Seen on RISKS-L

From: William Donzelli <>
Date: Thu Mar 7 18:25:24 2002

> Depends upon how you define mission. I have NASA data that doesn't
> appear anywhere except in my possession. Not that it would be of much
> interest.

I do not know how to define it - I would have to ask my source. Certainly
it means the spaceshots and the probes.
> The "forgotten file format" problem I'm recalling is actually a forgotten
> record encoding problem that exists with some data stored on mylar (IIRC) punch
> tape. The data exists and is readable, but how to convert it into something
> physically meaningful has been lost.

Well, I could believe that some high level data formatting might have
faded into obscurity (damn programmers not leaving comments in their
code!), but as far as the raw data - that is available,
even the boring parts.

A great number of people, including those writing articles for respectable
magazines and papers, tend to paint a broad picture of actual data
being lost due to fading media and obsolete, scrapped computers. This is
simply false. The Census people also get damned as well for the same
crimes, and once again, false. Simply false.

In regards to that "1 in 5" myth about the Interstates - even
*Smithsonian* magazine is guilty on that count!

William Donzelli
Received on Thu Mar 07 2002 - 18:25:24 GMT

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