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  • Digital Archaeology: Codex (Floppy Disk) #8 (part 20)

    A summary for those that haven’t been keeping up with this series:

    I found a bunch of 5.25″ disks at a thrift store a number of years ago. I finally got around to acquiring a 5.25″ disk drive and extracting the contents a while back. Since then I have been posting the contents here.

    Based on the contents, at least some of these disks were apparently once owned by someone named Connie A. Buys who used to run the “Close Encounters” Special Interest Group (SIG) on Delphi in the mid 1980s.

    A specific definition of this SIG was found in a previous document on one of the disks: “This SIG, known as “Close Encounters”, is a forum for the discussion of relationships that develop via computer services like the Source, CompuServe, and Delphi. Our primary emphasis is on the sexual aspects of those relationships.”

    Everything was text based from whatever terminal program you used to dial in to Delphi’s servers. Many of these disks have forum messages, e-mails and chat session logs. All of this is pre-internet stuff and I don’t know if there are any archives in existence today of what was on Delphi in the 1980s. In any case, much of this stuff would have been private at the time and some of it is quite personal.

    I’ve been splitting up the contents of this disk (descriptively labeled “File Disk”) since it contains a number of documents, some of which are pretty long. A 5.25″ floppy disk can still hold an impressive amount of info when it is just text. (see the previous parts here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19).

    Not sure what the origin of this story was. An interesting statistic on psychiatrists and a positive change in the insurance industry I suppose.

    This finally wraps up the contents of this disk. I’ll be starting on a new disk in the next digital archaeology post.


    Starting May 1, psychiatrists who indulge in sex relations with their
    patients no longer have the malpractice insurance policy of the
    American Psychiatric Association to cover their sexual misconduct.
    For years, the APA's basic liability insurance policy said nothing
    about such hanky-panky or experimental patient-doctor sex therapy. 
    When patients sued or threatened to sue on grounds of seduction,
    millions of dollars were paid in settlements.
    In 1977, after studying 1000 therapists, Dr. Jean Holrody of UCLA
    revealed that 5.5% of them had engaged in sexual relations with
    clients.  The American Psychiatric Association has always regarded sex
    between psychiatrists and patients as unethical.  "It cannot be
    condoned under any circumstances," says John Blamphin, information
    director of the APA, "and the association will no longer offer
    insurance protection for any member-psychiatrist engaging in the
    practice.  No patient, male or female, should ever accept sex
    relations with his or her psychiatrist as part of therapy."
    Psychiatrists, on the average, pay an annual malpractice insurance
    premium of $1000 - the lowest of any medical specialty.

  • Solar eclipse of August 21, 2017

    Here are a few of the pictures I took of the solar eclipse. These were taken from the Space Coast (Brevard County, Florida). We were not in the path of totality. The coverage here was about 85%. It’s amazing how bright it still is outside with 85% of the sun covered…

    I think these came out pretty good considering that they were taken by holding a pair of those cheap paper eclipse glasses up to the lens of my Cannon PowerShot SX40 HS :)

    More pictures can be found here: https://file.army/a/zE1Ea

  • STS-99 Space Shuttle Endeavour

    Once nice thing about living along the Space Coast is the ability to walk out my front door and see launches from the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Lately this includes Space X Falcon 9 launches, Atlas V launches and Delta 4 launches. It used to also include Space Shuttle launches.

    Even though I live close enough to get a decent view of the launches, I’ve still gone to KSC property on a couple of occasions to see them close up. One such time was in February 2000 when I watched the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour for the STS-99 mission. Buying the launch viewing opportunity ticket gets you as close as you get get to the Launch Pad 39 complex as a member of the public, which is still a few miles away.

    Human space flight is still rare enough that most launches are still historic in some way. In the case of this Endeavour launch, it was the last launch of Endeavour that was not an International Space Station dedicated mission. It was also the last flight of Endeavour to use the original Space Shuttle cockpit layout before being upgraded to the glass cockpit.

    The mission itself was the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). The purpose was to create the most complete and high resolution digital topographic database of the Earth. A specially modified C-band and X-band interferometric synthetic aperture radar (IFSAR) was used to complete this task and the 11-day mission was a success, generating over 8 terabytes of data.

    One of the bad things about buying the viewing ticket is that you have to come back when ever a launch is scrubbed and this happens often. The ticket is good for that particular mission so whenever it finally launches, no matter how long it is ultimately delayed, the ticket is still good for that launch. It’s just a matter of you being available which may be difficult if you were here on vacation. This particular mission was scrubbed twice and ended up launching 11 days later than planned. Fortunately, these were not lat minute cancellations so at least I had several hours notice and didn’t have to drive out there and back. This is not always hte case.

    At any rate, the experience is well worth it. I recommend waiting until the Falcon Heavy launches or perhaps even NASA’s new Space Launch System but if you are in the area and there happens to be a launch of any kind, get tickets if you can and if not, you can still get pretty close along the beach nearby.