The Virtual Keypunch – Make Your Personal Punch Card

About

Type and download your personal punch cards — the Web2.0 of “big iron” age!

“The Virtual Keypunch” is a free service related to Google60 – Search Mad Men Style.
Get yourself a “real business” card, or even print gift-cards for your geeky friends.

New: Scan and parse a card-image at The Virtual Card Reader!

All scripts and images © 2012 N. Landsteiner, mass:werk – media environments, www.masswerk.at.

Ingredients

•  JavaScript, html5, CSS, hand-crafted bytes & pixels
•  Font-images based on “M+ M Type-1 Regular” font by the M+ Fonts Project – <mplus-fonts.sourceforge.jp>
•  The splash-screen utilizes a photo by Marcin Wichary– <www.aresluna.org>

Usage

Just type your text and hit the “enter” key to get your personal punch card for free.
Please mind that only the limited character-set of an original keypunch (type IBM 029) is supported. All other characters will be automatically translated to the most related character available. (Sorry, only western/latin characters are supported.)

!"#$%&'()*+,-./0123456789:;&lz;=>?@ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ_|¢¬

The page fades from the splash-screen some seconds after loading. You may return to the splash-screen by clicking the logo at the very top.

Requirements: Any browser supporting the html5-canvas-element.

Multiple Punches / Overpunching:
Press the “MULT PCH” key (keyboard equivalent: ESC) to enter multiple-punch-mode.
Now enter any number keys (09) for the regarding rows, or the hyphen (-) for row 11, or the ampersand (&) for row 12. (Rows 11 and 12 are located between the printing zone at the very top and row 0; see the illustration below.)
Release “MULT PCH” to advance to the next column.

Note: Using the virtual keyboard you may also use ":" for "&" in “MULT PCH”-mode, so all zones may be addressed by the first row of keys without any modifiers.

Punch Card Zones and the IBM 029 Code (“Hollerith Code”):
(use "&" – "9" for multiple-punch-mode)

__________________________________________________________________ /&-0123456789 ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQR/STUVWXYZ ¢.<(+|!$*);¬,%_>?:#@'=" 12 Y / x xxxxxxxxx xxxxxx 11 X| x xxxxxxxxx xxxxxx 0| x xxxxxxxxx xxxxx 1| x x x x 2| x x x x x x x 3| x x x x x x x x 4| x x x x x x x x 5| x x x x x x x x 6| x x x x x x x x 7| x x x x x x x x 8| x x x x xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 9| x x x x |_____________________________________________________________________ Blank/Space is an empty column. For IBM/360 column binary format equivalents see below.  

URL-parameters:
•  q=<text> – the card will be automatically punched with the given text.
•  t=<text> – synonym for parmeter “q”.
E.g., Get Don Draper's card by this link.
•  b=<base64-encoded-text> – optionally the text may be base64-encoded in order to not disclose the message early.
This method is used by “The Virtual Keypunch” for its forward-links.

Note: The “MULT PCH” key is represented internally by the form-feed-character (ASCII 12, URI-escaped %0C).

•  Any URL ("www...", "http://...") detected in the text will be presented as a separate link in the resulting dialog. Therefor a link to a card may be used to foward a URL. Case will be preserved in linked cards in order to provide working URLs, even if the text will be printed upper-case only. (If a URL is found to be all upper-case, it will be transformed to its lower-case equivalent.)

•  Also, an e-mail-address and/or Twitter-name in the text will be presented as a mailto-link or a link to the regarding Twitter-profile respectively. So you may provide a link to an entire v-card with working links.

•  A search-link to Google60 will be generated for any text prefixed by "SEARCH", or "SEARCHDATA", or "SEARCHTERM", followed by ">", ">>", a colon (":"), and/or any number of spaces/blanks.

•  You may also print a lace card with: www.masswerk.at/keypunch/?q=*lace
(Mind the leading asterisk! Synonyms: *whoopee, *doily. If you don't know what a lace card is, use the search to learn more about it.)

Advanced Usage

•  IBM/360 Column Binary Format
“The Virtual Keypunch” supports the IBM/360 column binary format in both LittleEndian (standard) and BigEndian byte-order, for manual input and when when called with a URL-parameter as well.

The IBM/360 column binary format uses 2 bytes to represent 12 bits to be printed in a vertical column of the card. The following table gives the encoding scheme for the bytes as they appear in reading direction in LittleEndian-order:

________Byte 1________ ________Byte 2________ Position/row: J K Y X 0 1 2 3 L M 4 5 6 7 8 9 Punches: * * * * * * * * * * * * Bit number: 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Dec value: 32 16 8 4 2 1 32 16 8 4 2 1 Hex value: 20 10 8 4 2 1 20 10 8 4 2 1

Note: Rows J, K, L, and M are ignored, rows X and Y are also known as rows 11 and 12 and located between the printing zone at the very top and row 0 (see row numbers on the card). Binary 0 is a blank column.

•  Binary Mode By Manual Input:
Press the “BINARY” key on the visual keyboard or hit the backslash-key (\) on your keyboard. Enter a 4-digits hexadecimal number for the pattern to be punched and confirm the dialog either by hitting “Enter” or by pressing the button “Enter”. Please mind that only valid hexdecimal numbers are accepted, the Virtual Keypunch will issue a “bing” otherwise.

•  Binary Mode With URL-Parameters:
(Use "q" or "t" for plain-text, "b" for base64-encoded input, see above).
The backslash character ("\", URI-escaped %5C) is used to switch from character mode (default) to binary and back again. To indicate BigEndian byte-order (“swapped binary”), this must be followed by an ampersand ("&", URI-escaped %26).
The binary part itself must consist of a stream of words of 4 hex characters representing a 2-byte number each, any white-space is ignored.

Example: The following will make a nice gift card  (URI-encoded, white-space added for clarity):
%5C ("\") => switch to binary
0004 0004 0014 0014 021C 023C 033D 173D
3F3F 173D 033D 023C 021C 001C 0014 0014
0004 0004
%5C ("\") => switch back to character-mode ("+" = space, alt.: %20)
+++++++****+SEASON+GREETINGS+2012!+****

Notes

Please note that “The Virtual Keypunch” does not replicate the keyboard of an original keypunch and its specific operations but rather uses the keyboard layout of a teletype.
For a detailed description of a real keypunch see the manuals below.

Further Reference

For operations and usage of the IBM Model 29 and the IBM Model 129 keypunchs see the following manuals:

•  IBM 29 Card Punch / Reference Manual (GA24-3332-6) – (PDF, 8.5 MB)
•  IBM 129 Card Data Recorder / Operator's Reference Manual (GA22-6968-0) – (PDF, 10.7 MB)
•  IBM 129 Card Data Recorder / Machine Description (GA22-6980-1) – (PDF, 2.4 MB)

For a quick overview see also:
•  The Compleat Idiot's Guide to the IBM Model 29 Keypunch – (external website)

Related

•  “Google60 – Search Mad Men Style” – <www.masswerk.at/google60>
•  “The Virtual Card Reader” – revert punch cards to text – <www.masswerk.at/cardreader>
•  Visit Marcin Wichary's photostream on Flickr for great photos and some of the best images on computer history.

Legal

Copyright 2012 Norbert Landsteiner, mass:werk – media environments.
All rights reserved. No copying, no unauthorized providing or hosting.

<www.masswerk.at>