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Innovation Insights: A Look Back

A collection of stories and ideas from vendor executives and business-technology professionals who reflect on the past 25 years.

InformationWeek Staff

October 17, 2004

1 Min Read

Edward M. Wisniewski, a consultant for EMW Associates, on the impact of punch card technology.

"Some time in 1979 I was presented with a few 10th anniversary rewards for my time spent with the same company doing computer work. Among the Gold Watch, Attache Case, and Pen and Pencil set my co-workers presented me with the most cherished gift of all...the Portable, Mobile, Data Entry Device which I have attached a picture of. The gift came complete with a Case, Data Entry Transactions(Cards), a Patch Kit to correct errors and an IBM 1403 Print Ribbon. This device was very use full if you were a Computer Operator at 2:00AM and you had a card jam on a long running job. It was also use full for making Patch cards for computer jobs that aborted in the middle of the night. I believe that the Punch Card Technology created the largest impact on the 20th Century in that it brought about major change in the Military, Telephony, Communications and general business environments. We are looking forward to the leap into the Wireless, RFID and technologies that will relieve us of the tedious tasks that were critical to the earlier technological successes."

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