This picture shows both an 80 column "punch" card and the smaller, 96 column card used on the System/3. The diskette is included to indicate the size.
This is a card gauge. It was used to test the registration of the punched holes in a card. On a properly punched card, placed over the gauge, the black squares would be visible through the punches. If the registration was off you would see the some of the metal area of the gauge. Most likely the cards would not be able to be read at all, or al least not on a different machine.
Beginning with the introduction of the Model 8, data could be keyed and stored to a floppy disk. You may recall that PCs used a 5 1/4 inch floppy disk a few years ago, but this one was larger - 8 inches. Data was keyed offline on a 3741 Data Station which wrote to the diskette. The 3741 was also cabled to the System/3 for use as an online input/output device.
This is a line art drawing used throughout the Model 12 Operator's Guide (IBM publication GC21-5144-0 March 1976)
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