Real Old School Programming (was: Re: Where to buy a Selectric?)

Jim Isbell, W5JAI jim.isbell at
Sat Dec 31 14:25:45 CST 2005

Well, using a key punch was a sissy add on that came later.  In the
beginning we moved wire jumpers from here to there and then later in
the NEW age, we flipped 20 switches up or down then pressed a
"deposit" button.  Key punches were for sissy's.

On 12/31/05, Chuck Guzis <cclist at> wrote:
> On 12/31/2005 at 12:22 PM Nico de Jong wrote:
> >Off to the punch room, where they had some 029/129's which could read the
> >cards and print on the top line.
> That was a big no-no at our shop--the 029 was too slow and valuable as a
> keypunch to use it as an interpreter.  One usually had to make do with the
> 557 interpreter, which would take 80 punch colums and spread them out onto
> two lines of print--the top, 60 characters long and the remaining 20
> characters on the second line--with most special characters not rendered
> correctly.  Sometimes you'd be fortunate enough to get cards that were
> printed with a 60-position legend on the top, so you could match a print
> position up with a punch column.   For a time we had a few non-printing 024
> keypunches, so the 557 could come in really handy.  FWIW, the 029s at CDC
> all punched BCD, not EBCDIC.
> I also recall using a couple of Sperry Univac keypunches because a contract
> required them.  Miserable beasts very prone to failure.
> Cheers,
> Chuck

Jim Isbell
"If you are not living on the edge, well then,
you are just taking up too much space."

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