The font elements for Selectrics come in 3 basic types:
First Generation (Rabbit Ear): 1961 to about mid-60’s. 88-Character Selectric I/II elements only. These are the simplest design, just a bent wire held in place by a plastic half-cap. You pinch the rabbit ears to open. Delightfully easy and super-durable. They almost never break. Why IBM switched from this design, I’ll never understand. Perhaps they *wanted* their elements to break easily because around the mid-60’s came…
Second Generation (Inevitably Broken): mid-60’s to mid-70’s. 88-Character Selectric I/II and Selectric Composer elements only. You can tell these by sight from the chromed pivot lever ends and how the lever is attached to the pivot by only a thin plastic loop. This is what inevitably breaks. These are a much more complex design than the First Generation elements, and most of them you find in the wilds now 40 or 50 years later are busted. Sadly, the few of us with Composers learn quickly that most of the elements made for the Composer were Second Generation elements, and we learn to live with broken levers. It’s such a weak design that it was none-too-soon replaced by…
Third Generation (The Fix): Mid-70’s until end of production. Some 88-Character Selectric I/II, some Selectric Composer, and all 96-Character Selectric III elements. These you can recognize because the entire pivot post is plastic with a wire pivot inside, and it’s molded to the snap lever. This is a far more robust design than the Second Generation, and break far less often than the previous design does. It’s not anywhere near as robust as the First Generation design, but is a reasonable compromise.
All this doesn’t mean that broken Second Generation balls are useless, though. The mechanism for clipping the element to the carrier post is simple enough that you don’t even need the clip-top at all. Here’s what I do with most of my Selectric Composer elements that I collect that are busted:
Hey, it’s been a slow summer, so when an email comes in promising a high-dollar job for what looks like simple HTML formatting of existing content, I give it consideration despite the prospective client’s atrocious command of the language. Not *much* consideration, though. Sounds suspiciously like a certain Nigerian dialect common to form letters distributed to credit card thieves.
Thanks for your swift response and l have small scale business which i want to turn into large scale business now it located in city and the company is based on importing and exporting of Agriculture products such as Kola Nut, Gacillia Nut and Cocoa so i need a best of the best layout design for it. Can you handle that for me ?. so i need you to check out this site but i need something more perfect than this if its possible . [website url redacted] the site would only be informational, so i need you to give me an estimate based on the site i gave you to check out, the estimate should include hosting and i want the same page as the site i gave you to check out and i have a private project consultant, he has the text content and the logos for the site.
1. I want the same number of pages with the example site i gave you to check excluding videos and blogs.
2. I want only English language
3. I don’t have a domain yet but i want the domain name as [website url redacted]
4. you will be updating the site for me.
5. i will be proving the images, logos and content for the site.
6. i want the site up and running before ending of next month.
7. My budget is $2000 to $4000
Kindly get back to me with:
(1) an estimate
(2) your cell phone number
(3) And will like to know if you are the owner ??
Oh, man. You can wave that kind of money in a man’s face and it can make him quite incautious, but seriously, this stinks of a phishing expedition – and also, WTF is a “Gacillia Nut”??
Well, what the Gacilla Nut turns out to be is a handy unique search term which you can use to discover exactly what this email is all about. I tried Gacillia Nut on Google, and yup. Turns up nothing but scam alerts saying that if you engage these guys, they try to get you to run a charge on a stolen credit card and send them a cut back. You end up eating the chargeback, fees plus the amount you send them back, which is of course the whole point of the scam. Beware, fellow web architects, the egg-sucking dogs are after us now. :P
Couldn’t resist this one when I saw it on the shelf at Deseret for $3 a few weeks ago, so I snatched it up. The thing was *filthy*, but seemed to be intact, although it was so gummed up that the lever wouldn’t pull. I’ve currently got it working now, but it still needs another detailed cleaning to get rid of the solidified grease that remains.
It’s not immediately obvious how the thing works at first glance. The functions are cryptic and there’s no zero key (you use the “dot” keys to insert zeroes). Luckily, there’s an on-line instruction page here, which clears everything up.
Finding out when it was made took some work. Everything currently on the web just states “started 1960”. However, I recalled that MTE sold calculators as well as typewriters while they had the Olivetti franchise in the 60’s, so I suspected they might have had some Primas float through inventory, and I was right:
MTE’s purchase history for new Prima 20s stretched from 1962 to 1966, and the range suggests #413696 would fall somewhere in 1963. Easy enough (:
Ton S. Over at I Dream Lo-Tech has one too! (: