The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

7 February 2004

The land of chad

Two nightmares (for the price of one!) last night, and while the one where I'm trapped on a game show hosted by the evil twin of Don Francisco might have been marginally more entertaining, the one that spawned the afterthought — and therefore the blog post — is the one about the old IBM punch-card system. I spent some time at a Model 029 punch, and to this day the sight of one of those cards makes my eyes glaze over.

The afterthought went something like this:

Each 80-column card (there were 12 possible punches in each column, but no more than three could be used) represented 80 characters, which today we would describe as 80 bytes.

As of this morning, this Web site was using 57.125 megabytes of disk space, which is awfully close to 60 million bytes. Which means that to reproduce this site on punch cards would require, oh, 750,000 of them.

I guess it's time to do another backup.

Posted at 8:58 AM to General Disinterest


Damn, that's more than a few shoe boxes full isn't it!

I remember my college days learning FORTRAN and writing programs with a keypunch machine. I once saw a guy cry like a baby because he dropped a shoebox full of cards and they scattered.

Posted by: Ralph Gizzip at 2:30 PM on 7 February 2004