For some reason this just came back to me…

Many years ago I worked at a place where we were writing lots of software. So we had a big tractor-feed sprocket-drive line printer which took fan-fold paper. The kind of thing you never see any more. In spite of this I can still instantly recall that there are 66 lines / page, and 132 columns / page. Why we retain useless facts like this when they are no longer important baffles me.

Anyhow, this was a mechanical pin-style ink-and-ribbon printer. That means that characters were formed by little pins pushing against the ribbon to make an impression on the paper. The correct arrangement of pins, and moving the print head fast means that these thing could work at a fair clip and even though using a ribbon and plain paper they could print almost anything. This particular machine was also extremely noisy, and when placed on a table it would shake that table violently and threaten (like my old washing machine) to walk across the room. The only saving grace with such appliances is that escape is foiled when they pull their power cable from the wall socket.

Anyhow, this printer was made by Brother – at that time not anywhere as well known as they are today. A Brother printer was something of a novelty. What next, Sister Scanners?

Enough of the tangents. I used to always refer to this printer as the Hallelujah Brother.

This used to really annoy one of the other people on the staff who was a very fervent Christian. Of course, such objections never made me stop saying it.

Does this make me bad?


Yes. You are a very naughty boy!

Comment by Darren | January 7th, 2012 5:12 pm | Permalink

Nope. Just funny and cheeky! I would have called him Bad Brother, having endured growing up with two of ‘em myself :)

Comment by Kath Lockett | January 7th, 2012 7:48 pm | Permalink

One of my sons (They’re all in their 20s now) casually mentioned the other day that they hadn’t seen “printer” paper for a while.

“Printer paper? A4? It’s in the printer”, said I.

“No, no. The stuff with holes down the side; like we used to draw on in kindy.”

Which made me think, “What do kindys use for drawing paper these days?” Maybe they’ve gone fully electronic thanks to one of my favourite customers…

Comment by MikeFitz | January 9th, 2012 10:18 pm | Permalink

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