The magnetic card

The magnetic cards were a real breakthrough in technology. They were made in plastic, and one side was printed and had place for title of the program, comments etc.; the other side was completely covered with the typical brownish magnetic layer.

The magnetic track was near the long edge of the card: cards could be turned upside-down to use the track near the other edge of the card, so that each card could store two programs.

A neat feature was the use of the areas marked V, W, Y, Z. When the card was fed through the reader, it would pop out under the keyboard, in correspondence with the "function" keys V, W, Y, Z. The comment written on the card would therefore appear under each key, a useful reminder of the functions linked to each key in that particular program.

The P101, and particularly the magnetic card, was covered by a patent (3.495.222 of march 1st 1965) and this gave to Olivetti over $900.000 in royalties by HP alone for the re-use of this technology in the HP9100 series.

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