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Re: storage, compatibility and HP98xx

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  • Subject: [mg62639] Re: storage, compatibility and HP98xx
  • From: "Dr Andy D Kucar PEng" <andy at>
  • Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 00:06:20 -0500 (EST)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

[This subject is getting away from the topic of this group, so I
 ask that the thread be stopped now and anyone wishing to continue
 the discussion do personal emails or find another newsgroup - moderator]

It appears, storage of data and compatibility of computer software,
which is supposedly aimed to read that data, are (becoming) hot topics (again)

P.S.  Folk tales and folk songs - without writing them down -
survived thousands of years.  May be computing should pursue THAT
media for long term storage :)
I started using mainframe computers in the late sixties Those were the
days, my friends, when engineers/scientists were among the best paid
folks in town, drove fanciest cars, lived in nice houses/apartments,
were entertained by the nicest girls, ...  mother-in-laws were bragging:
my son-in-law is an engineer/scientist, etc ...

fortran66, ibm, univac, cdc, punch cards, *ladies (in some languages that
word has nice double meaning), soon, I learned, a supposed FIFO system
is not exactly FIFO with some inside info, exact timing, and a box of
peruggina baci chocolates atop of computer punch cards, I changed FIFO
into LIFO --- greasing a squeaky wheel helps

then, those mainframe guys became arrogant

in 1974/5 my good boss bought an HP 98xx desktop computer for our
microwave lab it became my first personal computer (without backdoor
spying stuff) this was the year when PC was -n years old, n>0 in 6 years
HP diskette as a storage, never failed me modest programs were run Fri
pm until Mon am, big programs over holidays, all non-stop, my first
personal CAD but, printouts were back-up storage

it would be nice to hear more about HP98xx family from someone who
designed it those were times when Hewlett and Packard were running the
company, and no talking bimbo in sight

in parallel, I used mainframe as well, and (in)famous storage tapes in
about 1990 I was working on some satellite orbit simulation and strayed
into astronomy, and history of astronomy from a virtual terminal in my
office, I sent a message to mainframers to install one of my tapes Tape
installed, but computer couldn't read my data In meantime, they installed
"improved" fast tape drives on their mainframe And my tapes became useless
An "improvement" from fortran66 to fortran77 was anything but smooth

I could not read/use my, then <2^3 years old tapes, Yet I was able to
read >2^11 years old astronomical tablets from Babylon and Uruk

About compatibility of losshawks 95, 98, 2000, and difficulties with
CD-R later although CD, DVD laser written material may be able to sustain
mechanically 2^7 years, it is compatibility and availability of readers
and software, which limits the availability of data and, of course,
possibility of an (un)intentional damage of storage media must be taken
into account

sincerely andy

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