[LMB] OT: Tech marches on

WILLIAM A WENRICH wawenri at msn.com
Mon Dec 13 17:25:04 GMT 2021

The biggest problem on Apollo 13 was that the onboard computer used vacuum tubes. The missiles I worked on in the late sixties used vacuum tubes. The first all computer job I had at Sandia was building a database for holding dosimeter records. One of the problems was that they wanted the records to be readable for 70 years. That has about 25 years yet to go. What we finally said was that the records were on 9 track tape, a tape machine was to be stored with them and they were to be periodically read and copied onto new media. I don’t know if that was ever done.

William A Wenrich

  *   A sinner dependent on God’s grace.

From: Lois-Bujold <lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk> on behalf of Gwynne Powell <gwynnepowell at hotmail.com>
Sent: Monday, December 13, 2021 6:18:20 AM
To: lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk <lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk>
Subject: [LMB] OT: Tech marches on

From: Raymond Collins <rcrcoll6 at gmail.com>

I wouldn't be surprised if they still are using them. I had a friend who
specialized in computer systems from the seventies,  eighties and nineties
for the navy. He went around the world trouble shooting the computer
systems aboard navy ships.
I also had a chance to tour a nuclear submarine and was surprised to see
tubes glowing behind some of the consoles.

Gwynne: How much data is being lost as older formats become obsolete?
I remember seeing some stone cores and a collection of old tapes, disks,
etc - it was years of collected geological information, but there was no machine
left that could read any of it.
Archaeologists in the future are going to be seriously disappointed.
Lois-Bujold mailing list message sent to wawenri at msn.com
Lois-Bujold at lists.herald.co.uk

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