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----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>
> People argue that it should be intuitively obvious and easy to make a tape
> player in some future time. I argue that it took very intelligent folks at
> Ampex and Studer (and other places) to arrive at high-performance tape
> machines. I don't think that will be as easily reproduced--especially when
> the size, fit, finish, and materials are no longer commonplace.
The problem is that it will only be "intuitively obvious" as long as there
are
people around who remember that there were once magnetic tape recorders, as
well as some of the details about how they worked. You can't examine a
length
of recording tape and see anything about it that suggests it contains data
in
the form of varying magnetization of microscopic particles...and even
knowing
that won't tell you about details such as biasing.

Probably the only form of "inuitively obvious" data storage is the shellac
78...you can run your finger along the groove and faintly hear the recorded
sound! OTOH, there is nothing about a CD that tells you it contains data,
let alone the complicated algorithms used to extract that data...
Steven C. Barr