Columbia University Computing History
IBM Punch Cards
Until the mid-1970s, most computer access was via punched cards. Programs
and data were punched by hand on a key punch machine
and read into a card reader.
Large computing sites such as Columbia University purchased cards by
the truckload and furnished them free of charge to users. During the IBM 360
era (1969-80) Columbia's cards
were embossed with the legend "CUCC 360" (Columbia University Computer Center
IBM 360) and the Columbia shield (In Lumine Tuo Videbimus Lumen).
This is a pink "job card" (the first card in a deck), preprinted with the
essentials of JCL job-card syntax. Cards were available in assorted colors,
allowing color coding of different sections of a deck such as JCL, program
source, data. From the collection of Joe
Sulsona. OS JCL Job-card fields are preprinted on the card. Columns
73-80 are reserved for sequence numbers, which can be used by a sorter to put a deck back in order after it has been
dropped. The diagonal cut on the upper left facilitates proper orientation
of the card (if the card is fed into the reader upside down or face down
the data will be misinterpreted).
Here's another example, this one from the University of Karlsruhe (Germany)
Computer Center, courtesy of Michael Hartmann, Technische Universität
Early Punched Card Equipment, 1880-1951, Emerson W. Pugh and Lars Heide,
IEEE Global History Network Significant Technological Achievement
Recognition Selections (STARS).
IBM Punched Card (IBM history archive)
“Do Not Fold, Spindle, or Mutilate”:
A Cultural History of the Punch Card,
Steven Lubar, Journal of American Culture, Volume 15, Issue 4,
pp.43-55, Winter 1992.
Cards - A brief illustrated technical history, Douglas W. Jones,
University of Iowa.
- Punched Card,
programming in the punched card era, Wikipedia.
Frank da Cruz / email@example.com /
Columbia University Computing History /
Jan 2001 - Apr 2003 - Sep 2013