January 05, 2016

"Roddenberry, who died in 1991, apparently left behind a couple of shoebox-sized containers of those big floppy disks."

PCWorld: When the long-lost words of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry were found on 5.25-inch floppies—yes, floppy disks—it would take a Starfleet-level engineering effort to recover them. by Gordon Mah Ung

'As any techie knows, floppy drives went out off fashion around the turn of the 21st century. Even if you bought a used 5.25-inch floppy drive off of Cyrano Jones on space station K7, you wouldn't be able to read the files on a modern computer, let alone plug in the drive.

'Roddenberry's estate knew of two possible computers the author had used to write those final words. One had been sold off in a charity auction and the second wouldn't boot when plugged in.

'All told, [Mike] Cobb said when the operating system files were excluded, about 2-3MB of data was recovered from the 200 floppies. That may seem like a minuscule amount by today's standards, but in the 1980s, document files were small. Roddenberry's lost words were substantial.

'So what's actually on the disks? Lost episodes of Star Trek? The secret script for a new show? Or as Popular Science once speculated, a patent for a transporter?

'Cobb ain't saying. Understandably, when DriverSavers is contracted to recover data, it's also bound by rules of confidentiality. PCWorld reached out to the Roddenberry estate but was told it had no comment on the data or its plans for the newly discovered writing of Gene Roddenberry.'

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