Archival preservation of software

Gordon JC Pearce gordonjcp at
Sun Oct 21 05:21:26 CDT 2007

On Sat, 2007-10-20 at 19:52 -0700, Al Kossow wrote:
> > Yep, went through that at the museum because some people were advocating
>  > putting media on the archive shelves - but it's not an idea I'm a fan off; the
>  > stuff's just too prone to damage and decay.
> Unless you recover the data, what you have is a physical artifact of a magnetic
> storage medium. There is absolutely no way to say what, in fact, is even on it
> until you read it. Bits aren't preserved if they exist on only one physical medium,
> which you may not be able to recover in the future.

Just on that note, there's a problem I've been struggling with for a
while.  I'm trying to capture disk images for an Ensoniq Mirage sampler,
which uses a slightly odd format - five sectors of 1024 bytes followed
by one sector of 512 bytes.

I can read the disks with piece of software intended for a similar piece
of equipment, I ought to be able to write them but haven't tested this,
but I can't format them.

Now at the moment this isn't a huge problem, because I've got working
formatter disks for the Mirage - you boot up the appropriate disk, stick
a blank in, and it will format it.  However, to write to the disk you
need to have a format on it in the first place, so you can't write a
formatter disk without having a formatted disk... Chicken and egg.


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