On Thu, 26 Feb 2004, H. S. Lahman wrote:

> FYI, paper tape preceded punched cards and plug boards preceded paper 
> tape.  By the time punched cards arrived on the scene there had already 
> been a lot of automation in the form of loaders, linkers, and Assembly 
> compilers.  In the Plug Board Era software was quite literally an 
> extension of the hardware.  One "wrote" a program by using a jumper to a 
> power rail to selectively turn on/off the grid in triode tubes.

Errrr, punch cards were used for 1890 census.
 
-- Matt
Attitude:  The difference between ordeal and adventure