The recent Supercon 6 badge, if you haven’t seen it, was an old-fashioned type computer with a blinky light front panel. It was reminiscent of an Altair 8800, a PDP-11, or DG Nova. However, even back in the day, only a few people really programmed a computer with switches. Typically, you might use the switches to toggle in a first-level bootloader that would then load a better bootloader from some kind of storage like magnetic or paper tape. Most people didn’t really use the switches.
What most people did do, however, was punch cards. Technically, Hollerith cards, although we mostly just called them cards, punched cards, or IBM cards. There were a lot of different machines you…
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