IBM X-20-8020 Flowcharting Template

IBM X-20-8020 Flowcharting Template

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Usage conditions apply
This rectangular blue-green flowcharting templatet has a scale of inches divided to tenths at the top and a scale of inches divided to eighths at the bottom. Twenty-five holes representing various logical operations are cut in the plastic. A white paper sleeve has definitions of the symbols on it. The device is meant for use in conjunction with a worksheet with IBM number X20-8021. A mark on the object reads: IBM FLOWCHARTING TEMPLATE FORM X20-8020. A mark on the envelope reads in part: Have you considered using IBM’s System/360 Flowchart (/) Program? The IBM System/360 was announced in 1964 and sold from 1965. The donor of this template, Terry M. Sachs, was trained to program the IBM System/360.
IBM, IBM Data Processing Techniques - Flowcharting Techniques, White Plains, NY: IBM, ca 1963.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Logic Template
date made
ca 1965
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
paper (overall material)
overall:.2 cm x 9.3 cm x 25.4 cm; 3/32 in x 3 21/32 in x 10 in
ID Number
nonaccession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Terry M. Sachs
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Flowcharting Templates
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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I'm sure I am one of many who used these templates, both to do an initial design, and to document software after the fact. At one time, software programs were developed to analyze code and produce flowcharts after the fact, when there was no other documentation available. This form of documentation was better than nothing, but variable names were often limited in length in actual code, so that the resulting flowcharts did not provide any insight into what the variables meant. One of the challenges of flowcharting was figuring out how to show "go-to" statements, which might result in lines crossing, and also deciding what would logically fit on a page of documentation. Flowcharting with templates was pretty much a manual exercise, with minimal guidance/training on how to do it. I found it beneficial to look at the flowcharts created by someone who had done it well, and this was usually someone who also was a good designer. Overly complex flowcharts usually resulted from documenting code after the fact, OR from creating an unnecessarily complex design. New hires, as lowly persons in the organization, were often given the job of creating flowcharts after the fact to produce documentation

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