January 27, 2004

Computer Archeology

The term "computer archeology" has two meanings. One meaning is the art of using computers in archeology. But that's only because they haven't found a
computer in a dig--yet. Here, we're using the term in the way such science fiction writers as James P. Hogan and Vernor Vinge use it: the art of
recovering data from defunct, possibly alien, computers.

This article explains how to recover data from an Atari ST hard drive, using PC hardware, Linux and a bit of care. The effort benefits from two design
decisions the Atari ST designers made that show the benefits of open standards. First, the Atari ST can use a standard SCSI I hard drive with an
Atari-specific host adapter. Second, the ST uses 12-bit FAT filesystems, so I did not have to develop a filesystem driver. Linux's open architecture,
open-source nature and excellent native development tools would have made it the ideal platform for such a project.

The target hardware consists of a 234MB Quantum ProDrive LPS hard drive (large in those days) originally connected to the Atari by an ICD host
adapter.

Link: linuxjournal.com

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