Tuesday, August 02, 2005

"How many punch cards per 3 minute MP3?" Blogger ypsidixit writes,
"Remember punch cards? I use them. Still got a box or two. Great for taking notes, they fit in VHS boxes for notes, I even print my business card on them. Sure makes people take note."

So begins a very interesting discussion on the Stilyagi discussion board.

"Our tool crib at Ford still used punch cards for inventory control until the early/mid 80s" says another person. "Just think of the concept--the data is made up out of thin air! The card is just there to organize the holes" notes another.

The posters figure out how many punch cards it'd take to read a 3-minute mp3. Answer?

"Assuming a non-Hollerith encoding with eight bits per column, and an MP3 file encoded at 128kbps CBR, there would be 36,864 cards in that deck, and the card reader would need a throughput of 205 cards per second. It might be wise to include an 8-column sequence number, however, so that a misordered deck can be repaired by a card sorter; with 72 data columns per card, the total is precisely 40,960 cards (40K cards), requiring a 228 card/second throughput."

The 21 boxes of cards needed would by 5 feet 9 inches tall.

That such a huge leap in technology is well within living memory astonishes Y.
(Via IPList.)