Data formats was Re: Rescue of data from Pioneer 10 & 11 tapes atJPL needed.Vintagecomputers slated for demolition.

Fred Cisin cisin at
Fri Jun 10 18:02:25 CDT 2005

On Fri, 10 Jun 2005, Nico de Jong wrote:
> >  Fred> I agree enthusiatically with Nico.  Although it MIGHT be
> >  Fred> difficult or "impossible" to "decode" the data, once the
> >  Fred> "indecipherable" data has been transferred to current media,
> >  Fred> then the whole issue of "obsolete, unobtainable hardware"
> >  Fred> becomes moot.
> > . . .
> > True.  Then it changes to "are hardware emulation and software
> > binaries available?"  The answer will vary depending on what system
> The question you pose is probably not relevant. My (mainframe) background is
> in commercial routines (invoicing, personel, stock, wages, ....) so if I had
> to rephrase the question, it would be something like "Is there (1) a Cobol
> (PL/I, RPG, ....) compiler available which is compatible with the source
> files I have on tape, and (2) does the compiler handle data structures (e.g.
> COMP-3) in the same way as the original compiler".

Even more moot.  Most of the work that we were doing at NASA was in
FORTRAN.  A FORTRAN compiler that runs on current machines is NOT
If the source code is available, then it can be used, NOT for compiling,
but for determining the structure of the data.  If the source code is NOT
available, then the structure of the data must be manually determined.

After that, new software can be written to work with it.

A REAL programmer can write a FORTRAN program in any language.

More information about the cctech mailing list