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What was the result of the challenge of reading "fossil data" from a modern fossil 8-inch FD?


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What was the result of the challenge of reading "fossil data" from a modern fossil 8-inch FD?

Nowadays, anyone can get a smartphone with a touch panel or a smart speaker equipped with an AI that answers questions, and many people have never used a floppy disk (FD). A movie that challenges the reading of "fossil data" stored on an 8-inch FD, which can be said to be the "modern fossil" that is especially old among those FDs, using a fossil-like device is released on YouTube.

Fossil Data Part 2: 8-Inch IBM Floppy Data Recovery-YouTube

(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FVwheTVWko (/ embed)

YouTuberCuriousMarcMr,University of California, BerkeleyOf researchers.

Biological archeology researchers were contacted.

I am studying the environment and living things in the United States 300 million years ago.

An important source for researchers,CarboniferousFormed in the bogCharcoal ballFossil called "

Researchers found old research data on charcoal balls, which were contained in 300 8-inch FDs developed by IBM in the 1970s. He said he asked CuriousMarc to retrieve the data because he could not retrieve the data himself.

8 inch FD, IBMSystem / 370AndIBM 3741 Data StationConventional used inPunch cardIt was a revolutionary alternative to the format.

To read FD, firsteBayGet a drive for an 8 inch FD.

CuriousMarc, who has experience extracting data from a 5.25 inch FD, applies his know-how to an 8 inch FD.

Dolch's computer system …

Self-made drive connection cable

Can read data from discDOSPrepare software.

Normally, the number of pins of the connector used in the FD drive is 34 pins …

The 8-inch FD drive used a 50-pin connector.

Although the number of pins is different, the 50-pin drive can use the same signal as the 34-pin drive. Each channel must be connected to a pin.

To make your own adapter,XeroxofAlto50-pin used inSnifferDivert cable.

Sniffer cable and 50-pinIDCConnect the cable.

The other side of the IDC cable is a 34-pin connector with different connection destination pins for each communication path

Connect the 34-pin connector to the computer and the conversion is complete.

The purchased drive required 5V and 24V voltages.

I booted the drive and tried to read data from the disk, but the BIOS didn't even recognize the disk.

This time you can read the old format of IBM “OmniDiskAttempt to read with DOS-based software.

Then, the disc was successfully recognized.

We found that the format "FM" was used, but we couldn't detect the data.

Look at the state of the drive, there isTransistorCuriousMarc finds out that the fault is due

Replace the transistor immediately.

Drive repair is completed, smiling CuriousMarc

Turn on the drive and read the disc again …

The data has been successfully detected.

Damping the detected data and proceed with analysis.

Undecipherable character strings are displayed staggered.

CuriousMarc thought that the character code of the dumped data was not "ASCII" but an older character code …

Change the character code of the conversion source to "EBCDIC"change to.

Then, a character string that seems to be research data was displayed.

The word "SAHARA", which was one of the places where charcoal balls were discovered, reported in advance by researchers.

The string has been formatted and the data has been extracted.

Researchers who took the same data out of the remaining discs seem very satisfied. We succeeded in locating the structure from the digitized data, and revived the old research data.

"It's a great honor to be able to help researchers in a relatively short time," says CuriousMarc.

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