What are these IBM 'thingys'

Brent Hilpert hilpert at cs.ubc.ca
Wed Oct 27 00:10:35 CDT 2010

On 2010 Oct 26, at 9:43 PM, Chuck Guzis wrote:

> On 27 Oct 2010 at 0:20, William Donzelli wrote:
>>> My father (NOT a computer historian) used to tell me that IBM
>>> patented the shape of the hole!  That resulted in a few short-lived
>>> attempts at round-hole cards, etc.),
>> More than a few, actually. There were many, including a trinary one
>> (Super Bee or something. Anyone help?) that used cards with
>> information only on the four edges of the card, but the choices were
>> hole, no-hole, or hole-with-no-outside-edge.
> I recall decks of cards that were used to identify plants, birds,
> etc.  Holes along the edges; you inserted knitting needles according
> to observed characteristics and shook the deck.  The cards left on
> the needles (or maybe the ones that fell out; I can't recall) were
> your candidates.

I remember some variation of them being used for library checkout in 
the 60's.
I think they were inserted into a clunky machine which stamped the 
return date.


> Didn't the NCR CRAM use a similar addressing system for its cards--
> some sort of edge-hole coding?

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