This post lists some best free virtual punch cards generator websites. Here these websites take a text or a piece of code from you and then you can generate a virtual punch card of that and save it on your PC. These websites use a some punch card formats and you can use them. However, most of these websites can only generate a card that you can use in your projects or use that to make an illustration. You cannot use most of these websites to read back the cards that they have generated for. Only the first website that I have added in this post can read the punch cards that it has generated and can even execute the code.
In earlier days before the VLSI era, computer storage devices were very costly and used to have a limited space. Also, the portability was a challenge because of no pen drives to external storage devices. The max storage was used to be 1 MB or 2 MB and so storing a piece of code was not really efficient in those devices. To deal with this, the concept of punch cards came into the existence. Punch cards are manually created paper cards that store a text or program with the combination of holes(punches). There are various of standard to create punch cards to enter the data.
Punch cads provide portability. A program can easily be crafted into a punch cards and can be used on any computer that supports reading punch cards. Punch cards can store a lot of data and very long code segments can be broken down into multiple punch cards. It may sound complicated or even a little funny but this was the best technique in its time. And if you want to see how a punch card looks or works then here I have mentioned some websites that will help you generate one.
3 Free Online Virtual Punch Card Generator Websites:
Card Read-Punch by Masswerk
Card Read-Punch by Masswerk is one of the best free websites in this list that you can use to generate a punch card for different programming languages that you can use. All you have to do here is enter a piece of code and then it will convert that to virtual punch card as PNG images that you can download as ZIP files on your PC. This is a simple and powerful website to generate virtual punch cards. Not only this but later you can upload those cards on the same website to read the code from those punch cards and even run that code with ease.
Here this website uses IBM 029 / EBCD charset for generating the punch cards. And currently, it supports Python, COBOL, Perl, FORTRAN like languages yo generate the punch cards. In a few clicks, you can get the virtual cards deck and then use that in the way you want. This website does supports reading virtual cards but only the ones that it generates. I tried using the punch cards by other websites here and it couldn’t read them.
Getting started with Card Read-Punch is very simple. Here you can use this website without creating any account or sign up. On the main page of the website, there is an option to either read punch cards or create new. To generate a card, you simply choose the “Punch” option and it will take you to the next page where you have to enter a code snippet for which you want to generate the punch cards. Next, you just hit the “Punch Stack” option and then simply download all the generated cards in a ZIP file. You can also see the preview of the cards on the website too.
Cardpunch by KOTH.net
Cardpunch by KOTH.net is another free website that you can use to generate a punch card with ease. Here all you have to do is just enter a piece of text or short programming code to get the punch card. Here this website can only generate one punch card at a time and then lets you download that in PNG format. It does supports different standard for generating the punch cards that you can choose just before generating one.
Just like the website I mentioned before, here you don’t have to go through a sign up or registration process in order to generate a punch card. You just use the above link and then you can simple proceed with the generation process. It supports standards like DEC-029, IBM-029, IBM-026comm, IBM-026fort, IBM-EBCDIC. Not only this but you can even specify color of the card and format of the virtual card that it will generate for you.
Punch Card Creator App
This is basically an open source project(homepage) that I found on GitHub that you can use to generate simple punch cards. Here this is a pretty straightforward online tool that you can use. You just enter the text or code for which you want to generate a punch card and then simply get that. It even has a very simple interface that you would like to generate a punch card in just a few seconds. Just like other tools in this list, here you don’t have to create any account.
Just access this tool from the above URL and after reaching the main website, you simply enter the text or code for which you want to generate a punch card. To see the final punch card that it generates for you, just hit the “Create Punch Card” button and it will reveal the cad to you. You can use the right click on the images to save it as a PNG file. This is how this works and additionally there are some other details mentioned on the website that you are free to go through.
These are only free virtual punch card generator websites that I could find. You can use any website that I have mentioned here to quickly generate virtual cards for any piece of text or code. Personally, I will recommend you to go with the Card Read-Punch by Masswerk. If you want simple ones then you can go with others that I have mentioned in my post.