Punched Cards

A colleague handed me a book that belongs to his father: Automatic Data Processing: Principles and Procedures by Elias Awad. It’s about data management circa 1966.

Book cover: Automatic Data Processing: Principles and Procedures.
Book cover: Automatic Data Processing: Principles and Procedures.

Update: I will continue Coding related posts and articles on my other site.

A colleague handed me a book that belongs to his father: Automatic Data Processing: Principles and Procedures by Elias Awad. It’s about data management circa 1966.

Fascinated, I borrowed the book and made some scans. It begins with an overview of historic data processing like Roman figure counting, Venetian bookkeeping and Pascal’s calculator. The majority of the book describes data theory and the modern methods of programming and processing data. The appendix covers Fortran and COBOL among others.

What interested me the most was the chapters on punched cards — the two leading card types (Hollerith/IBM and Powers/Remington Rand), how they’re written, read, sorted and duplicated. I can imagine the game of 52-card pickup was not considered very fun in those days.

Awad provides illustrations and photographs such as those below.

An example of a punched card.
An example of a punched card.
A photograph of an IBM control drum.
A photograph of an IBM control drum.
A photograph of a Univac optical scanning punch.
A photograph of a Univac optical scanning punch.
Portion of a COBOL program sheet.
Portion of a COBOL program sheet.

Story Submitted to My Writing Group

I submitted a short short story (less than 1,000 words) to my writing group.

I submitted a short short story (less than 1,000 words) to my writing group. It’s really more of a vignette I had written many years ago. I don’t know what to do with it. Perhaps they’ll have suggestions. At the very least, I may post it here after it’s been edited.

Smash the Champagne Bottle

No fooling, today I’m setting this web site off into the unknown. I had promised myself that I’d launch on April 1.

No fooling, today I’m setting this web site off into the unknown. I had promised myself that I’d launch on April 1. I knew that if I waited for everything to be perfect, I’d procrastinate indefinitely. I feel better. I have the ground under my feet and I’ll add content and features as they are ready.

I’m My Own Worst Client

Why is it that when it comes to developing web projects for myself, I’m often stoppered?

Why is it that when it comes to developing web projects for myself, I’m often stoppered?

With clients, confidence flows and ideas swamp my head, whereas even a trickle of creativity must be coaxed out for my own work.

Without a client, I miss the enjoyment of collaboration. And I miss out on the challenge of specifications, budgets, and deadlines.

In moments of inspiration, I will sketch my ideas on scraps or maybe go as far as design a layout and color palette in Fireworks. But inevitably, work or diversions will sweep me up, so that when I get back, time has washed away the initial excitement. What was once inspired now, to my mind, looks insipid.

However, in all my false-starts, the content and purpose of the site has remained the same. It’s for me. It’s a place for me to collect and reflect my interests. This is to be a storehouse with an ever-increasing inventory of resources for creative writing and web development.

So enough! Just put it down, I tell myself. Make a simple site and let the content spill out. And I have. Ok? I put aside second- and third-guessing and focused on getting the content up.

I expect for a long time I will have a readership of one, the occasional lost visitor looking for a different Joshua Paul Cane, and friends who drop in to humor me so that I’ll leave them alone, already.

So who is reading this now? Well if it’s you and not me, contact me with your thoughts. I hope you enjoy.