Re: Stupid Ideas

Ernest Prabhakar (
Wed, 19 Aug 98 21:43:38 -0700

Um, I'm just barely old enough to remember punched cards, but
they're a heckuva lot larger than US dollar bills.

The reason for 80 columns is that it is the standard width of a
typewritten line, right? Perhaps including a little rounding and

-- Ernie P.

Begin forwarded message:

From: Dave Long <>
To: "''" <>
Subject: Re: Stupid Ideas
Date: Tue, 18 Aug 1998 17:55:54 -0700
X-UIDL: fc69333a192dfcc95b635080bce1ccf8

Nelson Minar wrote on 14/8/98 6:24:

>Anyway, I despair that we'll
>ever get rid of line oriented

Would plain-text be a better term? I'm replying to this mail from
a Palm III, and it's quite intelligible, despite the lines having
been wrapped to a 160 pixel screen.

>I know we have 80 column
>lines because punchcards
>were 80 columns. But why
>were punchcards that size?

The story I've heard is that punchcard form-factor was
backwards-compatible with US paper currency, for ease of storage.
Anyone with a punchcard care to do the experiment?

>While we're on this rant -
>what is *up* with VT100?

Don't forget that even VR environments and PDAs wind up with vt100
emu's; Diva, can you tell us what $ bills were compatible with?