OCR for punchcards?

From: Douglas Quebbeman <dhquebbeman_at_theestopinalgroup.com>
Date: Fri Jun 22 13:38:33 2001

> It just occurred to me that it should be possible to write OCR software
> to read punchcards on your scanner. Not that I have any punchcards
> mind you, more of an intellectual exercise, but has anyone written
> such a thing?

Planning on it, as I think I know where there are some binary decks
containing bootstraps for some old RJE stations formerly used at
IU, and I'd like to preserve that software. I planned on scanning
the decks and then eventually writing such a utility or findind
someone who already had.

> Also, if you're desperate for a punchcard reader I suspect you could
> make an acceptable one with Lego Mindstorms. You'd have to use
> one of the popular input multiplexing schemes, and probably program it
> in nqc or legos, but it should be possible. Using the RCX's motor
> controllers and a couple motors and tires you should even be able to make it
> automatic feed. In fact, come to think of it, you SHOULD be able to
> build the thing with... lessee. two motors, a couple tires, and the
> light sensor. 'course your software on the RCX would have to translate
> awhat amounts to the scan of a card into data, but if the sensor is
> precise enough to tell holes from chads, I can think of a couple ways to
> do this.

Dr. Anthony Schaeffer built one that appeared in either BYTE or Interface
Age back in the 70s using a block of wood and what looked like hairpins.
You pulled the cards through manually, one at a time.

Received on Fri Jun 22 2001 - 13:38:33 BST

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