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O > OLIVETTI  > Programma P101/P102


This mini forum is intended to provide a simple means of discussion about the Olivetti  Programma P101/P102 computer. If you want to share your own experience or memories, or add relevant information about this system: post a message!

  Click Here to add a message in the forum


Wednesday 16th February 2022
Kenneth (Sweden)

6 March 1967 I started as a young (21 year) computer salesman for Programma 101 at the Olivetti sales office in Gothenburg, Sweden. It was a marvelous machine at that time and a real pleasure to demonstrate at the industries in West Sweden. One bug I remember is that the command B/^ made the printer go wild and start printing the left column. After a few years I got one back from a customer and 1995 I added an image and some info on my website. Two years later a successful US SW entrepreneur found it and I could sell it for a good price. I have also sold Compucorp, Apollo Computers and Datapoint. !978 I started the first computer shop in Sweden selling Commodore PET and Apple II.

Tuesday 18th June 2019
george (france)

in autumn 1968 opened the ''IUT informatique'' of Lyon (france). we were teached computing with an Olivetti programma 203 and some teletype connected to GE time sharing running Darthmouth Basic. The (nicely designed) Olivetti programma 203 (and the (little ugly) audit series) as (sort of) first (micro) computer for (very) small company in europe in 70''s was a very good tool (at that time)(but not a success story .. helas)

Monday 30th July 2018
Piero Todorovich (Italia)

Please check. The P102 connection was not RS232C compatible. The connection was proprietary (an extention direct-attached to the keyboard and Printer for use by remote systems)

Saturday 2nd June 2018
Alfredo (Argentina)

Hello to all! I invite you to see pictures and an article I wrote about my P101 in mint condition, the link is this:$20Programma$20101/index.html
Best regards, Alfredo

Tuesday 15th August 2017

Is the price on this ebay site a good price?

Thursday 29th September 2016
Mark (Ohio/USA)

This particular machine was used on the US game show "It Takes Two" from 1969-70, presumably to compute the average guess for each couple. Credit for it is found in this video:$ko5NUslV5hg$feature$

Thursday 13rd November 2014
Uli (Germany)

I Have a olivetti programma 101 in good condition.

Sunday 12th October 2014
Jos (United Arab Emirates)

Hi, looking for Olivetti Programma 101 for sale in good condition.

Thursday 11th September 2014
Dan (USA)

My father worked for Olivetti in Dallas and I had the great pleasure of having a Programma 101 at our house when my father brought one home. Truly a marvelous machine and beautiful too!

Friday 21st February 2014
Giorgio (Switzerland)

What''s most amazing of this incredibly advanced machine (for the time) is that it was developed *against* Olivetti''s establishment will, by a small team of young talented people lead by Ing. Piergiorgio Perotto.
In fact, in 1964 the management of Olivetti had declared that the company''s future was in mechanics, while electronics was of no interest. Very very farsighted, indeed!

Sunday 2nd December 2012
salvatore (Italia)$1$spoint$ar

i have it!!$1$spoint$ar

Saturday 4th February 2012
Chris P (USA)

I used one of these to do my first CAE program at Sheffield University in England in 1969. We were supposed to optimize an Ackerman steering system. Everybody else drew them up - I wrote a program to iterate through the possible geometries.

Tuesday 27th December 2011

I have one P101, that was the first computer I used at school in1969. Now I would like to restore it.
I am looking for service manuals (I allready have one for the mechanical section adjustments).
As some of the guys on this forum were sellers or service man may be they still have some documents

Sunday 19th September 2010
Kit Richer (Australia)

This was my first non mainframe computer experience. The machine was bought for the materials guys but they really couldn''t work it out til us engineers got hold of it. We were early into the use of NC machines and used it to calculate movements for a 2 axis mill and a 3 axis bender. We were using it to calulate points using matrix rotation methods which we thought pretty cool at the time. The most complex job was getting a set of exhaust extractors from scale drawing to bending coordinates for a Chrysler Charger especially released for Austrlia''s premier production car race at Bathurst.

Wednesday 8th September 2010
Herman Protze (USA)

In 1967± I convinced my Dad to purchase a P101 for his construction testing laboratory business. I programmed and ran payroll for over 25 employees and as well programmed and performed concrete mixture proportions using the P101. Pleasant memories of yore!

Friday 27th August 2010
Ken Cox (USA)

My father owned an Olivetti Underwood franchise and I was trained in both repair and sales of the Programma 101 and 203 (accounting machine). I wrote amortization programs for banks that would allow them to charge interest not to exceed a certain interest rate...within .01$. Also wrote state and federal income tax programs for accountants. Was a fabulous machine for its time.

Wednesday 18th August 2010
Bob Russo (USA)

My high school in New Haven, CT acquired one in 1968 or 69. One of the instructors brought it home over Thanksgiving weekend to try a program he had written to calculate Pi. It ran from Wednesday night till sometime Sunday before printing it''s answer. I don''t recall how many decimal places, but I''m pretty sure it was over 5.

Monday 12th July 2010

I was high school age, working at an engineering/architectural firm. There were commercially-available "packs" by third-parties with programs capable of making the 101 a truly valuable investment. The surveyor''s pack involved a LOT of trig floating point, of course. Those programs could literally run for an hour when you were doing take-offs. There were two lights above the keyboard. A large blue one would flicker during processing and I''d keep poking my head in every 10-15 minutes to see if it was still "thinking". You never wanted to see the blue one stop and the red one illuminate. That meant bad news: usually an overflow and your run was a waste.

By the time HP handhelds came around (35/45/55/65), the register paradigm I had learned programming the 101 had me a leg-up when it came to work in RPN.

If I recall correctly, Olivetti sold special ruled pads for writing your 101 programs. I think they were green ink on white paper.

Friday 9th January 2009
George Reardon (USA)

As it was for many others, the Olivetti Underwood Programma 101 was my first computer. I took a job in June of 1968 at a small company where the person who bought the computer had resigned. Everyone was afraid of it, so they said, "Let the kid use it!" I ended up learning the language from the self-teaching manual and programming a lot of business applications on it. Also, on the night of the presidential election returns of 1968, I taught the machine to play Tic-Tac-Toe and never lose (as long as it moved first.) To do that with such limited instruction capacity required packing the logic of the game into several long numbers, which the program dismantled one digit at a time as a game progressed.

Tuesday 10th April 2007
Tim Specht (USA)

I used this machine and a P-602 to learn programming in high school, from 1972 to 1975. Very simple programs were provided in the users manuals, and my classmates and I spent many fond hours learning how to do branching on these two machines. Very simple, compared to today's workhorses, but they were quite something back then!

Thursday 8th March 2007
Richard Kuper (Earth)

This was the first computer I ever got to use and program. There was this old non-working analog computer sitting in the corner of the math department office at my high school. I was intrigued and wanted to know more about computers. With the assistance of a math teacher we started a computer club in my high school and eventually convinced the powers that be that we needed a computer. They got the Olivetti Underwood Programma 101. It was educational and fun. It had storage and registers and everything! We did what high-school math students would do: we programmed it to generate the Fibonacci sequence! :) I think I still have the user manual somewhere.

Monday 3rd January 2005
Erich Hespenheide (USA)

I programmed the Programma 101 while stationed at West Point NY in 1969 and 1970. I believe the model we used had a 4k CORE memory (one of the first for a desktop calculator). The only program that I remember writing was a radix conversion program decimal-octal-hexidecminal.

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