Punch Cards (and Ladies)

One of my all time favorite computer history interviews. A recollection of punch card operations (Hollerith & IBM), which is as interesting for the story told as for the charming presentation: “Bubbles” Whiting in an interview by the The Centre for Computing History.

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Very good! Aside from the punched-card experiences (with the verifiers and the collators) we get to hear about the supervisor working on pegboard programming of a new IBM, about the telephonists giving elocution lessons to the young Cockney Bubbles, enabling her later to get receptionist job and to teach her own children to have ‘posh’ accents. Also we hear about a near-miss bomb explosion. And Bunny advises us all to keep an open mind, keep learning, and have an eye to the future when computers are going to be everywhere…