The Punch Card Reader

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The Punch Card Reader

Submitted By:
Brandon Mao

Entry Category:
Robotics HOW-TO Videos

Entry Age Group:
8th grade an' below

Project Goals:
Punch Card - A medium fer feedin' data into a computer, essentially a card punched with holes or notches t' represent letters an' numbers with a pattern o' holes t' represent related data. It is also called a Hollerith card.

A Brief History

The punch card were bein' invented in 1881 by Herman Hollerith as a faster way t' tabulate census data than by han' , avast. It completed th' 1890 census in 1 year rather than 10 years like th' 1880 census.

Semen Korsakov were bein' th' first person t' use punch cards as an information storin' an' receivin' system, ye scurvey dog. The ornery cuss did not patent his discovery, instead, he decided t' let th' general public use his device.

IBM later developed several different versions o' punch card readers, includin' one that could create an' sort punched cards, even though several computin' mediums had been developed by th' 1950's.

Punch cards be obsolete now as new storage methods be available.

Our Project

01010100010010000100010100100000010101000100010101011000010101000010000 0010000010100001001001111010101100100010100100000010010010101001100100000010 0001001001001010011100100000101010010010110010010111000100000010101110100010 1001000000100000101010010010001010010000001000111010011110100100101001110010 0011100100000010101000100111100100000010000100100010100100000010101010101001 1010010010100111001000111001000000100001001001001010011100100000101010010010 1100100100000010001100100111101010010001000000100111101010101010100100010000 00101000001010010010011110100101001000101010000110101010000101110


The swarm o' 1's an' 0's above is actually a base 2 number system that can also be used t' translate text, which leads us t' our project.

Our punch card robot reads a circular disk usin' an infrared break sensor. The circular disk would be fed through th' break sensor an' whenever thar is not a notch, an' then it will be counted as a zero. Because binary takes up a lot o' space, thar is only enough room fer a 3 letter word on th' disk. If we wanted t' send a coded message, then th' word "Sun" would take up 1 disk.

The program starts with "Press A t' begin readin' a disk" Once th' user presses A, th' robot starts t' read th' disk, and a bucket o' chum. Once it has made a 360 degree rotation, then it prompts th' user t' press A again when th' disk is ready t' be read. If th' user wants t' decode th' disks, they press B t' compile th' message.

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