Somewhere in my files I have a paper from AMPEX, done many years ago, that
reports their testing indicates magnetic tape is actually very resistant to
EMP from a nuclear explosion.  According to the report, before the signal
was so degraded that no one could recover it, there would be no one left
alive in the geographic area to recover it.

I always wondered how they did the testing.

Anyway, it's a neat little document, back from the era when they were
sending out pamphlets with drawings of pieces of tape complete with arms,
legs, faces and dire warnings on how to treat your tapes (Sony did similar
pamphlets but put the arms and legs on entire reels and showed them sweating
in the heat and holding umbrellas to keep off water)- sort of like the
"Pillsbury Tape Boy".

Peter Brothers

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of steven austin
> Sent: Friday, February 25, 2005 12:41 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Audio storage on external hard drives
> But it's so much fun to negotiate the extremes!
> Certainly, the everyday concerns are what we have to satisfy. Our jobs
> depend on that. Someone wants to access something stored away; it had
> better be there.
> Still, in our hearts (hopefully), the reason we conserve is tied to the
> material we conserve. I like music. I like the people who create this
> stuff. I conserve because I believe they have created that which we
> identify as the soul of our culture(s), and preservation of their work
> is essentially preventive maintenance on our very identity.
> In those drifty spare moments, we ponder an inevitability: dealing with
> the aftermath of nuclear holocaust. If we manage to avoid death
> outright, what of will our culture survive with us? Will our children
> remember Louis Armstrong, Debussy or Sublime? Henry Mancini, Buck Owens
> or Little Willie John? They'll remember and pass on whatever survives
> with us.
> It amuses me to think of a distant day when the sum total of surviving
> music culture consists of the meager inventory of the CD rack in the PX
> deep inside NORAD's Cheyenne Mountain fortress.
> It may not be the job most of us are paid for, but isn't it something we
> should ponder?
> I wonder if anyone here IS paid to consider this particular challenge?
> Steven Austin
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of [log in to unmask]
> Sent: Friday, February 25, 2005 8:10 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Audio storage on external hard drives
> I find "endgame" scenarios of limited utility in trying to seriously
> discuss archival issues. Clearly it is possible to envision any number
> of disaster scenarios that will destroy any and all media types, and as
> has been mentioned - if one of these endgame scenarios is to be played
> out - are we really going to be concerned about playing back shellac
> disks or biological data storage - or any other kind? It hearkens back
> to Dr. Strangelove - I believe the quote is something like "Mr.
> President - we can not have a mine shaft gap!" as the world is exploding
> in a nuclear holocaust.
> As a practical matter - trying to protect a collection is a process that
> assesses risks and the costs of taking them. Is it possible to protect a
> collection from an EMF pulse? Perhaps depending on many variables - but
> is anyone seriously considering going to those extremes for mere
> archival records - sound, video or film? I have been working for some
> time as a consultant on a large archival project for several years and
> the subject has never even been brought up - and there were many
> opportunities. Over the years i have worked or been aware of many such
> projects - and this is really a non-topic. It is an endgame scenario -
> perhaps geographically disparate copies might work - but is this REALLY
> an issue??
> I spoke to a computer security consultant the other day - and he said
> that the only really safe computer (safe from virus or tampering or
> other issues) is one turned off with no connections surrounded by
> concrete (very thick concrete) and buried in a VERY deep hole. Since
> that is not reality - then everything else is a compromise and needs to
> be evaluated for its risk / reward. It may be a position that is a
> little extreme - but I think the thought process is a correct one.
> Rather then try for ultimate solutions - i think it is far more
> productive to consider the ones that can be implemented and know the
> risks that you are willing to take due to cost and other factors.
> jim
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Steven C. Barr [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> > Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2005 04:17 AM
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Audio storage on external hard drives
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "steven austin" <[log in to unmask]>
> > > I think I see the discussion swinging back to shellac discs. And I
> still
> > > believe biological data storage devices (the minstrels and
> troubadours)
> > > deserve a reappraisal.
> > Well...shellac discs can survive nuclear attacks as long as they are
> about
> > 5km from ground zero, and their containing buildings don't fall on
> them!
> >
> > However, the "biological storage devices" are unlikely to survive on a
> > long-term basis (which raises the question of who is likely to use
> > this archive?...)
> >
> > Besides, they can only preserve the basic framework of songs, not the
> > details od individual performances! We can't very well say, "I know
> > that Bix played cornet on Banner 12345, because I heard the recreation
> > done by Joe Gabroni's Jazz Troubadors, and..."
> >
> > ...stevenc
> >
> >