The Punched Paper Project website has moved.

This website is from 2008 and the information is most likely quite outdated. Please see the technikum29 Labs for the new website. You might also want to check the technikum29 Computer Museum main website.
-- Sven, July 2013

Welcome to the Punched Paper Project

The goal of this project is to process obsolete storage media like paper tapes and punch cards with today's computers on common platforms like GNU/Linux and Microsoft Windows.


At first you should know that there's a german computer museum, technikum29, which has very old computer equipment that still runs. Many computers exclusively use paper tapes or punch cards as storage media. So we've got lot's of devices around that want to be fed with data and programs. Now if you can write your programs at today's PCs and simply "print" them out on paper tapes, that's really practical. The same is for reading in paper tapes into ordinary files on computers. By this way, you can send the contents of paper tapes around the world via e-mail :-)

Can I use it?

Short answer: Yes, you can! Simply check out svn://, compile the source code and run it.

Long answer: The quality differs from subproject to subproject, and there may be programs that won't run on your platform or which are very buggy. Take in mind that the drivers are – of course – specific to the devices, you can't simply plug any paper tape device on your computer and think it would run with our drivers.

Simply browse throught the documentation on this homepage and get an idea of what this project is about.

What's about the name?

This project started as Paper Tape Project in 2008. In 2009, we got the idea to make punch card devices run at computers, too. So I've renamed the whole project to Punched Paper Project

Flying paper tape

The Paper Tape Project

The big final aim of the Paper Tape Project is to provide a complete program suite for viewing, editing, comparing, punching and reading in paper tapes on computers. The project has started with user space drivers that make PCs capable to communicate with paper tape readers and writers under various operating systems (GNU/Linux, Microsoft Windows). Then I've written visualizing tools, using Cairo and GTK+. Afterwards I've written utilities to punch rendered text in various fonts on paper tapes. The final project is written in C++ and gtkmm.

Who's running the project

The Punched Paper Project is an Open Source project, hosted on the servers of the german techniku29 museum of calculator, computer and communication technology. There's currently one active developer and the project is in Development state (not mature at all).

Feel free to contact me for any purpose via E-Mail at sven at or by using the form mailer at the technikum29 foreign correspondence (these mails go to the same target address)

See sven.kö for further details.