<hardware, history> Punched paper tape. An early input/output and storage
medium borrowed from telegraph and teletype systems.
Data entered at the keyboard of the teletype could be directed to a perforator
or punch which punched a pattern of holes across the width of a paper tape to
represent the characters typed. The paper tape could be read by a tape reader
feeding the computer. Computer output could be similarly punched onto tape and
As well as storage of the program and data, use of paper tape enabled batch
The first units had five data hole positions plus a sprocket hole (for the
driving wheel) across the width of the tape. These used commercial telegraph
code (ITA2 also known as Murray), Baudot code, or proprietary codes such as
Elliott which were more programmer-friendly. Later systems had eight data holes
and used ASCII coding.
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