[SIGCIS-Members] Reading lost data

Christine Finn christine.finn at gmail.com
Sat Feb 14 06:59:19 PST 2015


Good to see this is being discussed. It's a bit ancient in itself, but I
talked about excavating hard drives, and the issue of how to read old data,
in a chapter in Artifacts: an archaeologist's year in Silicon Valley (MIT
Press 2001).

There's a related paper, which I gave with Sellam Ismail at a computer and
tech conf in Vienna that year: 'The Valley of Lost Data: Excavating Hard
Drives and Floppy Discs'.

It should be archived in proceedings online


The issue of lost data has preoccupied computer collectors for a long
while. and I celebrate their forward-thinking in a chapter on Silicon
Valley in the Oxford Handbook to the Archaeology of the Contemporary World
(OUP, 2013) eds Harrison, Graves-Brown, Piccini.

I also talk about it in a 4-episode BBC Radio 3 doc series, "It"s Big and
it's Beautiful" about the rise of retro tech. It should be out there
somewhere - on bit torrent?

And the issue of lost manuscripts, especially with regard to writing future
biographies, in a programme on BBC Radio 4, "Tales from the Digital Archive"

all best, Christine
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