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View Diary: TANG Typewriter [URGENT]: Is it the Composer? (99 comments)

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  •  Price of Selectric Composer (none)
    I've heard this model was very expensive in 72 and it isn't likely the TANG would have had one. Anybody have pricing information?
    •  The IBM Composer was expensive and large (none)
      When I joined a newsletter division of McGraw-Hill in the early '80s, they had IBM Composers for formatting the newsletters. They were larger, more cumbersome versions of a Selectric, not easy to use, and after heavy usage they would start to show little differences in letter impressions and spacing. Needless to say, they were expensive, specialized machines for publishing. They were definitely NOT the kind of machine one would use to type up an internal memo.

      I must agree with another diary entry by a typesetting expert who says that a document photocopied multiple times and then rendered into a PDF and displayed at 72ppi is impossible to evaluate.

      Beyond that, has anybody observed the office trappings of a typical government bureaucracy? Can anyone imagine state-of-the-art office typesetting technology being employed by the TANG in the early '70s? While such a thing is possible, is it probable? My experience with government offices is that their technology, whether in '70s typewriters or 21st century computers, is several generations behind the times.

      I'm certainly prepared to believe that the memos are genuine. Maybe the TANG just got a shipment of spanking new IBM whatevers with a load of different type-balls. I do agree with Steve Gilliard that keeping the story alive hurts Bush, and that's all to the good.

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