Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Monday, January 15, 2018

Cloudy With a Chance of Missiles; 1971 Edition

What happened then.

A followup broadcast:

I don't remember this happening. But it was a Saturday morning and, unless somebody was watching cartoons, the TV would have been off. I listened to CBS Radio News a lot when I was younger, on WCBS-880 and WBBM-780, depending on where I was living. I haven't heard Neil Strawser's voice in a very long time. But I digress.

Anyway, this is a "teletype tape," for those of you too young to have seen one in operation:

This is a teletype machine:

The red arrow is pointing at the tape printer: The operator would type out a draft of a telex or radio message (these replaced Morse code) and the printer (red arrow) would spew out the perforated tape. (Telex machines were also used for remote computer access back in the days of punchcards and FORTRAN). Once the message was reviewed and approved by whomever, the tape would be placed in the reader (green arrow) and sent out.

I think some of the machines could do both functions in draft mode, so if there were a few changes to be made a good operator could run the old tape to the point of changes, and then begin typing from there. But I'm not certain of that; it's been decades since I've had anything to do with them.

The nice thing for them in the service was that if one drafted a nasty message, it could be held for a bit to rethink it. If the writer then decided "nah", they'd tear up the tape and that was that.


"Zack" said...

... WBBM NewsRadio Sssssssssssssssseventy-eight ...

(old = "I remember that!" young = "Huh ...?")

Ed Baptist said...

I remember working in a biochem lab where the liquid scintillation counter for measuring radioactivity in experimental samples. Parameters on this device and any programming were set up on a teletype. Programs could be saved on paper tape and reused. This was important because setting up corrections for such problems as quenching had to be done by the individual lab.

The New York Crank said...

I'm working from hazy memory here, but I got into the newspaper business at a time, if I remember correctly, when you could type into a teletype machine without the intermediate tape.

But mostly, in newspaper "city rooms" as they were then called (newsroom? Never heard of those!) "copy boys" who were often 30 year old guys and a very occasional woman with an MA in journalism from Columbia University would rip the news off the teletype and bring it to the city editor, who would then farm it out to whomever would deal with it next.

They were noisy machines. But the fun kind of went out of it when the world switched over to computers.

Yours crankily,
The New York Crank