Early multitouch input device

A couple of days ago I had the pleasure of meeting Walter Taucher. Among other things in his Seattle office, he has a card-punch machine from the thirties.

Yes, kids, the connection between your keyboard and your computer used to be, not a USB cable, but a stack of cards that you’d carry across the campus to the computer building. This was the thing that punched the cards. Part of the intrigue for me was that this came from a company we know well, but which now has a rather different logo.

The machine still works, apparently…

Enjoyed this post? Why not sign up to receive Status-Q in your inbox?


Hm, I remember the elder of my two (far, far older than me. Obviously …) sisters-in-law – a Cobol programmer (sic. Remember the Dilbert rendition of such types ;-)?) explaining all the card punch routine to me. I expect my mind wandered before she got to the end …
But a fascinating item of industrial history, all the same. How far we’ve come in what is really a very short time.

These machines are tough as steel, in fact they are made of it. They will last forever and ever, unlikely present day computers that have a life span of micros, if compared. This means that you’ll have less rejected garbage produced with the span of years. Not long ago these machines operated in many public service agencies throughout, as a living proof of what I say. But, I am truly amazed how things developped the way they did.
Garbaged rejects were to be a very small part of this industrial complex we live in. As a matter of fact it now represents more than we wish we could handle, since in fact we can’t handle, recycle or do something to it worth saying. This kind of industrial philosophy is too damaging for human beings, not at the present, but in coming and near future. Just look at the ocean of dejects we are producing endlessly and fall off your branch, dear Dr Ape.

Got Something To Say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To create code blocks or other preformatted text, indent by four spaces:

    This will be displayed in a monospaced font. The first four 
    spaces will be stripped off, but all other whitespace
    will be preserved.
    Markdown is turned off in code blocks:
     [This is not a link](http://example.com)

To create not a block, but an inline code span, use backticks:

Here is some inline `code`.

For more help see http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/syntax


© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser