Re: Punched tape (was: "Re: American English translation of character names")

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Thu Jan 08 2004 - 01:07:04 EST

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    Anto'nio Martins-Tuva'lkin <antonio at tuvalkin dot web dot pt> wrote:

    > Anyway -- it was space for three wholes, the small whole for the
    > tractor wheel, and space for four more, IIRC.
    > |O OoOO |
    > ...
    > Any bells ringing? Wouldn't this be a nice "complete" set of chars to
    > be encoded, a la Braille patterns?...

    This is not so much a script as a UTF. (In fact, Ken Whistler has
    already done something similar as a joke; search the Unicode mailing
    list archives for "BTF".)

    The analogy with Braille is tempting, but Braille has mappings to many
    other alphabets besides the commonly seen English/Latin mapping. There
    is Cyrillic Braille, Hebrew Braille, kana Braille, etc. More
    importantly, there is the concept of "Level 2 Braille" in which a single
    dot pattern or a combination of two or three is assigned a meaning that
    varies depending on context, and is not always mnemonically derived from
    the individual letters. Punched-tape codes and card codes don't have
    these characteristics.

    You can find more codes for punched cards and tape, as well as internal
    codes for early computers, at Dik Winter's site:

    or at Roman Czyborra's site, rumored to be at but
    usually not available.

    BTW, speaking of Roman, thanks to everyone who responded to my inquiries
    about his whereabouts. Actually, I admit I was primarily interested in
    what had happened to his *site*, since it was (and still is) usually

    -Doug Ewell
     Fullerton, California

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