Punching Holes in Cards and Tapes:

This is the Retrochallenge 2022/10 blog for Paleoferrosaurus. For the next calender month, I'll be exploring the historic use of punch cards and punched paper tape in data processing; the hardware, software, and cultural relevance of the punch card; and finally, some techniques for dealing with data stored on punch cards in the first quarter of the 21st Century.

Since one of my friends has challenged me with the statement "Video, or it didn't happen." I'll be posting links to YouTube videos on this page along with conventional blogging and offsite links.

Blog Entries:


  1. October 1, 2022 -- A quick and dirty ASCII to Hollerith Conversion (PUNCH01.CPP)
  2. October 2, 2022 -- A slightly more refined ASCII to Hollerith Conversion Program (PUNCH02.CPP)
  3. October 2, 2022 -- Test run of PUNCH2 with each row punched 12-9
  4. October 2, 2022 -- Another test run of PUNCH2 showing alphabetic characters
  5. October 3, 2022 -- PUNCH3 -- A simple program to generate an ASCII art punch card.
  6. October 3, 2022 -- Output from the PUNCH3 program.
  7. October 5, 2022 -- Michael Hamilton's Python Script to Create Punchcard Images
  8. October 5, 2022 -- Michael Hamilton's Python Script to Interpret Punchcard Images
  9. October 7, 2022 -- HexDump.cpp -- A utility to generate hexadecimal dumps of card and tape files. Also works with binary files.
  10. October 8, 2022 -- HexDump2.cpp -- An improved version of HexDump.
  11. October 10, 2022 -- PunchCard4.cpp -- Reads ASCII file and generates ASCII art of PunchCard Code.
  12. October 10, 2022 -- Output Listing of PunchCard4 reading a short ASCII text file.
  13. October 12, 2022 -- Prof. Doug Jones' ASCII to Card Deck Filter
  14. October 12, 2022 -- Prof. Doug Jones' Card Image File to ASCII Utility
  15. October 12, 2022 -- Prof Doug Jones' Code Translation Tables for the above programs.
  16. October 19, 2022 -- A BASIC program for the 80C52AH Microcontroller to handle the Cardamation card reader.

Video Updates:

Complete Program Decks:

Reference Documents:

Prior Art and Acknowledgements:

Much of the inspiration for the various repairs, stunts, and programming during this RetroChallenge was inspired, enabled, or downright invented by a number of very talented people who've shared their genius on the World Wide Web. Here are a few of the websites that were instrumental in getting anything accomplished by this half-assed hacker:

This page created on October 1, 2022. Last updated on October 31, 2022 by Micheal H. McCabe.