Olivetti Programma 101: First look

Yesterday, i received a computer that has been on my “want list” for a very long time.  I do searches for certain historical computers on an almost daily basis and the Olivetti Programma 101 (P101) was one of them.  This is a quick post to show some photos as I have received it.  It was originally shipped from Georgia, United States to me in Canada and that is always a tense journey but it arrived in good shape.  The paint has flaked off at the edges over time and there is evidence of minor rust and definitely lots of hardened dirty great and disintegrated belts but that is normal.  As I dig in, I expect to find some bad rollers and definitely lots of dismantling and cleaning.

Here are some early pictures.  Being from the United States, it is a 115 volt model.  It also came with a large amount of programmed cards but unfortunately no documentation.  I look forward to this as a very interesting long term project.  With my impatinence, I may just focus on this as it is one of my “Holy grail” items.  After working with an Olivwetti Programma 602 (P602)  and mostly restoring it (minus the card reader that still requires new rollers), I am very excited to move forward with this restoration.


Below are pictures of the internal cards.  These are made up of discrete component modules connected to a small circuit board on one side. These modules are then soldered to the main circuit board that then gives the “tower” look illustrated in one of the pictures above.  The boards are install with board “1” on the bottom face up then board “2” installed face down so th eboards almost interlock.  The it contiues up the chassis.  The last board visible from the top of the chassis is the acoustic delay line memory card with the wire being within the metal box.


Making note of some needed parts here:

Fan belt: 3mm round belt, 70mm diameter

Printer belt: 5mm width, 128mm diameter. 1.5mm pitch


2 Responses

  1. bill craig says:

    I used this EXCELLENT machine for several years at Edward’s AFB, macD flight test. What wounderful memories

  2. Bob says:

    I went to the Olivetti school on this machine in Tarrytown, New York. The school lasted for 1 month. The first 2 weeks was learning to program and the next 2 weeks was for dismantle and repair. While there some of in the class went to Cape Cod. We spent a very cold night right close to the light house. We ate at a restaurant and one of the guys ordered grits and the waitress wanted to know what a grit was. Very funny at the time. When there was a problem with the ECU, (Electronic Computing Unit) we would have to ship the units to Olivetti for repair. After the programma came the 602, then the logos 328, etc.

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