Did you ever use punched cards for art or programming in the past?

  • Thread starter rcgldr
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In summary, Rice University transitioned to terminals during the mid-70's. No more turning in blocks or trays of cards and waiting overnight for jobs to run, or two days if the job was really big.Jeez, that harkens back. In grade 10 Data Processing class, we used pencil cards. We felt pretty special when we got to grade 11 and they let us use the keypunch machine. It took a 5cm thick stack of cards to do a programme that would sort 4 names into alphabetical order, and a week for the results to come back. (They had to be sent to the University of Windsor because they had the only mainframe computer in the county.)I never heard of using
  • #1

rcgldr

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All I have is this one I used for the front of a drawer for punched cards back in the days. Multilayer, white card sandwiched between two blue cards:

pcjeff.jpg


Looks better if I invert the image of the white card:

pcjeffb.jpg
 
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  • #2
I haven't see punch cards used in 30+ years. Rice University transitioned to terminals during the mid-70's. No more turning in blocks or trays of cards and waiting overnight for jobs to run, or two days if the job was really big.
 
  • #3
Jeez, that harkens back. In grade 10 Data Processing class, we used pencil cards. We felt pretty special when we got to grade 11 and they let us use the keypunch machine. It took a 5cm thick stack of cards to do a programme that would sort 4 names into alphabetical order, and a week for the results to come back. (They had to be sent to the University of Windsor because they had the only mainframe computer in the county.)
I never heard of using it as art, though. Cool idea.
 
  • #4
I think I still have a small deck of cards for a Fortran program stashed away somewhere. I left a small tray of cards at a local junior college back in 1977, and never thought to check up on them before they were purged. Back in 1975-1976, that college (Orange Coast College) had a bank of trays for students and visitors (the computer center was open to the public, and the only place I could run old Fortran programs), and a few of us made logos out of punched cards to put on the front of the trays. The turn-around time was pretty good. Students would feed in their own decks into the card reader, and wait about 15 to 30 minutes for the lab tech to hand out the print outs. If it was a slow period, there was no lab tech and the students got their own print outs, and turn around was almost immediate. I was looking for some other old stuff and found a spare "logo" card which I showed above.
 
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  • #5
Astronuc said:
No more turning in blocks or trays of cards and waiting overnight for jobs to run, or two days if the job was really big.
Yea. I use to stay there for days drinking coffee and troubleshooting code. Getting access to a punch maching could also be a problem.

Quize question: What was the format of the punch card columns. #1 for continuation, #2 ...
 
  • #6
Dusting off some cobwebs. Columns 1 to 5 the label field, column 6 the continuation marker field, columns 7 to 72 the statement field.
 
  • #7
73 to 80 comments I think.
 
  • #8
Dusting off some cobwebs. Columns 1 to 5 the label field, column 6 the continuation marker field, columns 7 to 72 the statement field.

73 to 80 comments I think.

Yep. Fortran77 still uses that format, and we have a lot of Fortran77 legacy code.

Our input files are limited to 80 characters, and we've had pagination (on 8.5 x 11'' paper) still formatted based on the old 11'' x 17'' computer printout sheets. :rolleyes: We finally convinced the chief programmer (keeper of source code and maintainer of configuration control) to include a "no pagination" option, which is now standard, so we can read the continuous print without page headers.
 
  • #9
dlgoff said:
73 to 80 comments I think.
Sequence numbers went there. Incremented by 10 or 20 so inserts could be done. Rarely used though. If you had access to a card sorter, then the sequence numbers could be used to restore the order of a dropped tray of cards. In some shops, a deck of cards would be copied, with new sequence numbers as a maintenance procedure.

Note that the columns mentioned above are specific to old Fortran programs. Other languages didn't use the same conventions.
 
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  • #10
Danger said:
It took a 5cm thick stack of cards to do a programme that would sort 4 names into alphabetical order

Soudns like a lousy programming to me :wink: Unless you did it in assembly language ::uhh:
 
  • #11
Few days ago I have an old line printer printout in hand, with barely readable zeros...

In Poland it was a serious problem, we didn't have an easy access to spare parts.
 
  • #12
Borek said:
Soudns like a lousy programming to me :wink: Unless you did it in assembly language ::uhh:
It was called 'Student Language'. As nearly as I can figure, it was some off-shoot of PL1. Commands were stuff like slc\\"get edit" for 'read', slc\\"put edit" for 'write', etc.. I still have some of the cards and print-outs in storage somewhere, but I'll probably never be able to find them. I just had a crew clean out my house and put everything into a self-storage unit. There were over a hundred boxes of books alone, and they didn't even touch the ones that are double-stacked in 13 bookcases.
 

What is punched card art?

Punched card art is a form of art created by arranging and manipulating punched cards, which were used as early computer data storage devices. The cards are arranged to form images, patterns, or designs.

When did punched card art become popular?

Punched card art became popular in the 1960s and 1970s, during the height of the use of punched cards in computer programming. It was also a way for computer programmers to express their creativity.

What materials are needed to create punched card art?

The main material needed to create punched card art is punched cards, which can be obtained from old computer systems or purchased online. Other materials that can be used include glue, scissors, and a backing board or canvas.

What techniques are used to create punched card art?

There are several techniques that can be used to create punched card art, including layering, weaving, and folding the cards. Some artists also use different colored cards or create patterns by punching holes in specific locations.

Is punched card art still relevant today?

While punched card art may not be as popular as it once was, it is still considered a unique and creative form of art. Some artists continue to use punched cards in their work, and there are even museums that feature collections of punched card art.

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