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15-11-2015 21:47:44  #11


Re: Ode to IBM

Repartee wrote:

M. Höhne wrote:

.... snip ....
Darn! .... a search for other Selectric II's for sale seems to return about 70% as-is, for parts, needs repair and etc. So I gather they have passed the end of their useful service life, and keeping one functioning will be expensive. Is it the complexity of the mechanism? A 1924 Royal 10 I bought cheap recently is nowhere NEAR the end of its service life - though it looks like it got some new rubber somewhere along the road.
.... snip .....

No, Selectrics aren't at the end of their "service life". It's just that they are more precision than we are used to in typewriters and more dependent on proper adjustments and lubrication. Most problems are due to dried lube and dirt. OTOH, cleaning and adjusting is much fussier and many of us aren't up to the demands. Of about 8 that I've acquired, 2 worked fine right away, 2 have broken parts (which are available,), and the others are just stuck until I can do something about it. One of the working ones had been used right up to the time I got it; regular use helps.

You're right, though, to infer that you don't want to just dive in and "repair" it.

Have Fun!

 

17-11-2015 23:46:47  #12


Re: Ode to IBM

M. Höhne wrote:

... 
No, Selectrics aren't at the end of their "service life". It's just that they are more precision than we are used to in typewriters and more dependent on proper adjustments and lubrication. Most problems are due to dried lube and dirt. OTOH, cleaning and adjusting is much fussier and many of us aren't up to the demands... 

That would include me.

This machine is like the proverbial free mule. Twenty bucks? What do I have to lose? What I have to lose is that after spending twenty bucks I am now seriously considering spending several hundred bucks to get somebody to overhaul it! I just like its looks in the paint the seller called "Cold War green", in good condition, and am appreciating a little better now what's under the paint.

But not before Christmas!


"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton".
     Thread Starter
 

18-11-2015 00:33:54  #13


Re: Ode to IBM

Sigh,I just hear this talk about IBM Selectrics, as though that's all there is in the IBM electric typer world. My two IBM model B typebar models are still going strong. They don't have all that fancy analog engine stuff, but they don't often just slide to the right and stop there with absolute stubborness, and not a clue what is wrong. I'll keep running these typebar models until the rubber wrapping comes off the power roll I guess. They're built like tanks!
http://w3.gorge.net/jwahlstrom/typewriters/My2ModelBs.jpg


Bangin' around, this dirty old town, typin' for nickels and dimes...
 

18-11-2015 01:38:35  #14


Re: Ode to IBM

That's a beautiful set of B models you have there. Not including Selectric models, I only own a lone '59 C model and I feel the same way about it. Even if it didn't work (fortunately it does) it would be a keep for its looks alone.


Stay Safe! 
 

23-11-2015 11:04:21  #15


Re: Ode to IBM

I always wondered if IBM corporate didn't assign the Selectric project to all their has-been engineers who had worked on mechanical calculation machines during the war and were being replaced by the younger microchip and code-writer guys in the 1960s. Sort of a make-work project for the people nearing retirement whose skills and experience were no longer relevant.
If so, I'm glad they did. 

 

24-11-2015 18:15:20  #16


Re: Ode to IBM

Gabby Johnson wrote:

I always wondered if IBM corporate didn't assign the Selectric project to all their has-been engineers who had worked on mechanical calculation machines during the war and were being replaced by the younger microchip and code-writer guys in the 1960s. Sort of a make-work project for the people nearing retirement whose skills and experience were no longer relevant.
If so, I'm glad they did. 

 
You may be right but you're putting a negative spin on it: "has-been"? "make-work"?  "people nearing retirement whose skills and experience were no longer relevant"?  Ouch! Not only irrelevant, but old too!?

No doubt you are channeling the evil attitude of management, trying to force out all the dottering old futards by giving them an impossible assignment... The movie is playing: "I assigned them all to work on logic, just like you guys ... using only levers and washers and an electric motor! Bwhahahahaha!" (room full of laughing young engineers with crew cuts).

The cliched but satisfying plot twist is of course that the dotards confound the young coders, and not only build a logic engine out of levers and washers but one of the most profitable products IBM ever produced, which will keep their branding strong for decades! Bwhahahahah ... the dotards laugh last! 

I might actually watch that movie ... a non-violent version of "Chicago Overcoat".


"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton".
     Thread Starter
 

30-11-2015 12:41:06  #17


Re: Ode to IBM

Repartee wrote:

Which is too bad, since a search for other Selectric II's for sale seems to return about 70% as-is, for parts, needs repair and etc. So I gather they have passed the end of their useful service life, and keeping one functioning will be expensive. Is it the complexity of the mechanism?

I too share in the admiration of the IBM engineers who designed the Selectric. The main obstacle to the repair of a Selectric is finding someone who actually knows how to fix them. The CE's that IBM trained back-in-the-day are past retirement age or past away. There are few still around who successfully repair them. Most shops will just say they aren't worth fixing or the estimate will be outrageously high.

Don't despair. They are sturdy, well-built machines that can still provide years of service when properly repaired. You can teach yourself with the manuals online or seek a knowledgeable repairman. They do still exist.
 


Clark
 

04-12-2015 08:59:07  #18


Re: Ode to IBM

M. Höhne wrote:

Repartee wrote:

M. Höhne wrote:

.... snip ....
Darn! .... a search for other Selectric II's for sale seems to return about 70% as-is, for parts, needs repair and etc. So I gather they have passed the end of their useful service life, and keeping one functioning will be expensive. Is it the complexity of the mechanism? A 1924 Royal 10 I bought cheap recently is nowhere NEAR the end of its service life - though it looks like it got some new rubber somewhere along the road.
.... snip .....

No, Selectrics aren't at the end of their "service life". It's just that they are more precision than we are used to in typewriters and more dependent on proper adjustments and lubrication. Most problems are due to dried lube and dirt. OTOH, cleaning and adjusting is much fussier and many of us aren't up to the demands. Of about 8 that I've acquired, 2 worked fine right away, 2 have broken parts (which are available,), and the others are just stuck until I can do something about it. One of the working ones had been used right up to the time I got it; regular use helps.

You're right, though, to infer that you don't want to just dive in and "repair" it.

Have Fun!

About 10 years ago I acquired two Selectric IIIs.  One has the 92 key keyboard, the other the 96 key keyboard.  The 92 key keyboard had to be cleaned and lubricated before it would work but I was able to get it working.  I use both Selectrics on a weekly basis for typing short letters, addressing envelopes, and typing out checks.  As long as you take care of them and use regularly, their services life is far into the future.  Not only that, the print on paper is very clear and crisp compared to what most computer printers generate today.

 

16-1-2016 14:04:35  #19


Re: Ode to IBM

thetypewriterman wrote:

There is nothing new under the sun !  Blickensderfer produced an electric typewriter not unlike the IBM Selectric in 1903.  It could even rule lines which the IBM couldn't do.  Of course, it was too far ahead of its' time and cost the equivalent of a mainframe computer, so very few were sold.  IBM like to tell people that they invented the concept, but they didn't.  It had been done before IBM ever existed !

The blickensderfer electric used a very different mechanism then the IBM selectrics did, you can not compare these two in any way. 

Last edited by Uwe (16-1-2016 14:22:53)


Learned watchmaker and office machine enthusiast from Germany.

 
 

16-1-2016 16:05:46  #20


Re: Ode to IBM

I did not say that the Blickensderfer and the IBM shared the same mechanism.  I simply mentioned that the concept was similar, and that it did not originate with IBM as most people think.

 

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