What is this?

Chuck Guzis cclist at sydex.com
Fri May 10 19:31:53 CDT 2019

On 5/10/19 2:57 PM, Fred Cisin via cctalk wrote:
 With no first-hand knowledge, I would assume that NSA also used such.
> Half a century ago, when I worked at The National Space Science Data
> Center (NASA, Greenbelt) we dealt with a lot of data.  But that is like
> a floppy compared to NSA, especially the Utah Data Center!

I have some passing experience with the IBM 1360 photostore that was at
Lawrence Livermore, but that was strictly digital, using a photographic
medium to archive inactive files.  (WikiP has a section on the 1360 and,
in the same entry, briefly touches on WALNUT).  There were bootleg
programs in distribution to access one's online files periodically, so
that they wouldn't be "photostored" because of inactivity.   The system
was generally not well-loved.

Reading about WALNUT, it was more than a little unusual for its time.
The idea was the setup stored (photographically) almost a million images
using a non-silver process.  The images were indexed digitally and the
index was searchable.   The output appears to be a standard  aperture
card.  Although both of the references that I found mention
Kalfax/Kalvar media, WikiP says that the systems delivered to the CIA
used a different diazo process that was apparently more stable than the
Kalvar process.


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