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MMD > Archives > December 1998 > 1998.12.16 > 01Prev  Next


Introduction & Line Printer Music
By John Ward

Hi all,  I've been lurking here for several weeks, enjoying the
postings.  I'm 54, and semi-retired.  My background is in electronics
and audio recording.  Several years ago I bought a sizable collection
of 78-rpm records, which I'm still cataloging.  All this has nothing to
do with MMD.

The 78 collection included a bunch of piano rolls, but no piano.
Recently I found a Kurtzman player, with Standard mechanism, which had
recently been reconditioned, so I'm finally able to hear the several
hundred rolls I've been storing, and have been enjoying them immensely.

Since I'm obviously a "newbie", I'll be asking questions as they arise;
right now, I'm too ignorant to know what to ask!

The discussion of Line Printer music jogged a couple of memories.
Somewhere I have an audio tape of "She'll Be Comin' 'Round the
Mountain" as played on an IBM chain printer.  The printer was at the
Ritter company in Rochester NY, and I believe it was playing from a
card stack.  A friend of mine worked there in the summer of 1966, and
demonstrated this to me.  The "music" is nearly drowned out by the
other mechanical racket.

A few years before that, 1961 or '62, I heard some computer music at
Cornell.  The machine was a CDC 1604.  I have no idea why or how, but
this computer generated audible tones when it was doing certain things.
Somebody noted that it generated the full chromatic scale, and made up
a program that mapped this onto the keyboard, so it could be played
"live".

John Ward

 [ Hi John, and welcome to MMD.  This thread of old computer systems
 [ is jogging the momories of lots of old-timers.  More than once,
 [ in the era you mention, I saw a cheap AM table radio parked by
 [ the computer, monitoring the radio frequency racket generated by
 [ the CPU.  It was a useful aid for the musically-minded programers,
 [ who could tell when the cpu was executing certain repetitive
 [ routines.  Of course, that's how it played music (at midnight)!
 [ -- Robbie



(Message sent Wed 16 Dec 1998, 21:00:00 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Introduction, Line, Music, Printer

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