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From: "Michael Kjörling" <>
Subject: [COFF] Re: [TUHS] Re: reading historic magnetic tapes
Date: Sat, 28 Jan 2023 20:12:14 +0000	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

On 28 Jan 2023 11:29 -0800, from (James Frew):
> As I was leaving the lab late one evening during this mini-crisis, I had to
> walk around a custodian who was busy giving the linoleum floor in the
> hallway its annual deep cleaning / polishing. This involved a dingus with a
> large (~18" diameter) horizontal buffing wheel, atop which sat an enormous
> (like, a cylinder about as big around as a soccer ball) electric motor,
> sparking commutator clearly visible through the vents in the metal housing.

This is probably more COFF than TUHS, but I recall a story from almost
certainly much later where someone (I think it was a secretary; for
now, let's pretend it was) had been told to change backup tapes daily
and set the freshly taken backup aside for safekeeping. Then one day
the storage failed and the backups were needed, only it turned out
when trying to restore the backups that _every_ _single_ _tape_ was
blank. Nobody, least of all the secretary, could explain how that
could have happened, and eventually, the secretary was asked to
demonstrate exactly what had been done every day. Turned out that
while getting the replacement tape, the secretary put the freshly
taken backup tape on a UPS, which apparently generated a strong
magnetic field, before setting that tape aside. So the freshly taken
backup tape was dutifully well and thoroughly erased. Nobody had
mentioned the little detail of not putting the tape near the UPS.


Michael Kjörling                     🏡
“Remember when, on the Internet, nobody cared that you were a dog?”

       reply	other threads:[~2023-01-28 20:12 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 2+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
     [not found] <>
     [not found] ` <>
2023-01-28 20:12   ` Michael Kjörling [this message]
2023-01-28 20:17 ` [COFF] " Charles H Sauer (he/him)

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