Today’s generations have no idea about how computers worked in 1950s to 1970s. Today we can easily enter data into a computer using a keyboard and a mouse (and many other new methods) and the results of the queries are displayed on the computer screen. But back in the 1970s, data input was done using either a very large complicated keyboard or through a “punched card”.
What is a punched card?
A punched card was a popular digital data medium of the old times. It was just a small thick paper card with many holes in it. The location and arrangement of holes determined the data it carried. The operator placed the card into the computer and it read the data on it. For writing the data, they had special machines for punching holes on the cards. Programmers of those times, wrote source codes of lengthy FORTRAN programs on these punched cards. Other languages such as COBOL and PASCAL were also used through these punched cards. Just like the punched cards, these computer languages have also become very old and are rarely used now.
Creating your own punched cards
Now that punched cards have become completely obsolete, the only place you can find a physical punched card is either the research universities or the archives of large corporations like IBM. Fortunately, someone has created a web app through which you can create an image of a punched card with your custom data punched on to it.
In order to create the punched card, you can visit http://www.kloth.net/services/cardpunch.php. The web app ha sa form where you can enter the text data that you want to punched on to the card. You should keep the data to alphabet and numerical symbols only.
There are many other options to be chosen from such as the punch code type, what to do with unknown characters (ignore or blank them), the color of the card (yellow, red or green) and the image type to be produced (PNG or JPEG). After this, you can click on the Punch It button and wait for the card to be produced. You can right-click on the card to save the image on your local hard drive.
There is no real use of this web app in modern times as punched cards have become obsolete and they are now not even studied in schools or universities. But if you have worked with punched cards then it can bring a feeling of nostalgia. If you are too young to know about punched cards, then it can be a curiosity to discover more about the older computer technology.