This article is part of our Essential Guide: CW@50 - Celebrating 50 years of British technology innovation

Computer Weekly@50: What was happening in IT in April over the years


April 17, 1969: Paper v Cards

Source:  TNMOC

Seldom has a war been waged more fiercely than the one that has lasted through several computer generations between advocates of punched cards and those who support paper tape as an input medium.

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Bring back memories of my first job. Back when it was mostly punched card on an IBM 4341 mainframe. Punch card output fed into the next job. The real pain was when data had to be in sequence. You would take trays of cards to a sorter before the job could even be run. Heaven help if the card reader jammed or got the cards out of sequence. We also had a Data General system that used paper tape... You had to be very careful with this media form. Not as durable as the cards.