Lady searching for error on code listing continuous form paper

I found this funny photo during research for the IBM 160x machines. I didn’t remember where, but now found this again on pinterest by a rather short search.

Text on pinterest:
MoMA | Interactives | Exhibitions | 2010 | Henri Cartier-Bresson

Pre-PC era; Bankers Trust, New York 1960. That huge sheet of paper the girl is pouring over is a computer print out. There were computers then. Just not the small PC’s. Computers were immense machines occupying huge climate controlled rooms.

Not sure what is on the printout. I assume a code listing and searching for errors.
I used to do this in the 80s.
Some companies had this in the 90s and maybe later. Often with noise reduction acrylic case.
I wonder who still using that kind of printers and papers.

Also funny finding something in this round cabinets

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I hope that’s not a printout on a Möbius strip…

I did buy a dot matrix printer back in the day. Somehow I thought it was essential equipment if I wanted to program. Or perhaps I thought the lack of a printer was a reason for my doing so very little programming. Turns out it’s just that I’m a world class procrastinator.


It could be a code listing, but I would guess something like accounting data instead.

Agreed - that’s an adding machine on the desk.

If the developer’s contract was based on line of code written, maybe she’s counting the number of lines to determine how much he should be paid. :slight_smile:

I guess, this is more like a paper copy from a data entry process: (a) it’s all tabular data, (b) it’s not fan-fold paper, as we would expect it for a line printer output, but from a roll of endless paper, (c) mind the huge gap in the printout, while this is not paginated print (which may suggest some kind of semi-manual process). She also appears to be interested just in the second column from the right. (This reminds me personally of how you would check collected data, or how you would proceed, if you wanted to understand the data. She doesn’t appear to be in any stress, though, which may suggest the latter. E.g., “1.42 million representational expenses, just for last month, how did this happen?”)