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punch operator

English translation: the person who manually processes punch cards

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:punch operator
English translation:the person who manually processes punch cards
Entered by: vitaminBcomplex
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15:51 Dec 24, 2010
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
English term or phrase: punch operator
about the context:
it's britain in the late 50s, and the person in question, a "computer programmer" (a mathematics graduate) is working at the IBM office in london.

the passage goes as follows:
"He has no further luck with English girls. There are English girls enough at the IBM, secretaries and punch operators, and opportunities to chat to them. But from them he feels a certain resistance..."

there's no other mention of the term - it's not the main subject anyway - but thinking of a period when job descriptions and technologies were so different from today's, can you please explain what really a "punch operator" is and what function he/she actually performs?
vitaminBcomplex
Local time: 03:45
the person who manually processes punch cards
Explanation:
IBM Punch Cards
Until the mid-1970s, most computer access was via punched cards. Programs and data were punched by hand on a key punch machine and read into a card reader. Large computing sites such as Columbia University purchased cards by the truckload and furnished them free of charge to users. During the IBM 360 era (1969-80) Columbia's cards were embossed with the legend "CUCC 360" (Columbia University Computer Center IBM 360) and the Columbia shield (In Lumine Tuo Videbimus Lumen).
http://www.columbia.edu/acis/history/cards.html

The link has pictures and will tell you more than you ever wanted to know.

Selected response from:

Stephanie Ezrol
United States
Local time: 19:45
Grading comment
thanks, stephanie!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +4user of keypunch to punch holes in cards
Jack Doughty
5 +2the person who manually processes punch cards
Stephanie Ezrol


  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
user of keypunch to punch holes in cards


Explanation:
The computers of those days used a system of perforated cards to record data. A punch operator was someone who used a keypunch to produce the perforations.

Keypunch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A keypunch is a device for manually entering data into punched cards by precisely punching holes at locations designated by the keys struck by the operator. ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keypunch

Jack Doughty
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:45
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 514

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  JaneTranslates
27 mins
  -> Thank you.

agree  B D Finch
1 hr
  -> Thank you.

agree  Donna Stevens
2 hrs
  -> Thank you.

agree  Sharon Toh, MITI MCIL
2 hrs
  -> Thank you.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
the person who manually processes punch cards


Explanation:
IBM Punch Cards
Until the mid-1970s, most computer access was via punched cards. Programs and data were punched by hand on a key punch machine and read into a card reader. Large computing sites such as Columbia University purchased cards by the truckload and furnished them free of charge to users. During the IBM 360 era (1969-80) Columbia's cards were embossed with the legend "CUCC 360" (Columbia University Computer Center IBM 360) and the Columbia shield (In Lumine Tuo Videbimus Lumen).
http://www.columbia.edu/acis/history/cards.html

The link has pictures and will tell you more than you ever wanted to know.



Stephanie Ezrol
United States
Local time: 19:45
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 156
Grading comment
thanks, stephanie!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  JaneTranslates
27 mins
  -> Thanks Jane !

agree  British Diana: I remember helping with this in my Gap Year, 1970 (not the 50s I hasten to add)
16 hrs
  -> Thanks Diana.
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