Re: Station wagon full of bits

Barry Shein (
Sat, 28 Mar 87 15:14:56 EST

While at Harvard in the mid-70's we in fact used a similar method of
transferring things. We had a research group in Ohio and occasionally
the (semi-portable home-brewed) computer broke down. We simply ran to
the airport with a spare, bought it a seat on the next flight and had
someone meet it at the airport gate at the other end (a similar method
is often used to transfer children around the country.) We did the
same sort of thing with (large) boxes of floppies occasionally to
start up data analysis, it worked well enough (plus or minus traffic
jams at Logan Airport.) The broken computer was returned similarly.
The cost was very reasonable compared to other options, we were under
heavy time pressure to keep the data collection rolling.

While we're on the subject of using planes, why not rockets laden with
CDs and launched in parabolic arcs, much faster. We can refer to it as
the Strategic Data Initiative, perhaps a proposal is in order.

        -Barry Shein, Boston University

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