ASCII art demo with vintage HP 85 computer, HP 7970E 9-track tape and HP 2631G dot matrix printer


So what I have essentially done is write a program that
runs on the HP 85 over here and will read the data on this tape and print it on the
matrix printer over here

40 Replies to “ASCII art demo with vintage HP 85 computer, HP 7970E 9-track tape and HP 2631G dot matrix printer”

  1. Question, does that tape work as RAM or Memory "Hard drive" for that computer?
    I recall some old computers using magnetic tapes as ram.

  2. There is not mistaking that type of sound! I remember the first dot matrix printer I purchased was an Epson MX80 for my Tandy TRS-80. Seeing that ASCII art was cool too. Many of the early programs for my PC came written in BASIC, just like what you had printed out.

  3. That tape drive mechanism is gorgeous, and the way it slowly and carefully goes around reading individual records just makes me happy πŸ™‚

  4. Some time in the fare future…
    Scientists: "finally after all the years of work, we the future may finally know the past with this machine. Now turn it on and let's see what our ancestors left behind.
    (Some time later)
    Scientists: oh, it's a d#ck picture. Okay that was a waste of a million dollars.

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    I Know, Its Not Christmas.

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  7. what games it can play i love old computers but i just want to see what games can be used to be played on those things

  8. No doubt others may have asked, but do you have the logic files for your CM 59401M?
    You most definitely are the king of vintage equipment resurrection & design enhancement.

  9. Where did you get the ASCII art files from? Are they on the 'net someplace? I see those are the fancy type where it overprints on the same line when needed vs just one pass printing art.

  10. My dad was in the Air Force and was a computer programmer. I remember him bringing home some ascii art for my brother and sister, mostly Peanuts characters with calendars and stuff. When I went to his building and saw all the rows of tape drives and mainframe equipment there was some giant ascii art in a couple offices on the walls.

  11. Back in the early 80s I had an ASCII art poster of Mr. Spock holding a model of the Enterprise. I'm pretty sure it was done on a band printer and it used over-printed characters (i.e. multiple printed characters at the same spot on the paper). It was huge – around 5 ft x 5 ft when put together.

  12. So cool… I sometimes received ASCII art prints when I went to see the company doing our accounting with my father :)) any idea how much this equipment might have cost at the time?

  13. The kids of today don’t know the pain, frustration, and absolute sheer euphoria achieved for such a simple β€œtask”. Congrats! This really brings back memories =)

  14. Wow that printer is LOUD! Love the tape-drive machine.
    Is it possible to use an old tape-drive with newer PC's with some obscure interface?

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