*Stealer’s Daisy Wheels* — 13 Comments

  1. Might it not be that they have taken the opportunity to get rid of all that paper since that information is now on a modern computer?

    • Possibly but that would assume that the value of the paper was such that it out weighed the cost of the postage ? Actually on second thoughts that sounds exactly like a government department….saving money by spending more…although that paper , no doubt, has to be stored in a special conditions, in a dry, temperature regulated, static-free warehouse and shipped out by armed courier a pack at a time which might indeed mean the value of the paper exceeds the postage.


  2. At least that system, antediluvian though it may’ve been, could cough out the information. Well, much of it, anyway. Which is more than can be said for any of DWP’s vaunted ‘updated’ systems. DWP Digital has a deserved reputation for fouling up anything it and its outsource wallies touch.

    • antediluvian

      THAT! That was the word I couldn’t come up with yesterday afternoon whilst writing the piece.

  3. Fanfold tractor feed (green striped??) paper…

    I recently saw some in a Travis Perkins plumbing subsidiary outlet and thought “They are doomed to bankruptcy” – unfortunately HMG can’t go out of business.

    Maybe our Dear Gov could sell the vintage line printer to a geek on ebay to repay some of the national debt?

    Stuff like this is the clearest demonstration as to why gov should be smaller not larger and that anyone advocating more government should be slapped vigorously until they just “go away”

  4. These line printers were only ever used for the output on old fashioned mainframe based IT systems. I used to run support on these and they’re a bugger to migrate the data.  Far above the pay grade of the average UK Government operative.  So basically the DWP are still using antiquated equipment to calculate pensions.

    Colour me surprised.

  5. We had a dot matrix line printer in an office I worked one time. Invoices were done at the end of the month on the stand-alone accounts machine and then WALLOP! The print message was sent down a single serial cable to the printer and off it went. It sounded like forty rock drummers, each doing their own thing.It rattled, clanked and rolled all day and in the end, a huge stack of invoices lay in a box at one side of the machine and a similar box lay empty on the other side. Saturday was overtime as two volunteers hand wrote the envelopes and franked them and then on Monday morning, two boxes of invoices were taken to the post.

    Strangely enough, for an antique it was pretty good and never let us down!



  6. I do realise that as a relative youngster you can’t be expected to know that much about the early history of computing.   Nevertheless I have to point out that VAX was the name given to the series of Digital Equipment computer hardware which was offered with a choice of operating systems, namely VMS or Unix.

    • I’ll admit openly that I thought VAX was an OS in it’s own right, my bad. I’m surprised that Grandad didn’t pick up on that one. But then again he’s had his head under the bonnet of the AR Archive the last couple of weeks so I suppose we can forgive him some oversights in his proof reading of my brain farts.

  7. You have to have dot matrix printers. How else will you fill out the required carbon copies?

    I don’t see why anyone does business with any government agency. Their requirements have little to do with the real world. I am sure the government specifications for a printer have far more pages that the missive delivered to you. It probably out weighs the printer by a factor of 10 and dot matrix printers are heavy. Don’t forget a simple bolt that anyone can get from their local hardware store required over 8 pages to document the requirements if selling it to a government agency.

    Remember elephant is mouse built to government specifications, “gray, four legs, mammal, herbivore” one of.


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