Client: Bruce Hettema
According to a press release from DriveSavers data recovery, information on nearly 200 floppy disks that belonged to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry has been recovered.
The information on the disks belongs to Roddenberry’s estate and has not been disclosed to the general public. DriveSavers notes, however, that Roddenberry used the disks to store his work and “to capture story ideas, write scripts and [take] notes.” VentureBeat reports that the disks, containing 160KB of data each, were likely used and written in the ’80s.
The circumstances of the information recovery are particularly interesting, however. Several years after the death of Roddenberry, his estate found the 5.25-inch floppy disks. Although the Star Trek creator originally typed his scripts on typewriters, he later moved his writing to two custom-built computers with custom-made operating systems before purchasing more mainstream computers in advance of his death in 1991.
The floppy disks were used with the custom computers, but unfortunately one of those computers had been auctioned off and the other one was no longer operational. Roddenberry’s estate sent the floppies to DriveSavers, which spent three months writing software that could read the disks in the absence of any documentation or manuals for the custom-built OS.
The data recovery comes just as Star Trek is entering its 50th anniversary year. For those wishing to celebrate with a rewatch of all the episodes in Star Trek‘s canon, you can check out Trek.fm’s podcast From There To Here, which will be discussing two Trek episodes a day throughout the year. (They started January 1, so there’s time to get caught up.) Or, you can check out our overview of watching all of The Original Series in order.