APS-2 Filmsetter

Gallery of Images

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Here is the only illustration that I can find of an APS-2 which clearly identifies it as such. It is from Phillips' Computer Peripherals and Typesetting {Phillips 1968}:

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(Note that this image is UK Crown Copyright 1968. It is used here in this low-resolution version simply to identify this machine, and as such I belive that its use here falls within "Fair Use" under US copyright law. It is not licensed under the same Creative Commons license as the rest of this page.)

The two units on the left of this photograph are clearly a Teletype Model 33 ASR (freestanding) and a Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-8 minicomputer (the first large cabinet, with the integral table).

Below is a PDP-8 computer in rackmount configuration with a TC01 DECtape controller and two TU55 DECtape magnetic tape drives. (I am indebted to Doug Jones of the "Greenkeys" Teletype enthusiasts' mailing list, who is restoring a PDP-8, for the positive identification of this machine and its configuration.) It was located (when this photograph was taken) in a newspaper in Parkersburg, WV in the 1970s. The terminal to the left is a Teletype Model 33 ASR. The paper tape drive on the table has not yet been identified (but see below).

(I do not believe that the unit in the coner at the left side of the photograph is associated with this system (instead, I think that it is the back side of a Mergenthaler Linofilm keyboard). The unusually wide scrap of tape underneath the PDP-8 table is 15-level Mergenthaler Linofilm paper tape.)

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(The image above links to a 2048 pixel wide cropped JPEG version of this photograph, which should be sufficient for ordinary purposes. Here is the 1200dpi RGB PNG original scan (146 Megabytes): pdp-8-computer-used-in-APS-phototypesetter-parkersburg-wv-1200rgb.png)

To be rigorous, all we know is that this is a PDP-8 computer. No other information accompanying the photograph associates it with any typesetting system. However, there are two things which lead me to believe that this is in fact a part of an APS-2 system. First, there is no other reason that I can think of why a small-town newspaper would have a PDP-8. Second, it has a paper tape reader which is identical to units shown in another photograph from the same newspaper. These units (in this second photograph, shown below) clearly are associated with typesetting:

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(Here's the original 1200dpi RGB PNG (155 Megabytes): fairchild-multiface-teletypesetter-perforator-parkersburg-wv-1200rgb.png)

These operators in the photograph above are working at Fairchild Light Touch 1035 Multiface Perforators. They're punching 6-level Teletypesetter tape. Now, given that we know nothing more about the setup, this tape could be the input to many different systems (including a conventional TTS-controlled Linotype). But the fact that the same tape readers are located on both the shelf above them and the PDP-8's table suggests that this is a part of the same operation. We know from Phillips that the APS-2 could receive input from "IBM compatible magnetic tape or 5, 6, or 8 channel paper tape" ( {Phillips 1968}, p. 567)

Note: These photographs are from a set of four that I acquired showing 1970s era operation at this newspaper. For the others, see:

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