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Back in the 1980s, I worked in an office which had
several IBM Selectric typewriters (the ones with the
ball containing all the characters). I bought a special
ball which had all the Greek letters plus math symbols
and common diacritical marks.

I worked afternoons, so after everone had left, I
was able to type my own stuff. At the end of each
line, I'd switch balls and go back and put in the
special characters I needed.

One night, I forgot and left my ball on one of the
typewriters. The secretary got quite a surprise
when she started to type a memo the next morning.

--Ph. D.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Gary Shannon
Sent: Sunday, December 07, 2008 1:50 PM
Subject: Re: Ħu?op ?p?sdn ?? ? ?? u?? oo ? no?

> Back in the 1960's, while I had no use for linguistic
> symbols, I did need a lot of mathematical symbols,
> Greek alphabet, and the like in what I typed. I had
> a portable, manual Smith Corona typewriter that
> had two keys with changeable type. I had a large
> box full of little snap-lid plastic boxes, each box with
> a little clip-on type head that hooked onto either of
> the two changeable keys. Each type head came with
> a little key-chip that snapped onto the key itself,
> showing the graphic representation of whatever
> symbol was installed on that key.
> Using shift, I could have up to four different special
> characters at a time on the keyboard. If I needed
> more, I could stop typing, swap in a new special
> character, type it, and keep right on going. It was
> very cool.