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AKA: olivetti underwood PROGRAMMA 101, AKA (Label): olivetti underwood, PROGRAMMA 101, Product number (P/N): P101,
Keywords/Tags: P101 | 101 | PROGRAMMA
Date of intro: 1965, Dimensions: 610x480x190mm, Weight: 35500g,
Power: AC,
Display: Type = Display (None) (List),
Classification: / Desktop with Printer / Memory (delay line),
Featuring: Square root, Programmable, Memory-technology: Memory (delay line),
Related with: OLIVETTI_docu: (Ad.) P101: La información pasa a través de Olivetti; OLIVETTI_docu: (Ad.) P101: Una computador electrónico en su mesa de trabajo; OLIVETTI_parts: 001409DO681150000 (Mag.card) P101,P203; (Docu_Mags): 196708: (Japanese); OLIVETTI_docu: 381133E (Instr.) Programme Library, volume-1 (P101); OLIVETTI_docu: 02220359E (Instr.) Geometry and Programma 101 (P101); OLIVETTI_docu: 02221799E (Instr.) Basic Software Manual Num. Anal. (P101); OLIVETTI_docu: 3981153G (Instr.) Programme Library, volume-2 (P101); OLIVETTI_docu: 02220259E (Instr.) Algebra, trigonometry... (P101); OLIVETTI_docu: 3927002V (Instr.) Manuel d'informations (P101); OLIVETTI_docu: 3927043R (Instr.) Mathematics subroutines (P101); OLIVETTI_docu: (Broch.) P101: Algemene voorstelling; OLIVETTI_docu: (Instr.) P101: Applicazioni del calcolo...,
Main Components: (Discrete),
Collector value: 10/10,
Info: The Programma 101, also known as Perottina, was the first commercial desktop computer, invented by the Italian engineer PEROTTO Pier Giorgio.
It was launched at the 1964 New York World's Fair, volume production started in 1965. A futuristic design for its time, the Programma 101 was priced at $3,200.00), About 44,000 units were sold, primarily in the US.
It is usually called a printing programmable calculator or desktop calculator because three years later the HEWLETT-PACKARD: 9100A, a model that took inspiration from the P101, was advertised by HP as a "portable calculator", in order to be able to overcome the fears of computers and be able to sell it to corporations without passing through the corporate computer department.
The concept of "stored program", however, allows the Programma 101 to be considered a true computer.
The Programma 101 was able to calculate the basic four arithmetic functions (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division), plus square root, absolute value, and fractional part. Also clear, transfer, exchange, and stop for input. There were 16 jump instructions and 16 conditional jump instructions. It's the conditional jump instructions that help lay claim to "computer" (a state machine) rather than "calculator" (a simple enumerator of instructions). 32 label statements were available as destinations for the 32 jump instructions and/or the four start keys (V, W, Y, Z). Each full register held a 22-digit number with sign and decimal point.
Its memory consisted of 10 registers: three for operations (M, A, R); two for storage (B, C); three for storage and/or program (assignable as needed: D, E, F); and two for program only (p1, p2). Five of the registers (B, C, D, E, F) could be subdivided into half-registers, containing an 11-digit number with sign and decimal point. When used for programming, each full register stored 24 instructions. So its most distinctive structural difference from later computers was that its instruction space and its data space were functionally separate.
It printed programs and results onto a roll of paper tape, similar to calculator or cash register paper.
Programming was similar to assembly language, but simpler, as there were fewer options. It directed the exchange between memory registers and calculation registers, and operations in the registers.
The stored programs could be recorded onto plastic cards approximately 10 cm × 20 cm that had a magnetic coating on one side and an area for writing on the other. Each card could be recorded on two stripes, enabling it to store two programs. All ten registers were stored on the card, allowing programs to use up to ten stored 11-digit constants.
All computation was handled by discrete devices (transistors and diodes mounted on phenolic resin circuit card assemblies), as there were no microprocessors, and integrated circuits were in their infancy. It used an acoustical delay line memory with metal wires as a data storage device. Magnetostriction transducers inside an electromagnet attached to either side of the end of the wire. Data bits entering the magnets caused the transducer to contract or expand (based on binary value) and to twist the end of the wire. The resulting torsional wave moved down the wire. A piezoelectric transducer converted the bits into an electronic signal that was then amplified and sent back to the beginning with a delay time of 2.2 milliseconds. Typically, many bits would be in transit through the delay, and the computer selected them by counting and comparing to a master clock to find the particular bit it required. Delay line memory was far less expensive and far more reliable per bit than flip-flops made from vacuum tubes, and yet far faster than latching relays. This "serial memory" design would later be implemented as mechanical magnetic drum memory in computers and as solid-state shift-register memory in early Visual Display Units.
Olivetti was famous for its attention to both engineering and design aspects, as the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art testify, and the Programma 101 was another example of this attention. Engineering wise, the team worked hard to deliver a very simple product, something that anyone could use.
One of the direct results of the Programma 101 team focus on human-centered objectives was the invention of the programmable magnetic card, a revolutionary item for that time allowing anyone to just insert it and execute any program in a few seconds.
It was a very portable and effective solution: a small magnetic strip with a program memorized in it and a space on the other side to write the description. The program was loaded just by inserting the card at the top, and when the card came out at the bottom, it was aligned perfectly with the V, W, Y, Z keys in a way that the author could have written on the card the labels for these buttons, to make the user aware of their new function.
Developed between 1962 and 1964, it was saved from the sale of the computer division to GE thanks to an employee who one night changed the internal categorization of the product from "computer" to "calculator", leaving the small team within OLIVETTI and creating some awkward situations in the office, since the building except that office was then owned by GE
HEWLETT-PACKARD was ordered to pay about $900,000 in royalties to OLIVETTI after copying some of the solutions adopted in Programma 101, like the magnetic card and the architecture, in the HP: 9100

Internet: Link-1: CURTAMANIA, Link-2, Link-3, Link-4, Link-5: A-MUSEUM, Link-6: YouTube, Link-7: YouTube
Intro-Sequence #: 2, Predecessor: OLIVETTI: P101 (Prototype), Successor: OLIVETTI: P102

!!! This item is WANTED to join the collection !!!

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Located at BONAMI

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Located at TECHNIKUM29

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Located at THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF COMPUTING

Perspective, profile view

Perspective, profile view

Internals

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Driving mechanism (belt)

Driving mechanism (belt)

Internals (PCB)

Auctions: eBay
(13-dec-2015)
Final bid: EUR3.310,00

Created: 15-mar-2016, Manual-update: 30-oct-2021, Batch-update: 14-jan-2022             

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