IIRC, we had a card sorter that could read the card number as sort by that criterion. It would take a few passes to sort out a big stack...say ONE of those boxes.<quoted text>
Do you remember the boxes that the punch cards came in, those 12-14 inches deep boxes that held one hell of a lot of cards? I've seen applications and data for applications stored in several hundred of those boxes. Each card was numbered, but if you ever dropped a box, it took hours to reorder them. One old hand taught me the magic marker approach -- because sooner or later you would drop one, or just let it slide off the desk. The bad thing was if it happened to two of more boxes at once.
I found you have to comment the hell out of every program you write, regardless of language. Because even if 6 months passed, you wind up spending time trying to re-figure out your own logic, when a short comment would have saved you potentially hours. It's a lesson I hammer into my students.
BTW...I guess you were still scr#w#d if you dropped two boxes at once.
Re: comments. Yes that is true, but in Basic I could usually figure out what I was trying to do with minimal comments. C otoh, was notorious for being hard to decipher later on. My prof in C called it a "write only language"...even though he really liked programming in C.