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Re: Query on adding a USB hdd

On Wed, 23 May 2007 21:17:50 -0400
Douglas Allan Tutty <dtutty@porchlight.ca> wrote:

> If I gpg a tarball today with whatever algorithm is current, in 10
> years that algorithm may be long cracked.  Will the gpg authors keep
> support for it?  Perhaps.

Just yesterday I had a similar problem which pretty much combined all
the troubles mentioned in this thread. It turnmed out I got lucky seven
times in a row. Here goes the story:

I tried to fire up my ancient parallel-port Iomega ZIP drive to rescue
some data from old disks. I was happy to discover that I had been
far-sighted enough to store the drive together with the disks in a
plastic bag (1). Luckily, the current 2.6. kernels still have the ppa
driver (2), and luckily modern desktop PCs still have parallel printer
ports (3).

The first problem was to get a reliable electrical connection through
the dust-ridden ancient connectors. After unplugging and re-plugging
the cable several times I got it to work (4).

The next problem was to make the ZIP recognize the disks. I remember
from back when I used it regularly the drive had started to play funny
and make a lot of clicking noises, probably due to dirty heads.
Obviously this hadn't gotten better during the past five years. It took
me several minutes of kicking the drive and loading and unloading kernel
drivers to get each disk to mount (5).

Having finally mounted the disks, I discovered that they contained
PGP-encrypted tarballs. When I tried to decrypt them, GPG told me that
they were encrypted using IDEA which wasn't supported any more due to
patent issues. Fortunately I was able to download an IDEA module from a
Danish server that ran fine with GPG (6).

One more problem I would have had is that I might have forgotten my old
passphrase. Fortunately I've been using one and the same passphrase for
over 10 years now, which in itself isn't so good, so I could
finally decrypt all my data, re-encrypt it with GPG and commit it to my
current backup scheme (7).


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