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Thread: Ancient portable

  1. #1

    Default Ancient portable

    Hi, all
    I'm new here, and wondering if someone might be able to help me with some machines I have recently come into possession of. They are Teleram P-1800 portables, and appear to be 40 pound monsters of early 70's vintage. Pretty cool looking, but I have been unable to get one to boot up completely. The power comes on, and the CRT glows, but there is no cursor, and the computer does not respond to the keyboard. Any ideas? I've been surfing around for info on the things, but all I have been able to determine is that they were originally designed for reporters to tae out on assignments, so they could type stories and file them via the "cup" style modem (you place a telephone handset in the cradle of the modem and let er' rip.) Anyway, if anyone knows where i might be able to find more information on one of these things, or even a manual, I would be forever grateful

  2. #2

    Default

    Just from the description I'd say they are more likely to be terminals than full-fledged computers.

    Do you have pictures, etc?

    Are there any external ports?

    Erik

  3. #3

    Default re "Ancient portables

    Hi, I agree with Kieth. They are probably c.r.t, terminals. The first ever portable terminal was the ADDS Inc. "Envoy" series, first demonstrtated in 1970 or 71. It had a full keyboard, 80 x 24 display and was housed in a case similar to the Osborne 1 computers. It also had a 300 baud RS232C ccompatable modem built in, and was supplied with the device to set the telephone hand-set in a pair of rubber cups. (This type of mocem was referred to as an "acoustic coupler, which was just about the only legal way to attach anything not made or sold by the original "Ma Bell" The onlyalternative was to lease a thing called a "Data Access Arrangement" from the phone company for an awfull priice. It was simply an isolation transformere which assured the phone company that the customer couldd not do anything to foul up the phone lines. Look inside. If they date back to 1973 or earlier you probably wont find a "CPU" chip anywhere. And memory may be MOS Shift Registers, not RAM chips. Heck, they may even be ADDS terminals, supplying an OEM with terminals to use in the purchaser's business. I would like to see some photos. GOOD LUCK, FROM RAY BORRILL
    Pioneer Purveyor of Personal Processing Power

  4. #4

    Default

    The Teleram T1800 is a terminal. I remember reading the ads in early (circal 1980) Byte and Infoworld magazines.

  5. #5

    Default

    The Telerams were technically word processors with modem connections... so, for that early time period, could be called computers, not terminals (they cost around 10 thousand dollars each when new). They had RAM memory, and reporters would write their stories on them, then send it back to the office using the modem. You have the older model, a slightly newer model had a built in cassette recorder to save the ram data.

  6. #6

    Default Teleram P-1881

    (Note: Adding information for posterity, realizing full well this is an ancient thread about an ancient (but very rarely seen!) computer: )

    I have one of the early Telerams - it's a P-1881. Here are some pictures - if you can tolerate the Snapfish junk - hopefully these links are deep enough to avoid you having to register:
    http://www1.snapfish.com/slideshow/A...93/t_=92286193
    http://www1.snapfish.com/slideshow/A...93/t_=92286193
    http://www1.snapfish.com/slideshow/A...93/t_=92286193
    http://www1.snapfish.com/slideshow/A...93/t_=92286193
    http://www1.snapfish.com/slideshow/A...93/t_=92286193
    http://www1.snapfish.com/slideshow/A...93/t_=92286193

    I got a demo from the reporter who used to use it. Those poor people basically had to implement a protocol themselves - header, column name, start text, end text, all that. It has some word processing functions. With linear memory, you can write your story, insert/delete words, all that fancy stuff. No cut/paste, though. You even get a "MEM BUSY" light when it's busy making room for your next keystroke, pushing the rest of memory down one space.

    The Teleram P-1881 has a battery in there (mine's long dead, being 28 years old today) and would probably power that CRT for a minute or two. Fun luggable.
    Last edited by david__schmidt; July 14th, 2007 at 01:19 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default

    Umm, David, did you notice that this thread will be, oh, 3 years old in a few months?
    Legacy Computers and Parts

    Sales of, parts for, and repairs to, Vintage and Legacy computers.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default

    Yes, I found them informative as well.

    The point I was trying to make here was that, since the O/P asked for assistance almost 3 years ago, chances are pretty good that he either got it or doesn't need it anymore.

    Most of us, including me, have made the error of responding to years old posts, not noticing the dates in the thread, and I was just welcoming David to the club.

    Hopefully, that's not a problem.
    Legacy Computers and Parts

    Sales of, parts for, and repairs to, Vintage and Legacy computers.

  9. #9

    Default

    I think it is silly to respond to a 3 year old 'Wanted' or 'For Sale' post, as those are generally time sensitive. But adding general interest pictures or information to an old thread is fine, even if the original poster is long gone. If it had been a silly post, like 'What color was your ribbon cable in the upper right corner?' then it might be worth nothing that the original post is ancient history, but I don't think this post warrants anything like that.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Saginaw, MI, USA 48601
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    Default

    Sorry, my bad. Mea culpa, mea culpa.

    --T
    Teach your children how to think, not what, and hold 'em close, not tight.
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