golf ball printer ==>
<printer> A slow, letter-quality printing device and terminal based on
the IBM Selectric typewriter. The print head was a little sphere resembling a
golf ball, bearing reversed embossed images of 88 different characters arranged
on four parallels of latitude; one could change the font by changing the golf
ball. The device communicated at 134.5 bits per second, half duplex. When the
computer transmitted, it physically locked the keyboard.
This was the technology that enabled APL to use a non-EBCDIC, non-ASCII, and in
fact completely non-standard character set. This put it 10 years ahead of its
time - where it stayed, firmly rooted, for the next 20, until character displays
gave way to programmable bit-mapped devices with the flexibility to support
other character sets.
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