Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics.
See articles from
published 1930 - 1988. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.
If you are typing on your computer
or phone (which is actually more of a computer than a phone) and you need to create a
character other than the standard keyboard set, most programs provide a means to access
extended characters either with a menu selection or an ability to enter
ASCII extended character set codes into the source
code. At most, it takes a couple additional keystrokes (assuming you know how to do it).
Back in the days of typewriters, the task was nowhere near as easy. Some manufacturers
of typewriters that had the replaceable balls for allowing a variety of
typefaces and fonts, often including one with special science and
engineering characters. Those required the typist to reserve space for the characters,
change the ball, then go back and fill in the blanks. It was tedious and error-prone.
The Mechanical Enterprises company produced an add-on gadget called the TYPIT that needed
to be attached to the typewriter and allowed interchangeable character die to be quickly
inserted and removed as the need required. More than a thousand characters were available.
See page 7 of this document for a little more info on
TYPIT® is the perfect way to type any technical, foreign or numerical symbol --
easy as π.
Over 1,000 symbols like to choose from. A standard
typewriter is all you need. It is clean, inexpensive and fast
Type Any Symbol perfectly in 4 seconds
Write today for free catalog
TYPIT® manufactured by Mechanical Enterprises, Inc.
RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling
2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas
and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer.
The Internet was still largely an unknown entity at the time and not much was available
in the form of WYSIWYG
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