Reviving an Ann Arbor Ambassador 60 terminal

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And the CPU that moves those bytes from the serial port into display memory is… not fast

It had a CPU? Wow. I believe the earliest video terminals just wrote characters into the video RAM. Some may have used hardware logic to scroll but others just wrapped around to the top.

I remember reading an article about an early terminal which had a novel “screen saver” feature, using a simple timer.


The older logic-based video terminals were certainly faster at processing serial data, but they tended to have very limited escape sequences, if any. The Soroc IQ120 had a ROM based state machine to handle this task, as I recall. It could really move data.

As for the RPi, it ought to have some GPIO pins that could be used for handshake.


Manufactured a couple doors down from what is now our excellent home brewing supply store!


Jamie’s site is a thing of great beauty, an antidote to modern design.

Nobody who uses Emacs can use XON and XOFF for flow control, because you need ^S and ^Q to work, dammit.

So much erudite computer history in a single line of text.

The comments have a picture of a tiny Gandalf switch, too. I seem to remember working with a Gandalf that was the size of a refrigerator…


Despite my age and profession, my first thought was:

#Why did there used to be so many flights out of Ann Arbor?

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