Punch Media

Chamber of Horrors: Obsolete and Endangered Media - Punch Media

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Punch Tape

Punch tape

Storage capacity: 14.8 characters/second
Approximate dates in use: 1938-1960s
Comments: "Punched tapes have been used...to control a variety of devices, from looms to lathes to pianos to computers. They combine the inflexibility of the punch card with the linear inaccessibility of magnetic tape, but they're incredibly cheap and can be replaced easily. Unfortunately they also tear and wear out easily. Except as metaphor, the punch tape was an early dead end in computer data storage." -Simon St.Laurent

Rectangular Hole Punch Card

Punch card

Storage capacity: 80 characters per card
Approximate dates in use: 1928-1978
Comments: The punch card was used throughout the 1960s and 1970s as the primary method of storing and processing binary information. Punch cards became obsolete as the cost of disk and tape storage dropped and as users gained the ability to edit their work directly due to the development of interactive terminals.

View an online collection of punch cards