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To extract information mechanically it is first necessary to code 1 the information on the basic document 2. This process consists of the translation of the information into numerical form by means of code numbers 3. The key by which this information is translated is known as a coding scheme 4. Such a scheme limits possible sub-division of the data, but in the ultimate tabulation or breakdown certain codes may be shown in combination. A combination of individual codes may be called a classification 5 (cf. 130-7*) where the information is shown under certain heads 6 (cf. 110-2) or headings 6.
- 1. code n. — code v. — coder n'., one who codes.
There are four fundamental operations in mechanical tabulation. Punching 1 consists of the transfer of the information to a punched card 2 sometimes called a punch card 2. The information is shown on that card by punching a hole in a given position. Verification 3 is the process of checking the accuracy of the punching. Sorting 4 is the arrangement of cards in a certain order, and tabulation 5 consists of counting the cards or the information on them in certain groups and totalling 6 them in these groups. The mechanical tabulation of data is in process of very rapid development and new terms and operations are being introduced almost continuously. Thus mark sensing 7 is a process by which pencil marks on a document are automatically translated into punched holes on the same document. This operation has the effect of mechanizing the two manual processes of punching and verification.
- 3. verification n. — verify v. 5. tabulation n. — tabulate v.
The machines used in these operations are the punch 1, verifier 2, sorter 3 and tabulator 4. Other machines used in mechanical tabulation are the reproducer 5, which copies information from one punched card to another, the interpreter 6, which converts the information contained on the cards as punched holes into print on the card, and the collator 7, which is used for the comparison or merging of different packs of cards. The summary punch 8 is used for preparing cards, sometimes called summary cards 9, containing intermediate totals, which can then be used in later tabulations.
Adding machines 1 are used for the processes of addition and subtraction, the term calculating machine 2 being in general reserved for machines capable of performing also multiplication and division. Small calculating machines and adding machines are often referred to as desk machines 3, The multiplier 4 is a punched card machine, which performs certain calculations and punches the results on the cards containing the original data. Electronic computing 5 makes it possible to perform a large number of calculations within a very short space of time. The machines that do this are electronic computers 6.
- 3. nomography n., the part of mathematics dealing with the construction and use of nomograms.
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