Plugboard for a Card Punch
This plugboard directed a machine to take the data from one set of punch cards and punch it into another. Fields could be rearranged, and minor calculations could be performed. (Image courtesy of The Computer History Museum, www.computerhistory.org)
The Author in 1962
Alan Freedman, author of this Encyclopedia, learned data processing the hard way: by carrying the data on his back. Trays of punch cards were heavy. As a "Tabulating Technician III" in this 1962 photo at the Pennsylvania Sales Tax division in Harrisburg, he not only wired the boards, but shoved millions of cards through the machines.
Four Decades Later
Forty years later, the data may be lighter, but the processing is heavier. Freedman is involved in every facet of this publication, including writing the definitions, drawing many of the diagrams, designing the user interface and collaborating on the various hosting systems the company has developed.
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