cctalk Digest, Vol 51, Issue 94
M H Stein
dm561 at torfree.net
Fri Nov 30 12:38:57 CST 2007
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2007 09:19:15 -0800
From: "Chuck Guzis" <cclist at sydex.com>
Subject: Re: IBM mechnical devices
On 30 Nov 2007 at 5:46, M H Stein wrote:
>> The keypunch equivalents could, but were much too slow for serious output
>> operations. Not only were they slower to begin with, but they punched 80
>> columns lengthwise while pretty well all the electro-mechanical EAMs worked
>> on the principle of a 12-phase synchronized cycle across the card, corresponding
>> to the 12 zones of the cards.
>...and if you were one of the poor unfortunates to get saddled with
>the 024 keypunch in a room of 026s, you needed the 557--the 024
>didn't print on the card--you flew "blind" or you just read the punch
When they did it full-time, keypunchers and EAM operators got pretty
good at sight-reading cards...
>Fortunately, there was a standard IBM card form that numbered the
>interpreter print columns on the two top rows as 1-60 and 61-80, so
>you could figure out what printed character corresponded to what
>punched column. Unless of course, some practical joker decided to
>swap a couple of wires on the 557 plugboard...
Heh, heh... yes, there was lots of opportunity for practical jokes...
>Later, some keypunches could be used as light-duty card punches for
>systems. I recall a CDC 1700 mini being hooked to a Univac keypunch.
>Tab offered a keypunch that had an RS-232C interface on it and
>probably were not the only ones. Both of those, IIRC, had "buffered"
>keyboard interfaces--you typed in the card, then the punch punched
>the whole thing.
So did the later "normal" keypunches from IBM et al.
>I preferred the 029 "press a key, get a kerchunk".
>Later, I had the same issue with the daisywheel typewriters that
>seemed to print asynchronously with one's typing.
Yes, they definitely had audible and tactile feedback; in fact you could feel
it in your feet ;-)
And then there were "light" keypunches. I've got one here by Wright that
works like the old Dymo label makers: you dial up your character, press
the punch bar and it moves to the next column (and prints BTW).
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