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Previously Unknown Warhol Works Recovered From '80s Amiga Disks

timothy posted about 3 months ago | from the amiga-forever-kinda dept.

Amiga 171

First time accepted submitter mooterSkooter (1132489) writes "Magnetic Imaging tools were used to recover a dozen images produced by Andy Warhol on his Amiga computer. I would've just stuck the disks in and tried to copy it myself." Read more about it from the Frank Ratchye Studio for Creative Inquiry, which says "The impetus for the investigation came when [artist Cory] Arcangel, a self-described “Warhol fanatic and lifelong computer nerd,” learned about Warhol’s Amiga experiments from the YouTube video of the 1985 Commodore Amiga product launch. Acting on a hunch, and with the support of CMOA curator Tina Kukielski, Arcangel approached the AWM in December 2011 regarding the possibility of restoring the Amiga hardware in the museum’s possession, and cataloging any files on its associated diskettes. In April 2012, he contacted Golan Levin, a CMU art professor and director of the FRSCI, a laboratory that supports “atypical, anti-disciplinary and inter-institutional” arts research. Offering a grant to support the investigation, Levin connected Cory with the CMU Computer Club, a student organization that had gained renown for its expertise in “retrocomputing,” or the restoration of vintage computers."

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171 comments

1985 (0, Offtopic)

rossdee (243626) | about 3 months ago | (#46832171)

from the YouTube video of the 1985 Commodore Amiga product launch

I didn't know YouTube was around in 1985

I bought my first Amiga in 1986

Re:1985 (3, Funny)

Galaga88 (148206) | about 3 months ago | (#46832253)

They introduced a new feature in 2015 that allows broadcasts to be sent back in time.

However, due to a lightning strike, it got stuck on 1885 after sending only a few videos back to 1955.

Re:1985 (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 3 months ago | (#46832761)

I was reading about the new Google Time Machine... I thought that was for Street View and not Youtube.

Re:1985 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46832259)

from the YouTube video of the 1985 Commodore Amiga product launch

I didn't know YouTube was around in 1985

It wasn't. That is why it says "from the YouTube video of the 1985 Commodore Amiga product launch" and not "from the 1985 YouTube video of the Commodore Amiga product launch"

Re:1985 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46832269)

Are you retarded?

Re:1985 (2, Informative)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | about 3 months ago | (#46832293)

Give 'em a break, in a rush for first post that is all he could come up with.

Re:1985 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46832321)

mark parent Insightful

Re:1985 (4, Funny)

Richy_T (111409) | about 3 months ago | (#46832405)

That long ago? It was probably called YeTube.

Re:1985 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46832817)

That long ago? It was probably called YeTube.

YeTube only covers about 20% of the videos cowboys want to see. The other 80% is on YeBoob.

Amiga Floppies (5, Insightful)

tekrat (242117) | about 3 months ago | (#46832255)

They could have just used the disk drive. 99% of my Amiga floppies still work just fine.

The Amiga 1000 was a surprisingly durable machine, and frankly, Commodore, despite anything you could say about them making "toy" computers at a target price used very high quality components.

A modern PC's power supply will burn out long before a 25-yr old Commodore power supply will.

Re:Amiga Floppies (4, Insightful)

Kl00dge (2923239) | about 3 months ago | (#46832319)

You apparently never had to put your C64 power supply in the refrigerator.

Re:Amiga Floppies (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 3 months ago | (#46832527)

You apparently never had to put your C64 power supply in the refrigerator.

I've heard of drilling through the potting material to remove and replace a fuse buried in there, but never that. What was the hope behind the refrigeration of the "brick"?

Re:Amiga Floppies (1)

Kl00dge (2923239) | about 3 months ago | (#46832617)

It was farily common, at least among people I knew, for the power supplies to overheat. I believe it was the early units. It would just shut down and we'd stick them in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes so we could get another 45 minutes or so out of them.

Re:Amiga Floppies (1)

JMZero (449047) | about 3 months ago | (#46833289)

We just put a fan on ours, and it stayed up. But yeah, the power supply was the only thing Commodore hardware I ever heard of problems with.

Re:Amiga Floppies (2)

Sipper (462582) | about 3 months ago | (#46833305)

I've heard of drilling through the potting material to remove and replace a fuse buried in there, but never that. What was the hope behind the refrigeration of the "brick"?

Yes, the C64 power supply was potted -- and after digging through it what had to be replaced wasn't a fuse, it was a 5v linear regulator. The problem with the C64 power supply was that the Linear regulator was designed for 1A, but Commodore was using it to pass 1.2A. This shortened the life of the part, and when it failed it required a huge effort to dig through it to find the part that was bad and replace it.

But I did exactly that. And unfortunately one generally had to do that if they wanted to end up with a reliable supply, because the replacement supplies had the same design flaw and would thus fail in the same way. Once I replaced the 5v regulator with one that was rated for 1.5A, it never failed again. :-)

Re:Amiga Floppies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46832609)

He was talking about the Amiga. The original Amiga 1000 was *not* a cheap computer- the RRP was $1300 (in 1987 dollars) at launch, and that was *without* an RGB monitor or hard drive.

It wasn't until the Amiga 500 that it became affordable and successful (well, in Europe anyway), and even that was way more expensive than the C64 at launch.

Re:Amiga Floppies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46832653)

Depends on which C64 power supply you had. There were two different versions, one had a higher output than the other. The higher output versions were highly prized by BBS operators.

Running my BBS on a Buscard II to my dual 8250 floppy drives and an RS-232 interface to an external Hayes modem, I had to use one of the high-powered power supplies, as well as add an additional heat sink added to the voltage regulator on the C64's circuit board to keep it from overheating.

Re:Amiga Floppies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46832837)

Depends on which C64 power supply you had. There were two different versions, one had a higher output than the other. The higher output versions were highly prized by BBS operators.

Running my BBS on a Buscard II to my dual 8250 floppy drives and an RS-232 interface to an external Hayes modem, I had to use one of the high-powered power supplies, as well as add an additional heat sink added to the voltage regulator on the C64's circuit board to keep it from overheating.

Memories of the good old days of personal computing when computers were unique and fun.

Were? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46833141)

If you computer isn't still unique and fun you're doing it wrong.

Re:Were? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 3 months ago | (#46833395)

Supportable or unique is not a false dichotomy.

Re:Amiga Floppies (2)

Sipper (462582) | about 3 months ago | (#46833367)

You apparently never had to put your C64 power supply in the refrigerator.

The C64 power supply used a 5v linear regulator rated for 0.2A - 0.3A less current than the C64 itself drew through it, so the part would have premature failure because it was underrated. Apparently/supposedly the difference was expected to be dumped as heat, and the supply was potted which made it very difficult to get to the part that failed and replace it... but doing so was necessary because the replacement supplies had the same design flaw. I did that replacement and after doing so the power supply looked terrible (I left it ripped open), but with a linear regulator that had a sufficient current rating it never failed again (whereas the replacement supplies all did).

Putting the power supply in a refrigerator sounds terrible (but dedicated), but then, so was the "correct" fix. ;-)

Re:Amiga Floppies (2)

mooterSkooter (1132489) | about 3 months ago | (#46832473)

Exactly what I thought. I would have just tried the disk in an Amiga with a HD attached, made an image and copied that over to try out in an emulator. Magnetic Imaging devices indeed! Well, makes for a more interesting story I suppose.

Re:Amiga Floppies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46832529)

False, and false. I have toasted many an Amiga power supply, and a number of Amiga chips. Also, old double density floppies while being surprisingly robust aren't anywhere near 100% reliable at nearly 30 years. I have had a number of mine shed the oxide layer, fouling the heads on the drive in the process and require a clean before they would work again, and I imagine that the museum probably wanted a little more guarantee that they could safely recover the data since it's not just some video game image they were trying to make an ADF of.

Re:Amiga Floppies (1)

jrumney (197329) | about 3 months ago | (#46832755)

False, and false. I have toasted many an Amiga power supply, and a number of Amiga chips.

Ditto, by playing around with the parallel port. There were no buffer ICs on the old Amigas to stop bad things happening to the main processor or coprocessors when there were shorts on the external I/O pins.

Re:Amiga Floppies (2)

timeOday (582209) | about 3 months ago | (#46832853)

My (parents') Amiga 500 died half a dozen times from electrostatic discharge. Ultimately we made a mat to sit it on, out of cardboard wrapped in foil and wired to the wall outlet ground. You would spark yourself on the mat before using the computer.

Re:Amiga Floppies (5, Insightful)

bws111 (1216812) | about 3 months ago | (#46832573)

I hope your not an archeologist or forensics expert. The first thing to be concerned about, when dealing with a one-of-a-kind artifact, is to minimize any POSSIBLE (not probable) damage. There is a non-zero probability that using a disk drive could cause damage. There is less of a possibility that magnetic imaging would cause damage.

Re:Amiga Floppies (1)

zenlessyank (748553) | about 3 months ago | (#46832603)

That's why you just stick it on the fridge with a magnet so you don't forget to call the forensics guy!!

Re:Amiga Floppies (-1, Flamebait)

cusco (717999) | about 3 months ago | (#46833681)

It was Andy Warhol's work. I'd be more worried about damaging the disk drive than any of his "work". His main artistic talents lay in the field of self-promotion, at which he was truly a master. Pretty much everything else he ever did was crap.

Re:Amiga Floppies (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#46832651)

ALL computers in the 80s were built like that. To this day, I still have an IBM keyboard from the early 80s that I'm pretty sure I could hammer nails with.

Re:Amiga Floppies (1)

qwijibo (101731) | about 3 months ago | (#46832747)

Of course you could still hammer nails with it, but can you plug it in and *type* on it?

I used to know people who would carefully disassemble their old IBM keyboards, run the parts through a dishwasher and reassemble them, fully functional.

These days, I'm not sure if some keyboards could stand up to the compressed air in a can cleaning.

Re:Amiga Floppies (1)

Retron (577778) | about 3 months ago | (#46833465)

22 years ago I was given my first PC - one which my dad's works had thrown out. An original IBM PC, complete with dual floppies and a mono screen (and cassette port around the back). Sadly it was thrown out a couple of years later when we upgraded to a 486, but I kept the keyboard... an IBM Model F which is built like a tank. It can still, in theory, be used with a modern PC if you use a signal converter... which costs a small fortune. Not that I'd want to, though, as the keys are in odd positions (eg control is where caps lock now is).

I'm typing this on an early 90s Model M keyboard which I bought from eBay many years ago. It connects via a PS/2 port and seems indestructible, albeit not quite as nice to type on as that Model F was. It's quieter than the F though, which is handy. The Model M was available back in 1984... hmm, 30 years ago this year!

Side note: due to spending far too much time on that PC as a 12-year-old, I ended up using the numeric keypad for cursor control. It's a hard habit to kick, as I do the same over 20 years later - I very seldom have numlock on, instead using the numbers above the letters for numeric data entry.

Re:Amiga Floppies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46833467)

This is bullshit nostalgia. For just a singular example, the ZX Spectrum+ from 1984 was reported by many retailers to have up to a 30% failure rate.

Re:Amiga Floppies (1)

Misagon (1135) | about 3 months ago | (#46833065)

99% of the Amiga floppies I still have work fine, but back in the day, I had to throw away 99% of my floppies quite early because of read/write errors.

Re:Amiga Floppies (2)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 3 months ago | (#46833303)

A modern PC's power supply will burn out long before a 25-yr old Commodore power supply will.

Nonsense. Back in the early 90's I sold consumer electronics for a living, and we did a brisk business in aftermarket and grey market power supplies for various Commodore machines - because the stock power supplies burned out with depressing regularity and stock replacements were expensive and difficult-to-impossible to obtain from official sources.

Plastic "art" (5, Insightful)

hessian (467078) | about 3 months ago | (#46832323)

The Amiga and its demo scene were more art than Warhol ever will be.

His commentary on crass commercialism basically became crass commercialism itself. Why shouldn't it? It was the same basic idea.

As a wise man once said, "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you."

Re:Plastic "art" (3, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 3 months ago | (#46832413)

From looking at the "art" it looks to have little artistic value. Warhol didn't have any particular skills in computer art, and the software was quite limited in what you could do at that time. It's nothing that anybody else messing around with the same program couldn't have produced. Just because Warhol is a notable artist, does not mean that every piece of art he produced is worthy of our attention. Some people are great authors, but that doesn't mean their shopping lists or twitter posts, are literary works to be cherished.

Re:Plastic "art" (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 3 months ago | (#46832671)

You could remove the word 'computer' form that post and it would be just as true.

But a Warhol is valuable, Art is in the eye of the beholder. Some people apparently think giant soup cans are works of genius. No accounting for taste.

Re:Plastic "art" (0)

mcgrew (92797) | about 3 months ago | (#46833075)

Art is in the eye of the beholder.

False. It's hilarious reading all these comments from people who think they know about something they are completely ignorant about.

Re:Plastic "art" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46833307)

Art is in the eye of the beholder.

False. It's hilarious reading all these comments from people who think they know about something they are completely ignorant about.

"about which they are completely ignorant".

Re:Plastic "art" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46833513)

The rule about not ending a sentence with a preposition is one of those nonsense rules made up whole cloth in the 19th century. Now who's the moron?

Re:Plastic "art" (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 3 months ago | (#46833483)

How is it false? From what objective source is "art" defined?

Subjectivity (1)

hessian (467078) | about 3 months ago | (#46833425)

Art is in the eye of the beholder.

Life is subjectively perceived but must be objectively assessed.

Re:Plastic "art" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46832675)

Pretty much.

There is a reason Warhol decided not to release those images. Saying that this is something other than just a bit of fooling around to learn the tool is an insult.

While not the same situation this reminds me of people trying to analyze literature. If the writer would have intended for you to interpret the text differently he would have rephrased it. To say that the text needs interpretation is equivalent to claiming that the writer was too incompetent to get his message across.

Re:Plastic "art" (1)

Sentrion (964745) | about 3 months ago | (#46833343)

Do you have any idea how many scholars and academics earn their living writing literature and creating works of art for the sole purpose of having other scholars and academics review, critique, and interpret their work, all while getting paid to sell textbooks that they write, and paid to tell students how important those works are to read and study?

By pointing out the lunacy of this system you are endangering an entire sub-culture and way of life. They could have you burned at the stake as a heretic.

Re:Plastic "art" (2)

jrumney (197329) | about 3 months ago | (#46832871)

From looking at the "art" it looks to have little artistic value. Warhol didn't have any particular skills in computer art, and the software was quite limited in what you could do at that time.

I think you'd appreciate them a little more if you were old enough to remember just how limited the graphics software of the time was.

Re:Plastic "art" (1)

Gareth Iwan Fairclough (2831535) | about 3 months ago | (#46832417)

. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you."

*suppresses urge to make "In Soviet Russia" joke*.

Re:Plastic "art" (1)

0xdeaddead (797696) | about 3 months ago | (#46832789)

I wish I had mod points.. but you are dead on, the demo scene was where talent lied, and just look at these 'wharholian' pieces. a copy/pasted eye, the campbell soup can (one hit wonder) done by a drunken 3yr old, and some pasted video capture of him reading the instructions. yawn.

Re:Plastic "art" (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 3 months ago | (#46833131)

...the campbell soup can (one hit wonder)...

My God, so much outspoken ignorance from people who can't even be bothered to look at a wikipedia article. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Plastic "art" (1)

Zanadou (1043400) | about 3 months ago | (#46833003)

His commentary on crass commercialism basically became crass commercialism itself. Why shouldn't it? It was the same basic idea.

Whooooooooooooooosh.

Layers of irony and smartassery != Intelligence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46833503)

His commentary on crass commercialism basically became crass commercialism itself. Why shouldn't it? It was the same basic idea.

Whooooooooooooooosh.

No, I think he maybe *does* get it. I got- without having to have it explicitly pointed out- that this a significant part of the implied justification for low-art-promoted-as-high-art.

It's this whole would-be-ironic, self-referencing self-justification that I've always hated.

At some point- one that was passed long ago- it clearly just becomes an exercise in self-justifying would-be-smartassery, a meaninglessly incestuous argument used to sell crass commercialism masquerading as art masquerading as crass commercialism [repeat as often as necessary] to equally odious and wealthy clients who want to feel cleverer and more insightful than they actually are. Sometimes obscenely overpriced and underproduced "art" *is* just that.

"Aaaahhh... but that's the irony, isn't it?" I can hear some smug tosser imply. And the moneyed collectors buying Jeff Koons' latest piece of obnoxious "playful" kitsch nod smugly.

Re:Plastic "art" (2)

mcgrew (92797) | about 3 months ago | (#46833053)

The Amiga and its demo scene were more art than Warhol ever will be.

So, you hold a PhD in art history? Or have you ever taken a single entry level art history class?

The first question was sarcasm. I did, in fact, take an art history class in college. Your uneducated opinion of art is as bad as an art historian's knowledge of quantum physics, which is somewhere between "very little" and "absolutely none".

A man once said "Be silent and thought a fool. Speak and remove all doubt."

Re:Plastic "art" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46833265)

I did, in fact, take an art history class in college

This explains many, many, things.

Still I'm glad we have highly educated "experts" on subjective matters such as art so we can all be told what is and isn't art. Where would we all be without people like you, eh?

Re:Plastic "art" (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 3 months ago | (#46833269)

Warhol's 'art' isn't old enough to have passed the test of time.

Art history records many examples of things that were art at the time but are now recognized as junk. Art history is not the same subject as art. It actually includes looking at trends that are stupid in hindsight. Like pop art and photo real paintings.

Re:Plastic "art" (1)

517714 (762276) | about 3 months ago | (#46833567)

A boy once said, "The emperor has no clothes!" We see you chose to remove any doubt, with your appeal to authority and putting knowledge and opinion on the same level. You overvalue opinion - your own, and that of professionals in an almost purely subjective realm.

Re:Plastic "art" (0, Flamebait)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 3 months ago | (#46833147)

The plate of discarded BBQ chicken parts I ate last night has more art in it that Warhol. Guy was an awful gimmick who somehow got himself to be taken seriously. I like art even some of the modern genres and I did check out his museum in Pittsburgh. Literally, there's a canvas where he pissed on wet paint. There's also a huge room of polaroids/photos of gay guys having sex. That's it, no composition no framing no nothing. I try to give every artist a chance, but how he got his name associated with great artists and American culture is incomprehensible.

Re:Plastic "art" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46833627)

If you think Warhol's work was crap on the Amiga, I can tell you plenty of "scene" artists have made crap on the Amiga too. There are demos with really great art, and demos with really shitty art. It's not all gold.

We even went through a period where many demos had to prominently feature marijuana and use "tagger" style graffiti writing, and that spread to the PC scene too. That "elevated" the demo scene to the same level that your average idiotic American gangbanger thug has.

In short, take off your rose-tinted glasses and go fuck yourself.

Editorializing (4, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | about 3 months ago | (#46832367)

I would've just stuck the disks in and tried to copy it myself.

Possibly that's because you're an idiot. Floppies and drives degrade just like everything else and taking these extraordinary measures gives a better chance of not permanently damaging something priceless during recovery attempts.

Re:Editorializing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46832461)

Oh, you met the Amiga's DiskDoctor too, I see :)

Re:Editorializing (1)

Nimey (114278) | about 3 months ago | (#46832549)

Heh, no. I was never a Miggie user back in the day, I've just got much experience with PC floppies and Murphy.

Re:Editorializing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46832481)

I'd say you're the same kind of over-engineering idiot these guys were. We get it, being careful is good, but let's not be extreme about things. I have hundreds of 25 years old 3.5" (and 5.25") floppies that still read (and write) just as good today as they did 25 years ago. The 3.5" floppy drive mechanism is in its nature not able to ruin a floppy disk unless you purposely ruin the drive head; "degrading" isn't a problem with these drives.

Re:Editorializing (2)

Nimey (114278) | about 3 months ago | (#46832557)

Do any of your random old floppies hold the only known copies of works by a major dead artist? Wanker.

Re:Editorializing (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 3 months ago | (#46832701)

Was Warhol's dirty TP also art? As much as some image he played with draw circle, flood fill on. Bonus; No 'which is the original' issues on the TP.

Re:Editorializing (1)

bws111 (1216812) | about 3 months ago | (#46832645)

Of course a 3.5" floppy drive can damage a disk. The head is in contact with moving media. Should it damage the disk? No. CAN it damage the disk? Certainly.

Re:Editorializing (1)

Nimey (114278) | about 3 months ago | (#46832687)

Right? What happens if a neckbeard's dandruff flake gets into the drive and thence between the read head and the magnetic disc?

Re:Editorializing (1)

Dahan (130247) | about 3 months ago | (#46833175)

Of course a 3.5" floppy drive can damage a disk. The head is in contact with moving media. Should it damage the disk? No. CAN it damage the disk? Certainly.

Which is why they cleaned the floppy drive before putting the disks into it. "The primary concern was damage to the disks during the reading process. While impossible to eliminate without using extremely expensive equipment well beyond the reach of involved parties, it was believed this risk could be minimized by using a recently cleaned and tested floppy drive for copying ..." -- from the report detailing [studioforc...nquiry.org] what they did.

Not sure why there seems to be this assumption that because they made an "image" of the disks, they must not have used a regular Amiga floppy drive. These days I often make images of hard drives... I don't take the platters out in a clean room and use some special microscope to do it. I plug in the drive as normal and use software. Similarly, they imaged the floppies by using a regular Amiga floppy drive, albeit connected to a fancier floppy controller card that can even image disks that may have errors.

Re:Editorializing (1)

mooterSkooter (1132489) | about 3 months ago | (#46832499)

That is a very real possibility. However, every single random miggy floppy disk I've ever tried, even after 20 years has worked perfectly.

I do see the point though - somebody probably thought they could make some mega-bucks from the ultra-rare Worhol images.

Re:Editorializing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46832811)

The old DD disks were like that; still readable years later. After HD disks came along, everything changed; the magnetic flux simply wasn't as strong on the disk.

Re:Editorializing (0)

linebackn (131821) | about 3 months ago | (#46832615)

I've recently read a number of floppies that are older than the ones in the TFA, and none of them have magically fallen apart.

Technically reading a disk will put some wear on it because the heads touch the surface, but if the disk was properly stored and was of a good brand (not Wabash), that wear is negligible.

Most serious software archivists would simply plop the disks in a floppy drive connected to a Kryoflux, or similar device, and be done with it.

Magnetic imaging is an overkill unless the disk is from a system where no compatible form drive exists any more.

Re:Editorializing (4, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | about 3 months ago | (#46832673)

but if the disk was properly stored and was of a good brand

If.

This is pretty typical of Slashdot, really: technical people with some education second-guessing people who do $THING for a living even though they don't have the same knowledge of the field or the circumstances, but by $DEITY they're smart people and they know things, so they're instantly armchair experts.

Re:Editorializing (3, Insightful)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 3 months ago | (#46833019)

If.

This is pretty typical of Slashdot, really: technical people with some education second-guessing people who do $THING for a living even though they don't have the same knowledge of the field or the circumstances, but by $DEITY they're smart people and they know things, so they're instantly armchair experts.

This isn't limited to the technical community. Doctors are pretty bad about this too. Particularly in regard to the field of finance: some of them should practically hang out a "Scam Me" sign. I'm sure there are "Modern Major Generals" in almost any field who feel -- incorrectly -- their own expertise and success in one field should make equally competent in anything.

Re:Editorializing (1)

0xdeaddead (797696) | about 3 months ago | (#46832847)

Then you'd miss stuff like 1-2-3 diskettes and unformatted blocks. For old crap you really only get one shot at reading it, as it'll all rot away. Best to make the best possible image. And with 6TB disks shipping really what is the excuse?

Re:Editorializing (1)

Dahan (130247) | about 3 months ago | (#46833113)

Most serious software archivists would simply plop the disks in a floppy drive connected to a Kryoflux, or similar device, and be done with it.

And that's exactly what they did. They imaged the floppies with KryoFlux connected to a known-good, clean, Amiga floppy drive. TFA has a link to the technical details [studioforc...nquiry.org] .

Re:Editorializing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46833101)

So what?
No one has missed these files for years. They didn't even know they existed.
If they were lost literally nothing of value would have been lost.

Re:Editorializing (1)

Chordonblue (585047) | about 3 months ago | (#46833363)

Ever seen the metallic material completely stripped off of the plastic of the disk? I have. Some companies were better than others are producing quality disks - who knows what might have happened otherwise? Better not to take the chance of damaging something not restorable and doing it the hard way rather than the easy and quick method.

That's (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 3 months ago | (#46832393)

Souper

Digital Archaeology (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 3 months ago | (#46832447)

Digital Archaeology, whoda thunk it?

My name is Andy Warhol (2)

Bender Unit 22 (216955) | about 3 months ago | (#46832451)

and I just learned to use flood-fill.

Editors please do your job (5, Informative)

cdrudge (68377) | about 3 months ago | (#46832457)

CMOA? AWM? CMU? FRSCI? Identifying what an acronym stands for is very helpful when the acronym isn't very well known. Yes I know I can read the article and try to find it out, but it's helpful for summaries too.

In case anyone else was wondering:
CMOA - Carnegie Museum of Art
AWM - Andy Warhol Museum
CMU - Carnegie Mellon University
FRSCI - Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry

Re:Editors please do your job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46832545)

The summary is meant to be meaningless, that way you have to click on the article to get any meaningful information, thus generating extra ad views. The slashdot summary criteria is that the summary should give just enough of a hint at the story to get you to click the article, and not one bit more.

Re:Editors please do your job (1)

pyster (670298) | about 3 months ago | (#46832563)

You mean initialism. An acronym must be pronounceable.

Re:Editors please do your job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46833177)

That is murky water. Is SCSI really pronounceable? Well, it is if you try hard enough, we all do just that, don't we; "scuzzy". None of the "acronyms" above are any less "pronounceable" than SCSI; "see-moh", "awm" pronounces as-is, "see-mew", "frisky" is actually quite a good one in the mould of SCSI.

Re:Editors please do your job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46833677)

What's STUDIO stand for?

(It's nice to see that even non-technical people have acronyms within acronyms.)

What not to do (4, Insightful)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 3 months ago | (#46832509)

You've just found an undiscovered work by Andy Warhol. Do you want to:

1. Wipe it down with Pledge(TM)?

2. Call an appropriate professional for advice?

Because I'm pretty sure that . . . "I would've just stuck the disks in and tried to copy it myself" . . . is the physical artifact equivalent of using some randomly chosen household cleaner. And museum curators are pretty anal about curation of their stuff.

Also, for the love of God, do not use "DiskDoctor"!

Re:What not to do (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46832577)

No, "i would've just stuc the disk in and tried to copy it myself" is the equivalent of trying to copy the content to a safe place. Tell me, when was the last time you broke a 3.5" disk when putting it inside a drive to read it? Never, is when.

Re:What not to do (2)

Nimey (114278) | about 3 months ago | (#46832627)

Let me see... I last used a floppy a couple years ago and it was basically single-use: wrote data to it once, got it back off once, then Bad Sector City. Most of that 10-pack of floppies was the same way.

Granted "modern" 3.5" floppies are much lower quality than what we had in the '80s but your assertion that floppies never break is stupid.

Re:What not to do (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46832781)

floppies never break is stupid.
Depends on the brand. Mid 80s you paid for decent discs. As they had to work or they were quickly returned to the store. I am sure mr warhol would have noticed that his pictures were corrupt after 1-2 uses and used a different brand, like everyone else.

You buy the 100 no name pack from some shady back of the computer shopper advert, pretty hit or miss. Stick to the name brands you usually got something that worked because they tried them out before they left the factory.

I still have 200-300 that I never used. Should toss em. I had a stack of about 200 that I kept my archives on. Read them back a couple years ago. 1 bad out of the 200 and sure enough it was a 'no name' brand one.

Re:What not to do (2)

Nimey (114278) | about 3 months ago | (#46832863)

Do your archives contain anything of consequence? These are the only known copies of works by a major dead artist, they're worth taking extra precautions over that your old 16-color horse porn doesn't

Re:What not to do (2)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 3 months ago | (#46832661)

I had a failing drive that would eat disks.

The thing about being anal retentive about preserving the data is that you don't want to be the jerk who ruined a priceless warhol artifact by having an incredibly unlucky day.

Re:What not to do (2)

Nimey (114278) | about 3 months ago | (#46832879)

But if it works then you've proven you're smarter than everyone else, and that's obviously more important.

Re:What not to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46833517)

Some people would pay for the chance of being the jerk who ruined a priceless warhol artifact...

Re:What not to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46832985)

DiskDoctor was great. Most of the time it managed to repair almost half of the files that weren't damaged!

Re:What not to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46833379)

You've just found an undiscovered work by Andy Warhol. Do you want to:

1. Wipe it down with Pledge(TM)?

2. Call an appropriate professional for advice?

Because I'm pretty sure that . . . "I would've just stuck the disks in and tried to copy it myself" . . . is the physical artifact equivalent of using some randomly chosen household cleaner. And museum curators are pretty anal about curation of their stuff.

Also, for the love of God, do not use "DiskDoctor"!

Soak it in Clorox.

Seriously, losing this "art" is a loss to no one.

Andy Warhol (1)

tekrat (242117) | about 3 months ago | (#46832743)

Andy used to hang around the SVA (School of Visual Arts) cafeteria trying to pick up (male) students.

I was in the film school at the time, so I didn't give a crap about who he was. There was another guy as well back then, Larry Gartel, who also used the Amiga to create digital art. He's obviously not as well known as Warhol, but thems the breaks.

Re:Andy Warhol (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46832887)

Yes, he is a filthy faggot = pedophile. Artists are rather stupid hence carnal & therefore probably immoral. His "work" is frankly worthless.

shouldve called me (1)

beaverdownunder (1822050) | about 3 months ago | (#46832771)

i have a mint amiga 600!

Reverse engineer the format??? (4, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 3 months ago | (#46832801)

Odds are very high that they where IFF. Commodore created a universal documented format container called IFF back in the day. The Graphics version was completely documented and is evens still supported by a lot of graphics programs.

Re:Reverse engineer the format??? (2)

RJFerret (1279530) | about 3 months ago | (#46833031)

It was said in the BBC article emulators couldn't load it, and considering GIMP loads IFF, and he had a pre-release Amiga 1000 with unreleased software, it's entirely possible it was from before the Interchange File Format was standardized.

Sure enough, turns out to be the case, paraphrased from the PDF linked above, An older format deprecated by 1990 was called PLBM (PLanar BitMap, compared to the ILBM interleaved bitmaps you might recall as typical IFF). This format is much more poorly (sic) documented. One disk contained an EA slidshow of PLBM files. A pre-release version of Graphicraft, as well as the A-squared framegrabber both produced what they dubbed a "Graphicraft format", essentially an uncompressed PLBM without an IFF header. All the files found in that format contained at most 32 colors.

Per those commenting on robustness, 40 disks, 4 had bad sectors, 9 had file system issues. Half of those impacted files/used space.

Why? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46832859)

Yes, why this story? Who needs his stupidity that any cheap imbecile can output? Besides, he is a vile faggot, like you probably.
A war is looming, West.

thanks (1)

kuzeyozel (3630105) | about 3 months ago | (#46833127)

thank you for sharing.

Well, there goes ... (3, Funny)

PPH (736903) | about 3 months ago | (#46833431)

... his 6.44E9 CPU cycles of fame.

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