DriveSavers, providers of data recovery, eDiscovery and digital forensic services, said Monday that the company has recovered nearly 200 floppy disks belonging to Star Trek creator—the late Gene Roddenberry.
Roddenberry created scripts for the futuristic show on a typewriter. And later, he used a pair of custom-built computers to capture story ideas, write scripts and notes. Over time, the author moved on to work with more mainstream computers, but kept the custom-built pair in his possession. One of the custom-built computers had long since been auctioned and the remaining device was no longer functional.
LunaTech, the IT company retained by Roddenberry Entertainment, suggested sending the disks to DriveSavers. “We’ve been working with DriveSavers for over 5 years,” said Bobby Pappas, president and founder of LunaTech.
But these were no ordinary floppies. The custom-built computers had also used custom-built operating systems and special word processing software that prevented any modern method of reading what was on the disks.
It took over three months for the DriveSavers engineering team to develop software that could read the disks. Even though the engineers were able to crack the unusual formatting, reading the nearly 200 disks was tedious work that took the better part of a year to finish.
After months of painstaking work to recover files that hadn’t been seen in over 30 years, the question remained, what kind of data did DriveSavers unearth? The answer? “Documents,” says Mike Cobb, DriveSavers director of engineering. “Lots of documents.” As to the contents of the documents, Mike says, “2016 just happens to be the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek, anything could happen, the world will have to wait and see.”