Line printer art: (was Re: tape baking)

Al Kossow aek at bitsavers.org
Fri Jul 7 14:46:45 CDT 2017



On 7/7/17 12:28 PM, Chuck Guzis via cctalk wrote:

> It brings up another aspect.   I've done a batch of tapes that had
> nothing more that the originator's name and an inventory number.   Upon
> recovering data, the customer had no idea what it meant or how it was
> created or even the system used to create it.

> 
> We're coming onto the "Linear B" era in computing I think, where
> knowledge is passing out of human memory. 
We have a VERY large collection of paper tapes from Whirlwind. They have
nice numbers on the outside of the boxes. We have no catalog. The best I've
been able to do is piece together a guess as to what non-secret projects they
were associated with based on the periodic MIT project reports. What is data
and what are programs, who knows? oh.. and they were stored in a basement and
the boxes are moldy.

There is a water mark where if something isn't of value enough to someone
to save and continue to pay for its preservation, it's dumpstered. While
it is nice to say things need to be preserved, if there isn't manpower or
space it won't be.

It is literally "you can't save everything, where would you put it?"

You can be completely buried by piles of unknown data on magnetic media.



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