
> Alas, the slidebar tended to break during those pages :-(

Back in the day, I got a nice 24-pin dot matrix printer. It printed like
nothing else I had seen before, such well defined characters.

I decided that since it was capable of doing graphics I wrote a program
that converted source code into the appropriate graphics so when I printed
source code it would look on the page exactly the same as on my screen,
special characters, inverted video, everything.

I have always been a bit of a night-owl, so when I wrote that program and
decided to test it by printing out a bunch of source code... well lets just
say that a 24-pin dot matrix printer, printing two source lines at a time in
bi-directional quality mode, was not exactly quiet.

I was no longer allowed to print things at 3am after that! ;)