Daily Archives: 2023-04-12

Intel exiting its longtime server business

Source: Hacker News

Article note: Huh, I didn't even know Intel was still badging systems. Sounds like they were Tyan OEM boxes lately, which will likely remain available through other channels.
Posted in News | Leave a comment

DIY IBM Selectric type balls give ’60s typewriters new life (and Comic Sans)

Source: Ars Technica

Article note: I have a Correcting Selectric II I restored a couple years ago, and it's a marvel of clockwork bullshit, and an abject lesson in why microelectronics quickly replaced mechanical apparatus everywhere possible. I've been following people's efforts to design balls, and this is frankly better than I expected - it's not that hard to notice quality differences between IBM and third party period balls, so passable type is quite an accomplishment.
IBM Selectwriter typeball

Enlarge / A type ball from a 1961 IBM Selectric typewriter. (credit: Getty)

There are some feelings you just can't re-create. And to IBM Selectric loyalists, neither beam spring keyboards nor buckling spring designs nor a modern mechanical keyboard can replicate the distinct feel driven by that legendary type ball. In the '60s and '70s, the Selectric was an office staple, but the growth of PCs and daisy wheels forced the machine into retirement by 1986. That hasn't stopped people from buying, restoring, and selling Selectrics, though. The problem is, IBM stopped making the single printing element that makes those typewriters so special. You can find the type balls online, (including options claiming to be used and never used) and at stores carrying old electronic components. But you'd save time and resources if you could make your own. It took years for someone to find a way to make the Selectric golf ball 3D-printable, but now someone claims they have.

A tinkerer named Sam Ettinger recently shared his Selectric type ball 3D-printing project on Hackaday and Github and shared the files on Printables, as reported by Hackaday. But beware: These finalized versions haven't been tested or printed by their creator. Earlier this month, Ettinger shared a video on Mastodon of the prior version in action, admitting that some letters weren't usable.

The new models are reportedly 0.2 mm shorter to address this and adjust the letter rotation, since it was "90 degrees off." Because of this, we can't verify how successful these models would be in real use.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in News | Leave a comment