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Storing information by punching holes into flat media

On looms, mechanical music instruments, telex paper stripes

Before the 1970, programming and data entry was done - if not by manual entry on a switchboard - via punched cards. One line with up to 80 characters on one card: that made a nice pile for 300 lines of programming code or data.

The project has several branches:

Virtual Punched Card Museum

This is in its 2nd stage, with about 400 punched cards shown, distributed over a set of application areas. Still missing are the cards donated by american collectors, and the non-card items (paper stripe, loom ribbon, mechanical music media, hotel keys etc.

Key punch emulator

On the Internet:

The new emulator should be implemented in JavaScript. Desired features would be:

  • Usage of the card images from the virtual museum
  • Generation of an image which can be printed with proper diemensions
  • Selection of code sets
  • Overpunching
  • Realistic sound of an IBM 029
  • Usage of a tabulation card
  • Precise dimensions

Punch Card Reader

Again, there are services on the Internet which do this, for piles of card images, and not too cheap.

The new emulator in JavaScript should have the following features:

  • Recognize the card in a larger image, which may be a bit distorted.
  • Use front and rear images
  • Selection of codes
  • Show grid of theoretic hole positions

Paper Stripe Puncher

I still have a working Siemens Fernschreiber 100 with user manual. On my 70th birthday I got the connection hardware from daduke. The machine will punch manually, but it is rather slow. There is a video for the sound of a Siemens T100.

I also have 2 highspeed GNT 3601 punching devices sitting there since many years. The manual (in French) says on page 387:

Liaison perforateur GNT
Connecteur   Connecteur 
SUB.D māle   SUB.D māle
25 broches   9, 15 ou 25 broches
              DCD -+
RD  -------   TD   |
GND --------- GND  |
DTR --------  CTS -+
Signal SUB.D 25 broches (coté GNT)
RD   3
DTR 20
GND  7

You can see it in action.

JavaScript programming

Make images in <canvas> move with javascript keyboard input?