[vcf-midatlantic] Bernoulli Drives needed in working condition

Jeffrey Brace jeffrey at vcfed.org
Wed May 19 13:38:59 UTC 2021

Hello everyone,

I have passed this issue off to the Steering Committee and they are
deciding what to do about this situation. We will update you as to what is
decided and the progress made.
Thanks to Herb, Dave and others for your information, comments and
interest. It has been helpful to talk through the issues.

Jeff Brace
Vice President & Board Member
Vintage Computer Festival East Show-runner
Vintage Computer Federation is a 501c3 charity
jeffrey at vcfed.org

On Wed, May 19, 2021 at 12:24 AM Herb Johnson via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:

> Dave responded to my points, with his points. I thought about it, but
> actually we see the same sorts of things in this discussion, and put
> some different values to them. That's good by me, discussions work that
> way. I see his points and I will consider them further. We aren't that
> far about, just differences in strategy and tactics.
> The action issue today, is what management will do about the donor's
> offer of data cartridges, and who might be found to execute if
> management want to accept conditions on that offer. So far, Dave and I
> are in neither category. So we are both "chatting" as I put it. He and I
> shared our views, I see no point in arguing between us, again it's not
> about either of us.
> I take his point, that discussion may lead to something and also has its
> own value. I'll leave it at that.
> Dave asks, what about the future, other such projects? "If you are going
> to shy away from a small thing, what happens when you have a big thing?"
> Yeah, that's a good question. I'd also call that "raising the stakes".
> It's a good way to consider policy. But that's not in play in this
> thread, I don't think.
> But it might be - I didn't know what Jeff would say next, when I wrote
> this. But I read ahead on the thread.
> =========================
> Since Dave's post, before I posted what I wrote above, Jeff Brace blinds
> us with science, provides more facts. He explained what was potentially
> available. Like most "finds", it's an emerging situation.
> The drives are like the ones on my Web page - thus they are identified.
> There's 30, 40, 50 cartridges involved. And: two pairs of drives. Terms
> of providing the carts, are detailed. But my guess is, they are not
> final terms but done on-the-fly. They could change.
> That raises the stakes on the carts: at street value of the order of $20
> a pop, that's several hundred dollars value minimum. And by the way:
> you'll also need cleaning carts, and often, to keep operating the
> drives. Maybe there's cleaning carts among the data carts Jeff saw.
> I know this much: I have a customer who says HE is still using these
> drives. So maybe these drives can be recovered and work again.
> So task one, is to get one drive inspected and working with one
> computer; maybe then both drives; maybe then on two computers. That's
> contingent on obtaining one or two controllers - without doubt.  Getting
> something running is also necessary, to execute the deletion commitment.
> Task two - keep these running for a long activity, which I'll describe
> by guess. It's separate from running the system.
> Guessing about operation of the 10 MB Bernoulii drive, again what little
> I know. A "delete all files" operation must be tens of minutes effort,
> to load a cart, inspect, perform, inspect, remove.  So that means some
> person-hours of work, to erase tens of carts, by simple math.  Is this
> something the donor *really* wants to commit to, their personal or
> professional time? Where will they commit to do this? The systems may
> have to be moved, operated on the donor's site? Will that be practical?
> Can they be maintained?
> That's all I've got to say. I'm just guessing at the tasks involved.
> Maybe my discussion ("chatter") will be informative to whomever makes
> decisions about this acquisition and project.
> I can add, I have some IBM ISA controllers, which may be appropriate (I
> do not know), and which would have to be bought (not donated) and are
> not tested. Also cables, which may or may not be needed. I'll show them
> on my Web site when I get to it, in a day or two. It's pure circumstance
> that 1) I have these and 2) I happened to have a customer for them THIS
> WEEK. Otherwise they have been dormant for years.
> Regards, 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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