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ppo
October 15th, 2009, 06:20 AM
I just found this among other computer related stuff.
Can anyone explain to me what this is and what use did it have?

pontus
October 15th, 2009, 06:24 AM
It is a punch card. Used to store data or code. Exactly which type and for which computer system I can't say, but It looks pretty standard.

ppo
October 15th, 2009, 06:33 AM
Thank you for the quick answer.
By the way, can any information be read from here?

ahm
October 15th, 2009, 06:36 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punch_card#IBM_80_column_punch_card_format

ppo
October 15th, 2009, 06:46 AM
Ok, thanks

Erik
October 15th, 2009, 07:44 AM
Thank you for the quick answer.
By the way, can any information be read from here?

What's punched on the card is typed at the top. It looks like a conditional (IF) statement.

Chuck(G)
October 15th, 2009, 08:19 AM
Doesn't look like any programming language that I've seen, but could be a special purpose one, or just a data card.

880 IF 01,E+25,504

That "what is this" question made me feel very old... :(

lutiana
October 15th, 2009, 10:15 AM
That "what is this" question made me feel very old... :(

If it makes you feel any better I have never seen a punch card before, but I recognized it immediately as one.

offensive_Jerk
October 15th, 2009, 11:35 AM
If it makes you feel any better I have never seen a punch card before, but I recognized it immediately as one.

I saw my first one an an old programming book at the thrift shop last month.
Opened the book, and it fell out. Believe it was from University of Madison

cgrape2
October 15th, 2009, 11:37 AM
When I took my first programing course in college(1972),that's all we had to work with.
Stacks and stacks of cards.
cgrape2

Chuck(G)
October 15th, 2009, 01:14 PM
I had two filing cabinets for cards in my office and many boxes sitting on the floor. Lots of rubber bands, too.

Joy was turning your build over to the I/O clerk for running, only to see him catch the wheel of his cart on a protruding tile separator (on a raised floor), watching your work hard work fly through the air and land everywhere, including under equipment.

The IBM 407 was very useful in getting 80-80 listings before you let anyone else put his/her hands on your hard work. At least you stood a chance of putting things back in order.

It was very usual for a card reader to eat a card and accordion the next few.

Inevitably, said accident happened just before the run you were going to make to put the cards on 1/2" mag tape...

ppo
October 15th, 2009, 01:27 PM
I have already heard about it, but never saw one.

When I found this, I've thought about punched card, but I just wanted to be sure.

tezza
October 15th, 2009, 01:49 PM
When I took my first programing course in college(1972),that's all we had to work with.
Stacks and stacks of cards.
cgrape2

Me too! Even in 1979!

Tez

barythrin
October 15th, 2009, 02:18 PM
Actually I also found one as a bookmark in some clearance book at our local used book chain Half-Price Books. I bought the book mostly for the punch card lol. Later I found a book on programming punch cards for the IBM (some model number) and it had one too. Was an interesting read.

While I could pretend to have the experience I missed it. I just know the trick of using a ruler and a pencil and drawing a line across the top of your punch card box so if something WAS to happen you could almost put them back in the right order.

I honestly never thought about it eating a card.. how annoying lol. I heard of folks having too many punches in the same area and having to rewrite code so the card wouldn't be too flimsy and break in that segment but I'm not sure which system that was referring to. Was interesting to think that you might have to optimize your code to be punch card friendly.

mpickering
October 15th, 2009, 07:16 PM
Joy was turning your build over to the I/O clerk for running, only to see him catch the wheel of his cart on a protruding tile separator (on a raised floor), watching your work hard work fly through the air and land everywhere, including under equipment.

A trick I learned from an old-hat who used to program punch cards (before my time) was they would draw a Magic Marker diagonally along one side of the stack. If the stack got dropped, they used the mark on the side to get everything back into order. Apparently it worked better and faster than sorted by card number.

Just a bit of trivia. I'm wondering if others who had to program using them back then did that?

Matt

saundby
October 16th, 2009, 02:01 AM
I was still using punch cards into the early 90s.

Yeah, a big fat marker with a clean tip along the side on a diagonal would be the thing to not only keep cards in order, but with distinctive marks to identify a program or a subprogram inserted into another deck.

We'd use different colors, different stripe patterns, and so on. When sending someone to the drawers we could say, "Pull out green-black-green and grab red-red-black while you're at it."

A bit of trivia--the punch card is the size of the dollar bill from the 1880's. Hollerith did that so that he could use trays and other handling equipment designed for money. Many billfolds and wallets are still sized for this size of cash as well.