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Thread: Manual punch card puncher - GIF

  1. #1
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    Altair's Avatar
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    Manual punch card puncher - GIF

    Manually-operated punch card puncher.




    Previously:

    4.5 megabytes of data represented by punch cards - photo
    Curta mechanical pocket calculator - photos
    Mechanical calculator trying to divide by zero

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    tonyfoale (Feb 12, 2020)

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    Supporting Member tonyfoale's Avatar
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    That reminds me of my early programming in the 1960s.
    We had a sound proofed room with maybe 20 IBM punch machines. They were like overgrown electric typewriters. The noise in that room was horrendous. The machines were operated by those we called "the punch girls". Just like a regular typing pool. I bet most of those will have suffered premature hearing loss, nobody wore hearing protection.
    Those who programmed (engineers and scientists not real programmers) would write the programme lines on specially formatted sheets and hand them in to have the cards punched. Each card represented a single line of programme code. A complete programme would have thousands of cards which had to stacked in boxes in the correct order. If a box of cards was dropped (it did happen) then it was quicker to have the whole stack of cards repunched rather than try to sort out the dropped lot.
    There was one punch machine that the programmers could use if they only wanted to produce or modify a few cards, rather than wait for a request to pass through the system. The cards we used looked identical to those in the video.
    Although we had programmers at our disposal, we rarely used them. They were too slow because they were more concerned about programming good practice etc., and they made functional mistakes because they were not familiar with the technical theory of each job. Whereas the engineers and scientists wanted answers ASAP and were only concerned with the technical results.

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    Oh happy days. Remember card readers and the manual card punch from my days as a mainframe operator. Still have the punch and a small pack of cards. Sadly the key caps have perished. Buried somewhere in the attic I also have a paper tape hand punch.

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    Supporting Member jdurand's Avatar
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    I knew a lady who could type equally well on a typewrite and card punch. The keyboards were different...I always had to slow down running the punch. Bit of a drag as I often wrote pretty big programs (Fortran IVg21).

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    Supporting Member tonyfoale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdurand View Post
    I knew a lady who could type equally well on a typewrite and card punch. The keyboards were different...I always had to slow down running the punch. Bit of a drag as I often wrote pretty big programs (Fortran IVg21).
    It was Fortran IV for me. I only ever used a punch machine for 1 or 2 cards. The punch girls did the heavy lifting.

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    My SIL was a punch girl for a while in the early 70's and she would bring home bags of the punched pieces to use for confetti, bur soon after management stopped that because the little punched pieces (they said) were dangerous if they got into your eyes!



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