Hollerith cards or IBM cards? 
Author Message
 Hollerith cards or IBM cards?

Hello,

I need to settle an issue for some fortran notes that I am writing.  I picked
up the habit (from somewhere) of calling the cards on which Fortran programs
was originally written `IBM cards.'  Someone here refers to these as
`Hollerith cards.'  Which is it (if either)?

Thanks.



Sat, 30 Nov 1996 23:19:24 GMT  
 Hollerith cards or IBM cards?

Quote:
(Lawrence R. Dodd) writes:

>I need to settle an issue for some Fortran notes that I am writing.  I picked
>up the habit (from somewhere) of calling the cards on which Fortran programs
>was originally written `IBM cards.'  Someone here refers to these as
>`Hollerith cards.'  Which is it (if either)?

Herman Hollerith invented the punched card for use in a US census (1890?).
IBM took them and made them the staple of computing for so many years.
I don't think Hollerith's cards were the 80 columns that were eventually
settled upon (except for some strange variants IBM introduced.)

If your cards were manufactured by IBM, then by all means call them
IBM cards.  I usually called them "punch cards".  I never heard anyone
refer to them as either 'IBM cards' or 'Hollerith cards'; my wife
also called them 'punch cards'.


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Sun, 01 Dec 1996 09:18:01 GMT  
 Hollerith cards or IBM cards?


    S> (Lawrence R. Dodd) writes:
    >>
    >> I need to settle an issue for some Fortran notes that I am writing.  I picked
    >> up the habit (from somewhere) of calling the cards on which Fortran programs
    >> was originally written `IBM cards.'  Someone here refers to these as
    >> `Hollerith cards.'  Which is it (if either)?

    S> Herman Hollerith invented the punched card for use in a US census (1890?).
    S> IBM took them and made them the staple of computing for so many years.
    S> I don't think Hollerith's cards were the 80 columns that were eventually
    S> settled upon (except for some strange variants IBM introduced.)

    S> If your cards were manufactured by IBM, then by all means call them
    S> IBM cards.  I usually called them "punch cards".  I never heard anyone
    S> refer to them as either 'IBM cards' or 'Hollerith cards'; my wife
    S> also called them 'punch cards'.

For what it's worth I've seen them refered to as Hollerith cards, but
never IBM cards.
--

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Sun, 01 Dec 1996 21:22:48 GMT  
 Hollerith cards or IBM cards?
Several have written:
###I need to settle an issue for some Fortran notes that I am writing.  I picked
###up the habit (from somewhere) of calling the cards on which Fortran programs
###was originally written `IBM cards.'  Someone here refers to these as
###`Hollerith cards.'  Which is it (if either)?

##....  I usually called them "punch cards".  I never heard anyone
## refer to them as either 'IBM cards' or 'Hollerith cards'; my wife
## also called them 'punch cards'.

#For what it's worth I've seen them refered to as Hollerith cards, but
#never IBM cards.

This is interesting!  For many years, especially when the only machine
we had here was an IBM mainframe (or a clone), we called them "IBM cards"!

But now we call them "antiques" (when we think of them at all).

--Myron.
--
# Five boxes preserve our freedoms:  soap, ballot, jury, witness, and cartridge.
# Myron A. Calhoun, PhD EE; Assoc. Professor  (913) 539-4448 home




Sun, 01 Dec 1996 23:39:59 GMT  
 Hollerith cards or IBM cards?

Quote:

>(Lawrence R. Dodd) writes:
>>I need to settle an issue for some Fortran notes that I am writing.  I picked
>>up the habit (from somewhere) of calling the cards on which Fortran programs
>>was originally written `IBM cards.'  Someone here refers to these as
>>`Hollerith cards.'  Which is it (if either)?

>Herman Hollerith invented the punched card for use in a US census (1890?).
>IBM took them and made them the staple of computing for so many years.
>I don't think Hollerith's cards were the 80 columns that were eventually
>settled upon (except for some strange variants IBM introduced.)

Actually, Hollerith "borrowed" the idea from a French loom maker (Jacquard?)
which used punch cards to control the patterns produced; he simply adapted
them for use in organizing data.  The punch card boxes often had the phrase
"data tabulating cards" on the outside of the box (we use them for short
notes these days).  We always just called them "punch cards"; and if you've
ever dropped a box of them, you'll understand why columns 73-80 were set
aside for source code line numbers.  Fortunately, the video display terminal
came along, and keypunches became obsolete.

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Mon, 02 Dec 1996 07:11:28 GMT  
 Hollerith cards or IBM cards?

Quote:



>    S> (Lawrence R. Dodd) writes:

>    >> I need to settle an issue for some Fortran notes that I am writing.  I picked
>    >> up the habit (from somewhere) of calling the cards on which Fortran programs
>    >> was originally written `IBM cards.'  Someone here refers to these as
>    >> `Hollerith cards.'  Which is it (if either)?

>    S> Herman Hollerith invented the punched card for use in a US census (1890?).
>    S> IBM took them and made them the staple of computing for so many years.
>    S> I don't think Hollerith's cards were the 80 columns that were eventually
>    S> settled upon (except for some strange variants IBM introduced.)

>    S> If your cards were manufactured by IBM, then by all means call them
>    S> IBM cards.  I usually called them "punch cards".  I never heard anyone
>    S> refer to them as either 'IBM cards' or 'Hollerith cards'; my wife
>    S> also called them 'punch cards'.

>For what it's worth I've seen them refered to as Hollerith cards, but
>never IBM cards.
>--

> (301) 286-2396                          fax: (301) 286-1754
>Geek code: GAT d? -p+ c++++ l u+++ e- m+ s+++/++ n+ h--- f? !g w+ t++ r y++

I've always heard them called IBM cards and more recently punched cards.
Never Hollerith cards, I suppose because binary decks used the same cards,
usually with different printing.  

Hollerith adapted the idea of punched cards from Jacquard and a couple of
other weavers, who used them in looms for fancy Belgian tapestries. A
segment of one of the "Connections" TV series  covered this.




Mon, 02 Dec 1996 11:57:29 GMT  
 Hollerith cards or IBM cards?
Knuth devotes two pages in ACP Vol 3. to Hollerith, including a photograph
of his card sorting machine, and gives several references, including
Leon E. Truesdell "The development of Punch Card Tabulation", US Bureau of
Census, 1965.
In France, I have never heard of IBM nor Hollerith cards, only perforated
cards (cartes perforees). I would translate punch cards into "cartes
poinconnees", which is definitely not used.

Michel

---

| IFREMER: Institut Francais de Recherches pour l'Exploitation de la Mer|



Mon, 02 Dec 1996 17:58:40 GMT  
 Hollerith cards or IBM cards?
In decreasing order of everyday use:

1) IBM cards
2) punched cards (2nd, but almost a tie)
3) punch cards
.
.
.
?) Hollerith cards (practically never)

They make great bookmarks and notes, now.
Dave

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Mon, 02 Dec 1996 23:33:05 GMT  
 Hollerith cards or IBM cards?

Quote:


>(Lawrence R. Dodd) writes:

>>I need to settle an issue for some Fortran notes that I am writing.  I picked
>>up the habit (from somewhere) of calling the cards on which Fortran programs
>>was originally written `IBM cards.'  Someone here refers to these as
>>`Hollerith cards.'  Which is it (if either)?

>Herman Hollerith invented the punched card for use in a US census (1890?).
>IBM took them and made them the staple of computing for so many years.

Ack.  Don't staple them, not that!  IBM could do that because they're BigBlue
and can do whatever they damn well please.  Also don't fold, spindle or
mutilate them either.  :-)

Quote:
>I don't think Hollerith's cards were the 80 columns that were eventually
>settled upon (except for some strange variants IBM introduced.)

Shoot, I used to know this (how many columns).  I do remember that they
were larger then what the current standard is.  Something to do with the
size of paper money at the time, so they could use the same mechanical
devices for neatening up stacks, etc.

Quote:
>If your cards were manufactured by IBM, then by all means call them
>IBM cards.  I usually called them "punch cards".  I never heard anyone
>refer to them as either 'IBM cards' or 'Hollerith cards'; my wife
>also called them 'punch cards'.

I vote for "punch cards".  Though at one point I used some HP equipment
where you filled in areas using a #2 pencil (and Hollerith code!) to
"punch" the card ... they were the standard card stock and form factor,
but with <80 columns.  

"Hollerith cards" comes in a distant second.
"IBM cards" ... well, just the thought of it makes me shudder.

-robert



Tue, 03 Dec 1996 02:01:01 GMT  
 Hollerith cards or IBM cards?


  lrd> I need to settle an issue for some Fortran notes that I am writing.
  lrd> I picked up the habit (from somewhere) of calling the cards on
  lrd> which Fortran programs was originally written `IBM cards.'  Someone
  lrd> here refers to these as `Hollerith cards.'  Which is it (if
  lrd> either)?

This is a response I got from alt.folklore.computers and I thought I
would post it here.  I got roughly this response from many people.
Thanks everyone.

Larry

---
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 94 10:55:56 CDT


Subject: Re: Hollerith cards or IBM cards?


Quote:

> I need to settle an issue for some Fortran notes that I am writing.
> I picked up the habit (from somewhere) of calling the cards on which
> Fortran programs were originally written `IBM cards.'  Someone here
> refers to these as `Hollerith cards.'  Which is it (if either)?

It's both.  Sam Hollerith invented the things, while working for the
US Census Bureau about a century ago (this is an importnat birthday,
folks, can anyone pin down the date better?)

      **[The US Census of 1900 seems to be correct -- lrd]**

Hollerith, having hit on a good thing, formed a company to exploit it.
That company, through a short sequence of mergers with companys that
sold related products, such as time-clocks, became the World Tabulating
Corporation.  WTC got into financial trouble, and they brought in a big
gun to help rescue them, Tomas Watson, Senior.  One of the first things
Watson did was to rename the company, coining the name International
Business Machines.  For some years, they were known simply as
International by many of their customers, in the same way that NCR
(Watson's previous employer) was known as National.

For years, IBM had a monopoly on the use of punched cards and the
associated tabulating machines, and this led to the first of many
great antitrust suits brought against the company.  Naturally, when
IBM was the monopoly owner of the machines that used the medium, it
was natural to refer to punched cards as IBM cards and to refer to any
machine that used punched cards as an IBM machine.

Competitors, companies like NCR and Burroughs, never called their
punched cards IBM cards.  When the courts finally overturned IBM's
monopoly and NCR and Burroughs were finally allowed to offer compatable
cards, they called them Hollerith cards.  Note that prior to the
collapse of IBM's monopoly, both NCR and Burroughs developed
incompatable punched card systems that got around IBM's patents by
various approaches.  The generic term for any such card, not making
reference to the particular format, is either punched card or tabulating
machine card (tab card, for short).

All this happened before the computer was anything but a dream in the
eyes of anyone but a few lone-wolves like Turing, Atasanoff and Zeuss.

                                Doug Jones



Tue, 03 Dec 1996 00:50:18 GMT  
 Hollerith cards or IBM cards?

Quote:
>>> ...IBM cards, 80 columns ??...

The most {*filter*} form factor for the "so-called" punched card was
80 columns.  And, there were lots of variants to the card as to color,
corner cut (on the left, on the right, none at all), numbering scheme,
and so on.

In 1970, IBM introduced a small business computer called the System/3
or System/7, I can never remember its real name.  This was an interesting
machine since at the very start, it supported only a single language,
RPG-II, not even assembly language.  It didn't have a visible operating
system, all work was done in RPG-II.  Later editions did support a
COBOL compiler and I believe it even eventually got an assembler before
it died out.  I did some programming on this machine but it really didn't
last long...why, IBM came up with a brand-new punch card form factor.
It was smaller (narrower), about 3 inches wide and about 4 inches tall.
It supported 96 columns but they were not all strung out in a row like
the typical 80 column punched card, there were in fact three rows of
punchs, of 32 columns per row.  Thus, when you read the card, you had
to wrap your eyes across three rows and with a fixed column format
language like RPG-II this was a real hassle!  The punches were not in
any sort of known coding style, not EBCDEC, not ASCII, but merely some
crummy invention on IBM's part.  Of course, you had to buy all brand new
unit record equipment such as a new punch, new sorters, and so on.

Well, it was a reasonable job while it lasted...sort of early days as
a contract programmer in 1970 when being a independent contractor meant
you were really between jobs.

        phil
=============================================================================

=============================================================================



Wed, 04 Dec 1996 02:29:04 GMT  
 
 [ 13 post ] 

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