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NASA's Epic Fail: Dust Data Tapes

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  • NASA's Epic Fail: Dust Data Tapes

    http://www.computerworld.com/action/...ource=rss_news

    So NASA has it's hands full because it has to recover data off of some data tapes from the 1960s that stored data on "mood dust". This info is needed to help them build a moon base in the next decade or so. They know mood dust can be corrosive and abrasive, so it poses a danger to their moonbase project.

    They need a working IBM 729 Mark V tape drive. Although they have a 729 already, it does not work so they're basically screwed.
    |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
    TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
    Former 9th & 13th

    Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
    Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





    SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

    TG Primer and Rules

  • #2
    Re: NASA's Epic Fail: Dust Data Tapes

    Good luck fixing that piece NASA :D
    You'd think that they would keep updating the information to the newer forms of storage but I guess they don't...

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: NASA's Epic Fail: Dust Data Tapes

      They were going to, but they were transporting the data tapes to a storage facility when the "lost" them. Their plan was to store them and then retrieve them for transferring the data to a better storage medium later. Unfortunately, they misplaced those tapes and now they're working from University of Sydney's backups. :icon_lol:
      |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
      TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
      Former 9th & 13th

      Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
      Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





      SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

      TG Primer and Rules

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: NASA's Epic Fail: Dust Data Tapes

        This is also why you shouldn't keep public documents in proprietary formats (like non-XML versions of Office). If you can't recreate the document using open source software, it's not fit to be a "public" document.

        How much public data is tied up in old formats on old media that require one to bring up some computer dinosaur to use?
        Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

        snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

        Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: NASA's Epic Fail: Dust Data Tapes

          Nothing beats the ol' dead tree for archival purposes.
          "No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country.
          He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."

          - Attributed to General George Patton, Jr.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: NASA's Epic Fail: Dust Data Tapes

            I remember hearing that the national archives keeps old equipment just for these types of problems.
            Retired 6th DB

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: NASA's Epic Fail: Dust Data Tapes

              Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
              This is also why you shouldn't keep public documents in proprietary formats (like non-XML versions of Office). If you can't recreate the document using open source software, it's not fit to be a "public" document.

              How much public data is tied up in old formats on old media that require one to bring up some computer dinosaur to use?
              Hmm, so what happens when several hundreds of years from now we don't have any "computers" that can read text or XML documents?

              What then?

              Also I'm not too sure about "open source" formats either. *scratches out blurb about OO since those files can be opened as XML*

              I think the best bet is to transfer the data into the most current and popular format every so often when it is necessary to.
              |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
              TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
              Former 9th & 13th

              Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
              Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





              SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

              TG Primer and Rules

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: NASA's Epic Fail: Dust Data Tapes

                looks like a intern needs to copy all of that stuff to a new system of storing

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: NASA's Epic Fail: Dust Data Tapes

                  Originally posted by TopGun View Post
                  looks like a intern needs to copy all of that stuff to a new system of storing
                  That's the problem. They can't read it right now.

                  Maybe someone here at TG has one of those IBM machines in working condition?

                  (That person could get a pretty penny from NASA in return.)
                  |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                  TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                  Former 9th & 13th

                  Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                  Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                  SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                  TG Primer and Rules

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: NASA's Epic Fail: Dust Data Tapes

                    There's actually two different issues, hardware and software. Back in the day, there wasn't an Internet with near-infinite storage to put those files on. (There was an Internet, but no Google or Wayback machine to archive stuff and keep it backed up in multiple machines under different authorities.) So getting the data off the media is the first hurdle.

                    But contemporary data has the second problem. Proprietary formats that require proprietary software to read. The issue isn't whether future software will support it, but whether it can support it. Are the standards for the format public? Is there an open source reference implementation that can read the files? (The problem with the MS XML "standard" was that it had some proprietary tags that were only understood by proprietary MS software (ie. MS Office). It was the equivalent of writing "here there be dragons". Hardly something you want in a standard.)
                    Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                    snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                    Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: NASA's Epic Fail: Dust Data Tapes

                      Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
                      There's actually two different issues, hardware and software. Back in the day, there wasn't an Internet with near-infinite storage to put those files on. (There was an Internet, but no Google or Wayback machine to archive stuff and keep it backed up in multiple machines under different authorities.) So getting the data off the media is the first hurdle.

                      But contemporary data has the second problem. Proprietary formats that require proprietary software to read. The issue isn't whether future software will support it, but whether it can support it. Are the standards for the format public? Is there an open source reference implementation that can read the files? (The problem with the MS XML "standard" was that it had some proprietary tags that were only understood by proprietary MS software (ie. MS Office). It was the equivalent of writing "here there be dragons". Hardly something you want in a standard.)
                      I understand and understood what you meant in your last post. :)

                      I always figured if you kept the data in a format that that data should be copied over and such as the old format it's one becomes more dated (or the equipement/software to read it is about to go poof).

                      Anyways, NASA already knows that, but why it waited some 40 years to begin putting that data into a better format/solution is where it gets me. Why wait so long if the data was so historic and crucial?
                      |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                      TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                      Former 9th & 13th

                      Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                      Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                      SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                      TG Primer and Rules

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: NASA's Epic Fail: Dust Data Tapes

                        For one thing, NASA, in spite of its noble science appearance, is still a government bureacracy. Think of it as the interplanetary DMV.

                        For another, how much old data do you have that's likely degrading for lack of media update? In particular, think of any family movies on VHS tape, or photos on floppies. I'm sure I've got some family movies buried in drawers somewhere that badly need to be migrated to DVD. And then, 10 years from now, to the media du jour. Terminator head chips, maybe.
                        Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                        snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                        Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: NASA's Epic Fail: Dust Data Tapes

                          Even though I am a modern age person that loves technology.... I still think paper is a great storage device for a lot of things ;)

                          Sure, it can be destroyed, but no media is infinate. CDs and such break down and loose data eventually, and are also easy to destroy.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: NASA's Epic Fail: Dust Data Tapes

                            Originally posted by shadow85 View Post
                            Even though I am a modern age person that loves technology.... I still think paper is a great storage device for a lot of things ;)

                            Sure, it can be destroyed, but no media is infinate. CDs and such break down and loose data eventually, and are also easy to destroy.
                            Micro-etched metal, or, better yet, Macro-etched stone.

                            http://blog.longnow.org/2008/11/03/m...micro-etching/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: NASA's Epic Fail: Dust Data Tapes

                              Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
                              For one thing, NASA, in spite of its noble science appearance, is still a government bureacracy. Think of it as the interplanetary DMV.

                              For another, how much old data do you have that's likely degrading for lack of media update? In particular, think of any family movies on VHS tape, or photos on floppies. I'm sure I've got some family movies buried in drawers somewhere that badly need to be migrated to DVD. And then, 10 years from now, to the media du jour. Terminator head chips, maybe.
                              :icon_lol:

                              Talking about old stuff that needs to get migrated to a new format: LP45s!

                              I still haven't bought that USB turntable to convert his LP collection to MP3s and WAVs yet.

                              For the most part, we've migrated most of our VHS collection to DVDs. Just some stuff like Charlie Chaplain we didn't bother with since the tapes were only played once or twice.
                              |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                              TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                              Former 9th & 13th

                              Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                              Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                              SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                              TG Primer and Rules

                              Comment

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