Letters from Nakajima: All the same

In the early ’80s Nakajima All continued to live up to their name and carried on as they had with their mechanical typewriters by rebranding their electronic typewriters for all and sundry.

Aurora_115S

“Aurora 115s”

Privileg3000

“Privileg 3000”

Monditype_NakajimaIthink

“Monditype”

HermesTop-tronicPoster

“Hermes top-tronic 15” (by Nakajima)

Hermes_Toptronic15

The full extent of this electronic typewriter cross-pollination (see also my blog post about the Xerox 6002) becomes apparent when you search for a typewriter ribbon:

AE55_ribbonbox3

“BRAND NEW SEALED FRESH STOCK.

NAKAJIMA AE300, 330, 340, 350, 360, 365, 440, 460, 485, 650.

ADLER/ROYAL 8008, SATELLITE 2001, 2002, 2010, 2015, II.

OLYMPIA COMPACT ELECTRONIC, I, II, III, RO, EC, PORTABLE,

OLIVETTI 900 X, 901 D, CX 880

HERMES 18, TOPTRONIC 15

SMITH CORONA 1100, 1300, 1400, 4000, EC 1100, EC 1150,    EC 1300, EC 1300RO, EC 400, EL 4000, ET 1300, Typetronic III,

SWINTEC 1146, 1146 CM, 1146 CMA, 1146 CMP, 1186 CM,  1186 CMP, 2100 Compumate,   4000, 4040, 8000, 8011, 8012, 8014, 8014 KSR, 8014 S, 8016, 8017 and many others…”

AE355_lid_up1

Odd to think that Nakajima were supplying Triumph-Adler-Royal and Smith Corona with electronic typewriters. Still, a Nakajima by any other name does sound more romantic when its written in French…

“Marque NAKAJIMA AE 355 très bon état, peu servie. Peut être utlisée comme imprimante reliée à un PC  avec 2 marguerites” 

The last part of which Google-translates to:

“May be utilised as a printer connected to a PC with daisies!” This is a reference to the parallel port on the back of the Nakajima All AE355:

AE355_rearLparallel1

AE355_rearL2

AE355_ALL1

Interestingly, the AE 355 is closer in its feel and sound to a Selectric than the IBM 6715 is.

AE355_rightPaper1

For a start, it has the same washing machine-like hum, and also has very tactile and Selectric-like spherical (double shot) key tops – which are very different to the springy cylindrical (dye-sub) key tops on the IBM 6715 (which, by the way, still holds top spot as my number one wedge to type on).

AE355_frontL1

The only problem I have with the AE 355 is the fact that it’s quite noisy – but on the plus side, you definitely know you’re using a typewriter – and not a bad one at that!

Letters from Nakajima (Part 2)

17 thoughts on “Letters from Nakajima: All the same”

  1. Sorry, I wish I knew what to suggest. I don’t have the instruction guide (or the typewriter anymore). Have you tried pressing the Margin Release key before returning the carriage?

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  2. Hi Steve!

    I was wondering if you have the manual for AE-355 lying around, cause I’m in a bit of a distress with getting mine to work.

    It seems to automatically start mid page when I turn it on and when I try to make it go back to the side of the page to start writing there, the machine just make a loud beep noise.

    Really hope you can help!

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  3. crazy! still, I expect it’s far easier to pick up an old Tandy Model 100 that works and has a basic word processor installed than to find a functional Honeywell Multics. I’m pretty sure I’ve never laid eyes on one. (:

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  4. So very pleased there’s such bounteous enthusiasm for these things but this talk of bits in a typewriterly context sends apocalyptic shivers down my spine. Don’t tell me things ever caught on, or worse, evolved. Happy World Typewriter Day Steve 🙂

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  5. …and I should point out, to complete my off-topicness, that there were also 36-bit processors where they used six-bit bytes! I had the misfortune of using CDC’s NOS/BE operating system which represented lowercase characters as the two-character sequence , e.g. “H^e^l^l^o W^o^r^l^d”. That’s why natural language text used twice the expected disk space. 😐

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  6. Not really all that tough. Honeywell Multics was 9-bit, and I assume the GCOS operating system was as well as they both ran on 36-bit hardware. Yup, they had an extra bit per byte! The alternative would have been earlier, variable-wordsize machine, such as the Honeywell 200 which used – get this – punctuation bits to end words! (Not kidding.)

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  7. I dare you to find an old 9-bit computer with Diablo emulating print drivers and hook that sucker up!
    It’s Typewriter Day! You must take the challenge! 😀

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