[TUHS] PL/I stuff - was: Book Recommendation

George Michaelson ggm at algebras.org
Thu Nov 25 12:03:43 AEST 2021

I have a relative who is an archivist, the sister-discipline to
librarians (Mike Lesk was at heart I think, in the library most the
time time. I say this, because I always think about Mike when the
topic of data and libraries comes up. He was nice to me at UCL and I
have a soft spot for anyone who was nice to me.)

Anyway, She tells me that the primary role of archivists is to help
people throw things away.

As a (sometime) scientist in (mostly) data, I know I have serial
hoarding disease. But I also know that NASA and other agencies only
found some things, by going back into the stacks to re-read old tapes,
without the "noise reduction filter" which had taken signal out.

So I feel your pain, loosing the tapes will have hurt. But I also know
along the path in time, Somebody had a role to play, curating the data
into the modern era. You're not alone, the BBC had this problem in
spades, re-using Umatic tape to save money. Ephemeral content which
turns out to be in some cases the probably only copy of what is data
to us now, but was junk to them then.


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