Star Trek Creator's Old Documents Finally Decoded

Documents on nearly 200 floppy disks have been recovered
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2016 6:00 PM CST
Star Trek Creator's Old Documents Finally Decoded
Thanks to a data recovery company, we may soon know what new adventures "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry had planned for the crew of the USS Enterprise.   (AP Photo/Paramount Television ,File)

A data recovery company has boldly gone where no man has gone before (or at least in 30 or so years): Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's extensive floppy disk collection. The Roddenberry estate handed over nearly 200 wildly outdated floppy disks to DriveSavers, hoping the company could retrieve whatever secrets they held, according to a press release. It wasn't as simple as it sounds. "The older disks, we had to actually figure out how to physically read them," DriveSavers' director of engineering, Mike Cobb, tells PCWorld. The disks were used with two computers custom-built for Roddenberry that used uncommon operating systems and word-processing software; one of the computers was auctioned off years ago and the other wouldn't turn on.

"After months of painstaking work," the press release says, DriveSavers believes it's recovered approximately 95% of the data off the 5.25-inch disks, per PCWorld. So what was on the disks? Everyone's keeping quiet so far. "Documents," Cobb says in the press release. "Lots of documents." Cobb says the disks' contents may be revealed for the 50th anniversary of Star Trek this year. But PCWorld reports the Roddenberry estate isn't commenting. Bonnie Burton at CNET writes that she hopes whatever is on the disks is used to "inspire" CBS' new Star Trek series, which is scheduled for 2017. "Perhaps we'll finally learn what a season 4 of the original series would have looked like," she writes. (A Star Trek actress was recently charged with indecent exposure.)

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