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
$ ./schrift.pl "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:
$ ./schrift.pl "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:
- Quick and small: Only one small C program, runs very fast due to basic string operations (nothing regex like)
- Can load and save paper tape files
- Can change paper tape files quickly
- Can render any strings quickly
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.