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