[rescue] cd-rom rot

Lionel Peterson lionel4287 at gmail.com
Thu Feb 20 15:23:28 CST 2020

Myriad options are available to 'read' paper tape, from a handful of light
sensors in a row on a breadboard to simply scanning the tape on a scanner.

I think tape carts and reel tapes are pretty robust (not permanent, but
long-lasting). And as I understand it, the IRS has a facility with numerous
models of tape drives to read various formats as needed. (Luckily, business
only need to retain corporate data for relatively short periods, for tax
purposes - record retention requirements for other reasons can Be much

Ken (Lionel)

> On Feb 20, 2020, at 15:14, Phil Stracchino <phils at caerllewys.net> wrote:
> o;?On 2020-02-20 15:51, Robert Toegel wrote:
>> There was an article years ago in Scientific American about how permanent
>> difference storage media were before you find bit errors appearing.  IIRC,
>> it was about two years for floppies and about ten years for CDs.  That one
>> lost a lot of bits, lol.  Guess paper tape wins again.
> I imagine it's probably rather difficult to find a working punch-tape
> reader in 2020, much less a device driver for one for a modern OS.  The
> low capacity of paper tape would be a problem too.
> Also, remember that while mylar or acid-free paper is still pristine a
> few decades later, a lot of cheap paper has deteriorated into mush, and
> not all paper tape was archive-quality acid-free paper.  I'd bet that if
> you were to go around and gather up and evaluate a large quantity of
> random, not-specifically-archived paper tape today, a lot of it would be
> damaged or unusable without designing special low-tape-force readers to
> handle it without damaging it further.
> --
>  Phil Stracchino
>  Babylon Communications
>  phils at caerllewys.net
>  phil at co.ordinate.org
>  Landline: +1.603.293.8485
>  Mobile:   +1.603.998.6958
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