Repairing the card reader for a 1960s mainframe: cams, relays and a clutch

Ken Shirriff writes: I recently helped repair the card reader for the Computer History Museum’s vintage IBM 1401 mainframe. In the process, I learned a lot about the archaic but interesting electromechanical systems used in the card reader. Most of the card reader is mechanical, with belts, gears, and clutches controlling the movement of cards […]

FareBot: Read data from public transit cards with your NFC-equipped Android phone

When he heard that the Nexus S would include a built-in NFC radio, Eric Butler immediately started thinking about the potential of using cell phones with RFID to hack public transit fare systems. When the Gingerbread source code was released, he picked up a Nexus S and began working on a proof-of-concept application that could […]