9 track tapes and block sizes

Guy Sotomayor ggs at shiresoft.com
Sat Oct 3 16:02:05 CDT 2020

On Sat, 2020-10-03 at 08:33 -0700, Chuck Guzis via cctalk wrote:
> In particular, consider a government project where several hundred
> millions of 1970s dollars were spent by the government, yet almost
> nothing other than a few papers survives.  Those involved with
> intimate
> knowledge are inexorably dying off as the community ages out.  The
> lessons of "what did we learn form all of this?" will be gone
> forever.
> Sometimes it seems that we spend as many resources in forgetting as
> we
> spend trying to remember.

I couldn't agree more...and it's not just governments (at all levels)
but companies as well.

In the mid-90's I worked on the IBM Microkernel project (was one of the
original 6 people who started it).  It eventually grew to 100's of
people and morf'd into Workplace OS.

I still have some of the printed documentation from that project but
have long since lost a set of CDs that contained not only the PDFs for
those documents (the source was in FrameMaker) but also all of the IBM
microkernel source *and* build environment and tools.

And that was only a part of the project...there were all of the
personality neutral software as well as the various OS personalities
(including AIX and OS/2).  I seriously doubt if any of that survived in
any form because of the way that the project was shutdown.

The last estimate of the cost to IBM of the project was over
$2,000,000,000 (in 1995 dollars).  To my knowledge not much survived. 
What a waste.

TTFN - Guy

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