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026 How To Keypunch

Table of Contents

Keypunch Controls
Aug 2, 2009, Steve Russell sent the following picture and text. Aug 8, Bill Worthington replied -
"Steve, thanks for the assist. Thanks for your action on this.
"I think we need it by each keypunch when we have visitors afoot and will print up a bunch."

Experience & Souvenirs
[ Punching the name cards gives the visitor a very tactile experience of "the old days".
The visitor name cards may be used with BIG PRINT
and are lovely souvenirs. :-)) ]

Special Request
September, 2010 "We" received a special request to provide an IBM 5081 "punched card" with
keypunched on it - Stan Paddock obliged :-))
HOWEVER, - the IBM 026 key punch does not have an apostrophe on it
- - but did that phase Stan?

& Comment
Michael Albaugh, responded with:

"The Fortran character set has apostrophe where the commercial character set has @ (3-8 punch). So, it's possible either Stan has a "Scientific" 026 somewhere or he swapped in a character plate from one.
" Further reading at

shows an expanded set of codes, where the "Report" character set (an expanded version of the BCD-A set) has an apostrophe at 4-8. That might be on the print-plate even if it's not on the keyboard, so you could use a multi-punch to get the character into the card, and then DUP it with print on...

Just some thoughts... "

Dec 12, 2010 - Grumpy Ol' Fred Cisin - - wrote to cctech Digest,

Back in the "good old days", IBM made the "Verifier" punch. It was part of the 029 punch series, but did NOT punch data onto cards. Instead, it compared what was being keyed in to what was on the card currently going through. If it came up with a discrepancy, it punched a notch on the 12-edge. If the whole card matched, then it put a notch in the column 80 END of the card.

A deck of cards consistently notched on the end was a reassurance that the original punching and the verification matched, and therefore was probably pretty accurate.

Of course, that doubled the price and the amount of work for having a service bureau punch your data.

If done right, the punching and verifying would be done by two different keypunch operators, to reduce the possibility of the same mistake repeated being verified, particularly with 0 and O, etc.

Eventually, some of the service bureaus realized that instead of punching, and then verifying, that it was a lot less work to verify and then punch! So, they would verify entire boxes of blank cards, and then use those for the raw supplies for punching.


Grumpy Ol' Fred

and yet more ;-))

On Mon, 13 Dec 2010, Chuck Guzis wrote:
> Another skill to be learned was the ability to block-print neatly and
> legibly, differentiating "1" from "I", "0" from "O", etc. It was all
> uppercase, so that simplified things somewhat. To this day, I still
> put a line through my "7", although I've dropped the stroke through
> my zero as most people find it to be confusing.

A long time ago, there used to be some people who put slashes through the
letter 'o', to differentiate it from the numeral '0'. Are they ALL dead

One of MICROS~1's early attempts at OCR on their order forms gave examples
of how they wanted the letters formed, and included slashing the letter

How many people still use the Palm "Grafitti" system?

updated through March 21, 2014
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