<hardware, history> Punched paper tape.
An early input/output
and storage medium borrowed from telegraph and teletype
Data entered at the keyboard of the teletype could be directed to a perforator or punch which punched a pattern of holes across the width of a paper tape to represent the characters typed.
The paper tape could be read by a tape reader feeding the computer.
Computer output could be similarly punched onto tape and printed off-line.
As well as storage of the program and data, use of paper tape enabled batch processing
The first units had five data hole positions plus a sprocket hole (for the driving wheel) across the width of the tape. These used commercial telegraph code (ITA2 also known as Murray), Baudot code
, or proprietary codes such as Elliott which were more programmer-friendly.
Later systems had eight data holes and used ASCII