A homebrew optical reader for proper paper tapes (7 bits, parity, sprocket holes) relating to the UK’s “ICL-CES: Computer Education in Schools” programme:
A nice stack of classic books used to prop up the reader too…
(BCPL, by Richards and Whitby-Strevens; Assembly Language Programming and the I.B.M. 360 and 370 Computers by Walter Rudd; 68000 Assembly Language Programming by Lance Leventhal. And a DEC book.)
which drew this response which links to
Trammell Hudson’s Papertapes
The DEC book is the VAX Hardware Handbook 1982-3
Hee hee thanks! Lots of good things on your site there.
This thread is why I stumbled across this forum!
I actually have an old paper tape from my High School days. I know it it is a RSTS/E Basic Plus program. I wrote a little C program where I could enter the binary from the holes and print out the contents in ASCII. I did enough by hand to see it starts at line 1000 and has a print statement. (I’m not going to hand decode the whole thing!)
I’m looking for someone with a tape reader that would be willing to read it and send me a transcript of what’s on the tape. I’m not emotionally invested enough to want to build an actual reader. I am willing to pay for postage both ways, however.
I like to keep the correspondence within the US, for time and cost. If anyone is interested in ding this, let me know!
If it is 1" paper tape (like the pink tape in the lead image), I can read it and would be happy to read it for you.
Well done for keeping hold of that tape! For a while I too had a tape from my schooldays but somehow I don’t have it anymore.
If it’s not terribly long, I’d recommend taking a movie of it - preferably at 4x frame rate- just by pulling it past the field of view of a phone or camera. That can act as a backup. I bet there are people who’d help in transcribing it if need be.
But @elb’s offer is excellent!
cool! what do I need to do to make this happen?
it’s a 1" tape
Sadly, at one time I had a shoebox full of tapes from my H.S. days, but they didn’t survive the many moves and purges of old stuff.
(Sorting via private message!)
I have a copy of the Hitchhikers Guide to VMS, one of the greatest Manuals for the VAX ever written.
Thank you for reading the tape. This is awesome!