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Playboy Ascii Art (Oct, 1967)

Also check out:

ASCII Art in 1939
Typewritten Flag (ASCII Art)
ASCII Art – 1948


PLAYBOY has programmed the names and addresses of quality retailers across the country, stores which handle the fine products advertised in this issue. To find those stores in your area that handle products in which you’re interested, simply use the attached reply card. Within 5 days you’ll receive a computer-printed letter with the answers. Why search around when you can relax?


I.C.S ASCII Art Ad (Sep, 1944)

are you the I.C.S. type of man?

There is a definite I.C.S. type. The records of 100,000 current students . . . nearly 5 million students since 1891 . . . supply the outlines. Here’s how the typical enrollee shapes up at the time of beginning his studies: He is an adult. In wartime he is in the Armed Forces or in vital production. But war or peace, good times or bad times, he is an employed man. Circumstances have prevented his attending a college but he is ambitious, intelligent, determined to acquire the specialized training that will help him in his present job and prepare him for a better one.

ASCII Art in 1939 (Jun, 1939)

Yes, I know the ASCII standard wan’t established until 1967, but it’s the same general idea.

Typewriter Artist Produces Pictures Like Tapestry
Pictures that resemble tapestry are produced with a typewriter by Rosaire J. Belanger, a mill worker in Saco, Me. Belanger first draws a pencil sketch on a sheet of paper, then inserts it in his typewriter and fills in the sketch with various characters to produce shading and outlines. With carbon paper, he transfers the picture onto graph paper, and copies it on blank paper.

Typewritten Flag (ASCII Art) (Jul, 1948)

What are the curved characters?

Typewritten Flag

Anyone can draw an accurate picture of the American flag on a typewriter, according to Menno Fast, a relief worker in Poland. Fast read a recent Popular Mechanics article on drawing pictures with a typewriter. He submits a drawing of the flag as proof that it can be made on an ordinary typewriter using standard spacing. The flag, with a full 13 stripes and 48 stars, appears to be rippling in the wind.

ASCII Art – 1948 (Oct, 1948)

This would be a lot of fun without a text editor. One mistake and you have to start over.
More about ASCII Art on Wikipedia.

By Paul Hadley
WHILE purely entertaining, doodling with a typewriter gives vent to the imagination and originality of both the experienced and the hunt-and-peck typist. Fill-in pictures are the easiest to “draw” with a typewriter. An example is shown in the flower which is made with the letter X alone. Such pictures, whether a flower or a portrait, are made by using an outline of the subject as a typing guide. This is done by tracing the outline lightly on paper and backing it with carbon paper to type the picture. Caricature or cartoon “drawing” combines letters with symbols as shown in the examples below. Here, half-spacing of the typewriter is required, as in the case of the owl’s beak and feet. The log cabin shows what can be done in drawing a picture in perspective.

THE FLOPPY ROM: Software Distributed on Records (Oct, 1977)

Back in my Apple II days, I would occasionally get a magazine that came with a 5-1/4″ floppy inside. Later, of course, CD inserts became commonplace. But around the time I was learning to walk, Interface Age was shipping software by Flexi Disc. Little plastic records. First at 300, then 1200bps. It looked like it was insanely hard to get working but I find the idea that people went to this much trouble pretty inspiring.

I’ve attached some photos from my trusty BioniCam where you can see the binary nature of the disc, though I borked the focus ring so the 400x ones are a bit blurry.

Also, I wasn’t sloppy with the scanning. All that white crap in the record images is actually on the underside of the scanner glass. I guess I’m going to have to tear the thing apart and clean the inside too.


(Happy Computing with a General Ledger Account Program)

By popular request this month’s Floppy ROM™ is a business program rather than a software development program. The reception to Bud Shamburger’s General Payroll Package in the June issue was overwhelming with many additional requests for his General Ledger Package to be featured on a Floppy ROM™.

I’m Not Dead

Hey everyone, I know it’s been a long time. Sorry I haven’t gotten a chance to post anything new for a while. I started a new job a few months back and I’ve just been insanely busy. I usually post in the mornings before work, but lately I’ve just been going to work early to get a jump on stuff. My current project is starting to wind down a bit so I promise there will be some great new stuff coming in July.

For most of the history of the site I’ve either been underemployed or employed in a job I didn’t really care about so it was easy to focus a lot of time on MM. However I’m really, really enjoying my new job at a company called AppNexus. (I’m a software developer for those of you who didn’t know or guess). We’re actually hiring a ton of people right now so if you live, or want to live in, NYC, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, London, Paris, Hamburg or Tel Aviv, you should check out our careers page. And if you do apply, mention me because we get pretty decent referral bonuses.

Longer term I’m going start trying to figure out how to make this site more collaborative and less of just a catalog of things I like. I have a huge archive of scanned material that is not on the site and an even bigger trove of stuff I haven’t gotten a chance to scan.

Meanwhile, if you get bored, the sites on the right are all really good. Also, readers of this site will probably love the amazing magazine collection at It’s curated by the always amazing and indefatigable Jason Scott

NEW PRODUCTS (May, 1982)


High-resolution computer, HP-87, has user memory that can be increased from a built-in 32K bytes to 544K bytes The system comes with 32K bytes of user RAM. 48K bytes of Basic language in ROM, and 16K bytes of RAM devoted to the display.



COMPUTERS AND VIDEO appear to offer an endless variety of combinations, as this month’s cover by Robert Tinney depicts. With an increase in higher-power communication satellites that require smaller, less-expensive user antennas and electronics, and with the melding of television receivers and microprocessors, we might look ahead to the day when worldwide person-to-person visual as well as aural communication is based on personal computers and not on a direct descendant of Mr. Bell’s original invention.

What’s a RAM? (Aug, 1974)

Honestly, I scanned this entire article because I liked the title.

What’s a RAM?

The vocabulary of engineers or experimenters working with computers, synthesizers, electronic calculators and similar digital devices is replete with acronyms you should know. RAM is one, read on to find out what it is and how it’s used.


ANY MEMORY IS A STORAGE DEVICE THAT is given some information at some time and hopefully will return that identical information at a later date for reuse at least once. The most elemental unit of a memory storage system is the cell which can store one bit consisting of a “1-0” or “Yes-No” simple decision. Memory cells are often grouped into words of several bits each. These words can represent the number in a calculator, an instruction command in a computer, a tone and its duration in an electronic music composer, an alphanumeric character in a TV Typewriter and so on.