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Legacy Storage Centre

A centre with every known legacy storage device reader
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As the information age marches on, we are increasingly faced with the problem of effective data loss through inaccessibility of old storage formats. In future, a potential worry is the digital photo - many of these will languish on CDROMs without ever being printed.

A centre could be created with rooms of old storage format readers, hooked up to modern computers running "virtual machines" - simulators of old mainframes and other legacy devices. These computers might run old programs on those early 80s "cake tin" hard drives, 8" floppy disks, even card readers. Others could read microfiche, 8-track tapes, and 78rpm records. The most popularly-accessed device would probably be the VCR simulator.

The user would have the option to copy to the latest format (together with a copy of the appropriate virtual machine software to run at home, if necessary).

April 30, 2015. "The Legacy Storage Centre, in response to increasing demand, has installed three more DVD readers. We continue to urge members of the public to transfer their precious material to the latest format at their earliest convenience, and to use our service as a last resort."

Adze, Apr 30 2005

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       I'm surprised there isn't a (well funded) "museum of data storage technology" or something along those lions (there probably is, and I've not found it despite not looking).
Ian Tindale, Apr 30 2005
  

       //Chunky IBM HDs//   

       I know what you mean, [Pa`ve] - when I entered the workforce, our office still had a SCADA system running on an ICL ME 29, which had 80Mb platters. I saw one which had suffered a HD crash - boy, it was the real deal in those days.
Adze, Apr 30 2005
  

       A very good idea but it would almost certainly be opposed on principal by the DRM crowd.
stilgar, May 30 2006
  

       The formats we're looking at here mostly predate DRM
BunsenHoneydew, Apr 02 2007
  

       Finally somewhere I can go to transfer my thousands of punch-cards onto Betamax.
rodti, Apr 06 2007
  

       Most banks have one of these. Often several. They need to have occasional access to old data, so the old machine just gets stuffed in a corner.
Galbinus_Caeli, Apr 06 2007
  

       [BunsenHoneydew] The formats that this would help with today predate DRM but 2015's DVD players wouldn't. The DRM crew would prorably try to step on this before it affected them.
stilgar, Apr 11 2007
  

       Just made some 78RPM to wav transfers for archiving purposes. It's hard to automate that sort of thing because you get into the realm of tweaking a turntable for specific discs and the following restoration is an art that requires subjective trade-offs - hiss vs. high end clarity is the most common. For digital stuff this would be good.
wagster, Apr 11 2007
  

       I have an 8" floppy disk somewhere. I gave it to my boss one day and said "Here's your monthly backup file. It's getting too big to fit on a regular floppy."
phundug, Apr 11 2007
  

       How would as scheme such as this cope with backing up a CD-Video without re- digitising the analogue video first?
Ian Tindale, May 11 2016
  

       I will bun this only if it includes a quipu reader.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 11 2016
  

       the local computer museum, has a service like this they say they can get formats form old Apple, Atari, Amiga, Commodore, Macintosh, Radio Shack, IMSAI, IBM, Next, Mattel, Timex,Xerox, along with pc standard of all floppies zip, hard drives,etc and then can ether rom image or convert them and get them on usb.
dev45, May 12 2016
  

       "local" where?
notexactly, May 20 2016
  

       [dev45] created an account in October of 2006, has annotated on approximately 93 ideas, and has one idea posted.   

       Welcome back, [dev45].
normzone, May 20 2016
  

       //"local" where?//   

       Try the newsgroup alt.folklore.computers . Several computer museum types hang out there.   

       Current threads include "How to kill a chicken with a computer", started in 1975.
FlyingToaster, May 20 2016
  


 

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