[TUHS] Early Unix and Keyboard Skills

Rich Morin rdm at cfcl.com
Fri Nov 4 05:36:45 AEST 2022

> On Thu, Nov 3, 2022 at 11:19 AM Paul Winalski <paul.winalski at gmail.com> wrote:
> The model 33 had a very fast and powerful carriage return mechanism,
> good for cracking walnuts ...

In 1968, San Francisco State College (now yclept "University") set up a "computer lab", based on a few IBM 2741 terminals.  These were hooked by leased lines to Stanford's Wylbur system and allowed us to do line-based editing, interactive Lisp, etc.

Anyway, the terminals were based on the I/O Selectric, and the ball impacts were powered by a spinning bar with pretty much infinite torque.  One day, an insufficiently cautious TA got her long, straight hair wound onto the bar.  Each character that was printed pulled her head closer to the terminal.

Fortunately, someone hit the OFF switch in time to avoid bloodshed.  Then, we were able to carefully unwind her hair and free her from the terminal.  IIRC, we didn't even have to cut any of her hair in the process...


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