Automatical Justified Typin’ from an NTS WP-10c

Weapon of Choice: 1990 NTS WP-10c SlabTop Word Processor

Weapon of Choice: 198x Royal (Nakajima) Alpha 2015 #42320862

ProTip: Peel off that WP-10 sticker and it uncovers the Citizen 10WP that’s actually silkscreened onto the shell.

Weapon of Choice: 198x Olivetti 900X #85330822198x

Surprise! Looks like the WP-2 also has the option 32k SRAM installed, so they *are* identical except for color and badging. I figured out that the 32K wasn’t added to the internal SRAM amount, it’s actually a secondary 32k RAM Drive that you have to switch to in the Files interface. Datestamp on the WP-2’s LCD display assembly suggests January, 1990.

The 32k SRAM chip that was the advantage NTS’s version had over the Citizen and Tandy variations. Not a *huge* deal, as the chip was an add-on option for the other models, but in the NTS WP-10c, it came standard. There are rumors that the NTS also had battery recharging and modem capability that the Tandy WP-2 didn’t have, but that isn’t true. The Tandy one has the exact same featurset.

Datecode on the NTS WP-10c indicates September, 1990 manufacture.

Output via RS232 Serial to the Brother EP-22, results in flow control problems. Bleh..

I couldn’t get WP2DOS to work on my DOS machine, but I could save files to the DOS machine via TS-DOS and DeskLink. The downside is that you have to convert all of your WP files to ASCII inside the machine prior to saving them to a computer you can actually use to access the files. It’s tedious rote. I may not be using a DOS version old enough for WP2DOS, I’ll have to try some things out to get the right software running on the Dos Box.

Updated: April 27, 2022 — 4:32 pm


Add a Comment
  1. I would be tempted to take one of those sets off of your hands, but I simply cannot go down another rabbit hole. My Alphasmarts and The Writer don’t get nearly enough use as it is. A fun read, though!

    1. I would not tempt anyone to try this delightfully arcane method of achieving column-justified typed text. It brings me joy, but would only bring you frustration :D

  2. DOS. NULL Modem cable? Geeez sounds almost Flintstone-like, chiseling away on a stone slab. Neat machines though.

    1. It’s interesting researching back along the line of machines that resulted in the specimen that you are looking at. This Citizen machine is descended from the old Amstrad NC100 slabtop computer and still sports the same Z-80A 8-bit CPU into the 90’s. It represents a step where the technology had aged and gotten cheap enough to be relegated into single-use systems rather than PC’s. You can still feel the heritage of that classic British 8-bit PC in the build, design, and even hints of it in the software, though.

      The Amstrad had a lot of influence on education-oriented writing slabtops, to the point that Tandy/Radio Shack abandoned their own TRS-80 Model 100/102/200 line design and software to adopt Citizen’s machine, which was sad because Citizen machine has none of the fun programmatical and I/O abilities of those machines, nor the Amstrad it sprang from. It can column-Justify output to an ET, though. :D

  3. Boldly going where no man or woman has gone before — at least not any time in the recent past that is. :-)

  4. Those old word processor typewriters are cool. We had a Commodore 64 back in the day, but my parents never got around to adding a printer. Instead we used typewriters to transcribe from the computer, lol. Because of Typospherian influence, mainly you, Joe, and Gregory, I’ve been researching WPT’s a little, trying to decide what features are best for me, like a decent sized screen, not to big or heavy, ability to change typefaces, save and read files in a cross-platform format, and a nice quality print that’s relatively fast. So… I just use my Dell laptop and a small Brother laser printer. :-D

    1. yeah – but where’s the fun in that? :D

  5. Footnote: I read earlier today that Lewis Carroll invented a mechanical device for justifying text on a typewriter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.