View Full Version : Anybody ever seen this machine??? Olivetti P602/603

November 6th, 2005, 03:34 AM
Hi all. I have found this strange little box in a junk yard. At first i thought it might have been a "PABX" control box, but there is a distinct lack of switching components inside it for electronics of this age. As can be clearly seen on the label, we are looking at a 1974 manufacturing date. I have done a "quick" search of the web, and the name comes up in several sites as a "desktop" programmable computer/calculator. However none of the Photos on these sites match what i seem to have. Likewise, this unit is hardly what can be called "desktop", even for electroincs of it's age. It is obvious from the wires protruding from the side of the box, that there should be considerable conectivity to the item, however there are no clues as to what this might be. Find photos at my Pbase site:


These are quick snaps i took as soon as I got home. I will take some much better shots next time I get my studio equipment up and running. I need to shoot some photos of some other aquisitions, the new digital camera is proving a boon for just this...... If anyone want to see some higher definition pics let me know, I'll gladly send them on to you.....


November 6th, 2005, 04:21 AM
Strange, this looks different:


Terry Yager
November 6th, 2005, 10:12 AM
Perhaps we're only looking at parts of the whole in each pic? Could it be that there's a large main unit and a smaller desktop console for I/O?


CP/M User
November 6th, 2005, 11:57 AM
"Terry Yager" wrote:

> Perhaps we're only looking at parts of the whole in each pic? Could it
> be that there's a large main unit and a smaller desktop console for I/O?

Can I just say that these labels from the images say it's a P-602 | 603


Wouldn't that suggest that's something slightly different from a Olivetti P-

For something which was made in 1974 it's got a many (if anything small)
microchips. Would a Calculator require that many?

It looks more like a memory expansion unit of yesturyear but I can't be
100% sure. The fan suggests this thing packs a bit of heat.

What I can't work out is that board which was sitting on top in the initial
photo - can only guess some functions connected to it - if it were a piece
which this so called Calculator connects to it - it would look strange -
unless that board is simply sitting on top - connected to some wires which
allows flexible movement of the unit. I can only explain what I can see -
so if there's any possibility of showing more external positions of the
photos showing some momenment from the unit it might say something!

CP/M User.

November 6th, 2005, 10:59 PM
Having done a some what more in depth search on the web I have come up with this:


I could imagine this equipment sitting inside the desk unit with cables to the typwriter/keyboard, and floppy disks....

The chip count on the boards could then be explained as floppy controllers, and keyboard interface. These where largely discrete logic devices back in the 70s as I recall. There does not seem to be large scale integration in the box at all. Maybe the "calculator" could have been either descrete logic devices or in the "keyboard"???

None of the I.C. have imediately recognisable numbers on them, but I never really got into electronics until the eighties, and the 74XX series logic was in wide spread use by then. I have little experiance with "standard" logic before then.....


June 29th, 2007, 05:52 PM
I was a ollivetti tech. P602 was a programmable calculator that used magnetic cards for programs. had only numeric printer. P603 had a typewriter that was elctromechanicaly activated and was primarily used for accounting operations. Machine was self standing all you needed was a chair knees went under typewriter cpu was to one side.

Ken Pangborn
February 29th, 2012, 04:04 AM
I sold the various Olivetti programmables. Including the 602 603. The P101 and P-203. We called them "computers" because the machines made decisions. By today's standards they were interesting little toys. At the time they were significant. Today they bring just a chuckle. They were good reliable machiens and ahead of most of the competition.