Punched Card Machines--powerful logic 
Author Message
 Punched Card Machines--powerful logic

Given the historical interest of this newsgroup, I'm going a bit off
topic to talk about early punched card machines.

As I'm sure you all know, before computers used cards as an I/O medium,
there were used as the processing medium themselves--as invented by Der.
Hollerith in 1890.  (<-that's Dr.).

I was surprised to learn that the modern 80 column card dates back to
1928.  By the mid 1930s, IBM's line of Accounting Machines were quite
powerful.  In some old books I found from 1935, I was quite surprised to
see examples of powerful applications--complete student registrations,
astronomical research, statistics, etc.  In printing reports, the early
machines could handle page breaks (automatically putting up a
"continued" page header on the subsequent pages) and the like.

In reading about wiring the machines, it didn't seem much different than
using today's PC database applications.  While today we push in a "radio
button", and use the mouse to link input and output fields, back then
they merely wired the input to the output and turned selections and
features on and off.  Obviously at 150 cards per minute passing through
multiple work stations and passes was slow, but the stuff was
sophisticated.



Tue, 25 Nov 1997 03:00:00 GMT  
 Punched Card Machines--powerful logic
: Given the historical interest of this newsgroup, I'm going a bit off
: topic to talk about early punched card machines.
 [snip]
: features on and off.  Obviously at 150 cards per minute passing through
: multiple work stations and passes was slow, but the stuff was
: sophisticated.

        And those old mothers were *fun* to wire as well....
        (hmmm, maybe I've been warped a little too far, too long ;-)

        Many years ago (circa 1971) I "graduated" from the "College
        of Automation" in Jacksonville, Fl.   The *main* meat of the
        course was "wiring  accounting machines, collators & summary
        punches" with indepth (4 weeks?) training on RPG...

        The funny part about all this is that 5~6 years later I found
        myself employed as an operator at a 360/30 shop that absolutely
        could *not* run payroll without all of the following:
                2540 reader/punch with stacker select
                a "good/fast" card sorter (mutually exclusive on high
                                           humidity days...)
                and a collator.

        Oh, yes, we did need the 360/30 but only to emulate an accounting
        machine and summary punch!   With this mess, we paid about 2000
        hourly shipyard workers every week, and used up 20 or 30 thousand
        cards!  (Gawd, don't get me going on what month-end was like...)

        OBTW:  At least when the GUI/PC user "wires" one object to another
        with their mouse, they generally do not have to "wire" each and
        every digit or worry about when to use "Plug to C".

        Thanks for the fun memories,
        -michael
--
   --------------------------------------------------------------------

   (404)239-2766  "Just because it worked doesn't mean it works." -- me



Fri, 28 Nov 1997 03:00:00 GMT  
 Punched Card Machines--powerful logic

Quote:

>By the mid 1930s, IBM's line of Accounting Machines were quite
>powerful.  In some old books I found from 1935, I was quite surprised to
>see examples of powerful applications--complete student registrations,
>astronomical research, statistics, etc.

On a more serious note, the Fall 94 issue of the IEEE _Annals of the
History of Computing_ had an article about how IBM's card technology
was used by the Nazis, with photos of the familiar 80-column cards
as marked up by the SS Race Office, and of an advertising poster put
out by IBM's German subsidiary saying "Surveillance through Hollerith
card technology".

They conclude that while the Nazi persecution could have happened
without office automation, it certainly helped.



Sat, 06 Dec 1997 03:00:00 GMT  
 
 [ 3 post ] 

 Relevant Pages 

1. Hollerith cards or IBM cards (or punched cards)

2. Punched Card machines (brief summary)

3. Early/late model punched card machines--history question

4. History question---punched card calculators

5. APL on punched cards

6. IBM 600 series punch-card calculators

7. IBM 600 series punch-card calculators

8. Need to convert 80-column punch cards to PC

9. Ada on punched cards?

10. Punched cards -- preFortran days

11. Punch Cards in ancient program

12. Punch Cards in ancient program

 

 
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software