Olivetti Programma 101 computer designed by Mario Bellini

Made by Perotto, Pier Giorgio in Italy, Europe, 1965-1971.

The Olivetti Programma 101 was released on the international market in 1965 as a low cost desktop computer. It was a successful product, selling over 44,000 units from 1965 through to the early 1970s. Ninety per cent of sales were to North America, where its market dominance was attributed to its simplicity, functionality, robust construction, appearance and low cost. The Programma 101’s commercial life ended in the early 1970s with the introduction of competing products such as the Hewlett-Pack...

Summary

Object No.

2008/107/1

Physical Description

Large programmable desktop calculator / computer with aluminium casing. The front face features a keyboard and card output mechanisms with a gentle downward slope allowing for comfortable typing. The magnetic memory or program cards are fed downward into a slot and through the reader toward the front of the machine. A paper tape printout mechanism is mounted on the upper right side of the machine. The memory and other hardware is housed in the back half of the machine, and this section is defined by a casing join. The computer includes a black electrical cord. The computer is also accompanied by a paperback operating manual and two books of blank program sheets.

Dimensions

Height

275 mm

Width

465 mm

Depth

610 mm

Production

Notes

Development of the Programma 101 commenced in the early 1960s. Although Olivetti had disposed of its electronic division following the death of Adriano Olivetti in 1960, Pier Perotto secretly began work on an electronic calculating machine. The Programma 101 was launched in Italy in 1964 and by the early 1970s had sold around 44,000 units.

The Programma 101 retained its status as the premier programmable desktop calculator for several years. The introduction of the Hewlett Packard 9100A calculator in 1968 heralded the end of this reign. Olivetti was awarded damages for patent infringements by Hewlett Packard.

The Programma product designer Mario Bellini grouped the mechanical and electronic components in sub-assemblies and employed cast aluminium as the casing material to reduce electrical interference from nearby sources. The final layout of the Programma was the result of over 40 prototype models.

Designed

Perotto, Pier Giorgio 1965-1971

History

Notes

This Programma 101 was used at the University of Sydney in the engineering faculty. It had been in storage for many years prior to being offered to the Museum in 2008.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Faculty of Engineering, University of Sydney, 2008

Acquisition Date

22 May 2008

Cite this Object

Harvard

Olivetti Programma 101 computer designed by Mario Bellini 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 16 October 2018, <https://ma.as/378406>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/378406 |title=Olivetti Programma 101 computer designed by Mario Bellini |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=16 October 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display at the Powerhouse Museum.

Incomplete

This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

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