punchcard svg file available

Fred Cisin cisin at xenosoft.com
Thu Sep 10 13:47:16 CDT 2015

>>> If you find a source of paper stock that works, please let everyone
>>> know about it. The real paper is gone, and will likely never be made
>>> again. It is a specialized stock that is extremely difficult to make.
>> What is different about it? Thickness? Weight/square metre? Density?
>> Impregnated with something?

On Thu, 10 Sep 2015, simon wrote:
> Its hard to explain. it feels tough and bendable, but it is thinner as you 
> would expect from the toughness.

Also, had to have the right friction to slide through, but catch on the 
rollers.   CDC's optical card readers came later, and made dramatic 
improvements in DP.

In those days, the cardstock was extremely available, in large sheets and 
in precut blanks, in a variety of colors.  Print-shops abounded who would 
do custom cards, if your business thought that it needed them.

And yet, some card readers were amazingly tolerant!

For example, half a century ago, CBS had a bunch of projects, such as the 
National Driver's Test (1966).  IBM provided the hardware and software. 
They decided to give out Port-A-Punch cards, which were 80 column cards 
with every other column of holes pre-perforated, so that anybody could 
take a special stylus or a random pencil and create their own hanging 
chips/"Chads".  But, how to recollect them?  They actually had people 
stick a stamp on them and MAIL them! ("Business Reply Mail" would have 
shifted the franking burden, otherwise it would have made MUCH more sense) 
They then successfully ran them through the card reader of a 360!  Keep in 
mind that it was an IBM PR stunt, so they had a CE standing next to the 
reader, clearing jams in real-time.  I wonder if IBM cheated and modified 
the input maw?

So, the specific card-stock is critical, but it worked with a postage 
stamp stuck to it?

Although the hardware reliability was a welcome surprise (I wonder how my 
life would have gone if it hadn't), the software wasn't.  The live 
statistics weren't adding up close enough to 100%! On camera, Walter 
Cronkite was stalling, and right behind him, my father was frantically 
manually adding the numbers.  Starting a week later, there were a copy of 
McCracken FORTRAN and Decima Anderson's book on my parent's coffee table.
Instead of continuing to use 084 sorters, we learned a little FORTRAN.

Grumpy Ol' Fred     		cisin at xenosoft.com

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