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This website is from 2008 and the information is most likely quite outdated.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

Paper Tape Fonts


By punching special bit patterns on paper tapes, you can "print" out text on paper tapes. The result can be used in a wide variety of ways, for example for labeling things, as unique souvenir or simply to label mass produced paper tapes.

Like ordinary computer fonts (e.g. True Type Fonts), there are also many different possibilities to "paint" letters and digits on paper tapes. We have implemented a couple of fonts as perl programs. They are called quite like

   $ ./ "Text we want to print out" > paper-tape.bin

Thus, they usually print out the generated bit patterns to stdout. Mass punching and labeling is therefore quite simple:

   $ ./ "File ABC on `date`" | cat - file.bin | ./punch

To simplify this process, various punching frontens already use the font generation programs internally.
By the way, the german word schrift simpy means font.

The PaperTapeFont C Library

The PaperTapeFont C library is a rather small pure C library that uses only basis libc functions (no dependency at all). It consists of an header file and a quite huge C file and has a pseudo object oriented approach, comparable to the LOCHSTREIFEN object in the visualisator subproject.
This library can handle Paper Tape Font files in a very powerful manner. These are some of the features:

Paper Tape Font command line interface

Furthermore, there's a very good documentated command line interface called ptfont with an excellence help system. Using this interface, you can create and modify any Paper Tape Font file, as well as render strings in good old Unix philosophy fashion.

Paper Tape Font Gtk+ interface

The GtkPaperTape widget features an implemented fully functional interface to the PaperTapeFont library where you can create and modify any paper tape font, as well as (of course) generate texts in any paper tape font.

Paper Tape Font files

I've written a manual (or specification) how to use and write Paper Tape Font files.