[TUHS] Model 37's

Ronald Natalie ron at ronnatalie.com
Tue Sep 17 11:11:59 AEST 2019

Hopkins had a KSR37 in a small office (or perhaps closet) on the second floor.   It was also fitted with a modem I built (a Pennywhistle, an absolutely abhorrant design).
It had the greek box and we used it for many a nroff term paper or the like.    It was also our way of getting on the Arpanet.    The university had a “tie line” that let us call the DC metro area so we could get into the Pentagon TIP.    However, Mike Muuss also convinced the operator once to place a collect call.    “It’s a computer we are calling,” he told her.   “If it beeps, it accepts the charges.”   (This was perhaps one of the boldest operator hacks until Brian Redman and Peter Langston were screwing around with a phone switch and programmed it to answer the phone:   “Bell Communications Research” (long pause) “Yes, Operator!   I’ll accept the charges.”

After I graduated from JHU, I found an ASR 37 in a surplus sale.    I had it for years in my apartment kitchen.   Not only did it handle all the nroff ESC-8/ESC-9 stuff and the like without need for an output filter, it had a giant NEWLINE key on the right side and was perhaps the only terminal I ever used that didn’t need the unix NL->CRLF mapping turned on.     Amusingly, the thing sat there idle until DSR came up on the modem and then its motors would start.    When CD came on a bright green PROCEED light illuminated on the front of it.    I used it for years until modems got up to the 9600 baud range and decided a CRT would be nicer than the printing terminal.

I gave mine to RS who I think used it to block in someone’s car at one of the nacent long distance data carriers (was either Sprint or MCI).

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