paper tape

(also punched paper tape, punched tape), n.ComputingA continuous ribbon of paper with parallel rows of holes punched across the short dimension to encode binary data for Teletypes and computers.


Paper tape was used with Teletype and Telex machines to create messages. After a connection to another device was established, the tape was read and transmitted at the maximum rate to reduce connection time. It was also used by early computers to create, enter, and store information in a reliable, machine-readable format. Early tapes used a five-bit Baudot code, while later tapes used seven-bit ASCII with an eighth bit for parity checking.