PURPOSE OF MECHANICAL DATA PROCESSING
During the 50s, mechanical data processing using punched cards was mainly used for statistics, accountance and gestion applications. The automation of office work found a very profitable and efficient solution in punched cards material. It consists in a range of machines working consecutively in a same workshop. Each machine is completely independant (except for a few ones that are connected, which we will discuss later). They all share those properties :
- Using a base document, punched card, well established and carefully verified, usable as much as needed. It is the hard memory of data understandable by the machines.
- Employing purely automatic procedures to do all the basic operations from this base document, and thus solve problems of all types.
- Depending on the machine :
- Organizing files for later treatment
- Adding intermediate result for final treatment
- Getting the final print (pay slip, stock index)
- Creating a summary card relucent of a given situation, in order to prepare a new cycle (daily, weekly, monthly). The purpose of this card will be later explained in the web page “The card file”