A brief history of computer displays

From blinking lights and punch cards to LCDs and 3D flat panels, we trace the 70-year history of the tech that users rely on to see what a computer is doing.

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Decoding Paper Tape

As an alternative to punched cards, many early computers used long rolls of paper tape punched in a pattern that represented a computer program. Many of those same computers also punched the program results onto the same type of paper tape. An operator then ran the tape through a machine like the one shown here, and the electric typewriter automatically typed the computer output in human-readable form (numerals and letters) onto larger rolls of paper.

Photos: Ed Bilodeau, Creed & Company

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A brief history of computer displays

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