The retro computer hobbyist group MARCH (now VCF) hosted the Vintage Computer Festival East 2014 exhibit. I brought a PDP-8/M Computer, Wrightline hand card punch, LA100 printer, CR05 card reader, CR8F card reader, and VT100 terminal for my exhibit. I was also supposed to have a RX02 floppy drive for running the system but it got left at home. I instead used OS/8 Disk Server.
This exhibit showed punched card equipment that was used with PDP-8's and some general punched card information. Both readers I brought could read normal punched cards. The CR05 could also read mark sense cards which are marked with pencil instead of having holes punched in them. The CR8/E punched card interface for the PDP-8/E only supports reading cards.
DEC offered mark sense batch for the PDP-8 which allowed a large number of students to share one computer by preparing cards without needing anything other than the special mark sense cards and a pencil. I had used my laser printer to print on blank punch cards the special card format needed. Visitors could try writing BASIC or FORTRAN programs and running them. I had a couple people do simple BASIC programs and one do a simple FORTRAN program.
Mark sense cards could also be used for attendance. DEC also had standalone EDUsystem 30 BASIC which used a different format mark sense card than the mark sense batch BASIC. See the attendance card, and EDUsystem-30 template and basic card.
I also had a hand card punch which people could try punching a card and then I would run it through the reader. I gave them the card and a printout in block letters of what they punched on the card. I had a number of people try punching a card.
The following picture links also have descriptions of what is shown in the pictures.
My exhibit (1.3M) Programming with mark sense cards (1.7M) Hand punch (1.4M) Chads (1.7M) Printing cards (1.5M)
CR05 rollers (1.2M) First replacement attempt (626K) Second replacement attempt (1.6M)
Card history writeup behind exhibit
Cards I used for demo. These are converted from the mark sense batch manual. I don't have an original card. I made them the color of other mark sense cards I have. Mark sense batch FORTRAN card Mark sense batch BASIC card Instructions to mark card
These people take better pictures than me.
Herb Johnson Bill Degnan Armchair arcade 1 Armchair arcade 2 Bill Sudbrink Hackaday
Card Reader VideosYou may need to click twice on the right side buttons to start the video.
Feel free to contact me, David Gesswein firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, comments on the web site, or if you have related equipment, documentation, software etc. you are willing to part with. I am interested in anything PDP-8 related, computers, peripherals used with them, DEC or third party, or documentation.
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Video player used is Flowplayer