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Describes the development at Rand of a remote typewriter console for use with JOSS, Rand's personal on-line computing service, and demonstrates the extreme care that must be taken to design an acceptable console for personal use by casual users. The input/output version of the familiar IBM Selectric was selected as the central element of the console because of its excellent keyboard feel, its high-quality output at a speed of 150 words per minute, its compact size, and its relatively low noise level. Primary considerations in the design of a console to house the typewriter included dimensions required for operator comfort and convenience, console mobility, the projected number of required electronic components and their packaging, and the incorporation of the associated switches and indicator lights in a small auxiliary control box. Discussion of the physical console is followed by an overview of the logic required to enable the user and JOSS to share the typewriter productively in an interactive conversation. Finally, a detailed description of this logical design is given in hardware terms.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Research memorandum series. The Research Memorandum was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1973 that represented working papers meant to report current results of RAND research to appropriate audiences.

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