When was this written? It's describing a future world, but in terms based on the computing techniques of the '50s (or earlier). Early computers had to be programmed not interactively, with graphical user interfaces (as today) but by means of punched cards or paper tape [cards/tape with holes made in them/it]*. A computer programmer would write out a program in pencil, and give it to an operator to make the right holes, using a 'punch code'.
*That is why FF in most hexadecimal codes means 'delete' - the only way to overwrite a mistake was to punch two holes (which represented, in binary, 11111111). Find out more here ASCII - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Hexadecimal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and EBCDIC - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, and follow related links to find out more than anyone could reasonably want to know about the history of computing!
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