[vcf-midatlantic] Bernoulli Drives needed in working condition

Herb Johnson hjohnson at retrotechnology.info
Tue May 18 20:53:53 UTC 2021

This thread and subject-matter, seems to me to be "much ado about 
nothing". Sorry. But there is so. much. chatter. about this Bernoulli 
drive and cartridge business, reasonable people can't keep their focus 
on *what the tasks are*, what is reasonable to do, and unreasonable to 
do, and by whom.

This caught my attention, because I likely have a clue about this tech.


Are these the 'droids you are looking for?

Note: I'm in the process NOW of selling the drive. I may have some IBM 
controllers available. I'm not giving them away, this is stuff I sell. 
That's not exactly why I posted.

So: what is all this chatter about, and what seems a plausible path forward?

First: the propositions, as stated by Jeff Brace:

> Someone donated two 10x10 Bernoulli drives to VCF. They are in unknown
> condition. She gave us the manual, a cable and one cartridge. She wants to
> donate the remaining cartridges, but would like to supervise the deletion
> of the data they have on them. So we need one in working condition first.


> It is payroll data that the couple used for their business for many years,
> so it is quite sensitive.
First:  this appears to be a legal contract over property and services. 
Not that I'm a lawyer. VCFed Incorporated may wish to examine these 
terms, as Dave McGuire pointed out, and see if the Corporation wishes to 
engage in such contracts with clients. Hint. Hint.

Second: how many carts is this about, anyways? Ebay price - by luck I 
happened to look recently - some tens of dollars each. Point being: why 
spin all our wheels, just over a few carts? And: *are there any in the 
VCFed Inventory already*? Just a thought.

Related: "two 10X10 drives" is ambiguous. Is it one cabinet with two 
drives, as per my unit? That's my guess, and I show an example.

Third: I see no "data recovery" in these terms, as suggested in the 
chatter. Just data security. So: let the client keep the carts, if they 
choose to destroy them, that would be sad. But that solves the problem, 
no. further. fuss. needed. That's my recommendation.

If there are objections:

1) Google "who bells the cat?" Hint: it's about finding volunteers for 
difficult tasks.

2) Google "the lady who put salt in her coffee". Old-person alert - this 
is 19th century technology. It's about solving problems.

3) - if you think YOU can make this work, convince Jeff Brace and the 
corporation, and that you can execute on it. I won't touch that, myself. 
I don't make that offer.

4) - if you think more 10MB carts are important - buy some off eBay. Or 
donate $$$ to VCFed Inc and they can buy them. Myself: I'll consider it, 
depending on what becomes of this donation, and my own sale of my drive 
(if that's the drive in question).

So here's my specific advice, since I'm posting so much already.

Tell the donor: "Thank you for the donation of the drive equipment and 
the single disk cartridge. Unfortunately, we are not in the business of 
data destruction and deletion. And we will not be able to operate the 
drive anytime in the near future: our resources to restore and operate 
equipment are voluntary and limited; it needs a controller we would have 
to acquire.

"So we are not able to satisfy your terms of assured data destruction; 
so we cannot accept your data cartridges. If we become aware of such 
services, we'll provide you with contact information as a courtesy, for 
your own considerations. Thank you again for helping us in our goals of 
preserving vintage computing technology."

This solves all problems, with no additional resources of time, money, 
materials or performance by individuals or VCFed Inc..

And that is my contribution to the discussion. That, and a link to what 
I think may be similar tech.

At some point soon in time, I may add IBM controller information to my 
Bernoulli Web page. That may be useful for information. If VCFed has 
some interest in items I have, they or their donors can contact me for 
prices. Those items are untested, as-is, without warranty or fitness for 

Herb Johnson

Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey in the USA
http://www.retrotechnology.com OR .net
preserve, recover, restore 1970's computing
email: hjohnson AT retrotechnology DOT com
or try later herbjohnson AT comcast DOT net

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