Depressing article

Toby Thain toby at
Fri Jul 14 10:37:41 CDT 2017

On 2017-07-14 11:13 AM, Doug Ingraham via cctalk wrote:
> The amount of data stored on 325 tapes would have been at most 58.5
> gigabytes assuming 6250 encoding and single records over the length of the
> tape.  Given the time frame I would guess that these were probably only 800
> bpi and thus the max would have been 7.5 gigabytes.  And probably at most
> half of that even assuming full tapes due to small records and all the
> inter record gaps.  After applying modern compression techniques we are
> looking at less than a gig of data.  You probably can't find any cute cat
> videos on You tube that take that little of space.
> What is sad is that some minor functionary was allowed to make the
> recommendation to destroy this.

Calculations of how much storage would be required aren't of much 
interest if the data itself isn't safely or cost effectively recoverable.

The fault here isn't with NASA -- it's that few of us are able to store 
artefacts in suitable conditions, have means or time to properly process 
or archive or publish them, or have succession plans for what's in our 
basements. Of course, relatives (if any) eventually have to deal with 
them at the worst moment, generally without means, context, or time.


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