A punched card, punch card, IBM card, or Hollerith card is a piece of stiff paper that contains digital information represented by the presence or absence of holes in predefined positions.
Now obsolete as a recording medium, punched cards were widely used throughout the 19th century for controlling textile looms and in the late 19th and early 20th century for operating fairground organs and related instruments. They were used through the 20th century in unit record machines for input, processing, and data storage. Early digital computers used punched cards, often prepared using keypunch machines, as the primary medium for input of both computer programs and data.
Some voting machines still use punched cards.
Famous quotes containing the word card:
“There is undoubtedly something religious about it: everyone believes that they are special, that they are chosen, that they have a special relation with fate. Here is the test: you turn over card after card to see in which way that is true. If you can defy the odds, you may be saved. And when you are cleaned out, the last penny gone, you are enlightened at last, free perhaps, exhilarated like an ascetic by the falling away of the material world.”
—Andrei Codrescu (b. 1947)