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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Vintage computer could cause problems for kidnap investigators

Vintage computer could cause problems for kidnap investigators

OUT-LAW News, 06/09/2006
Problems retrieving data from a computer popular in the 1980s could hamper the Austrian police in their investigations into the kidnap and eight-year detention of Natascha Kampusch by Wolfgang Priklopil.
Police have announced that Priklopil, who killed himself within hours of Kampusch's escape, had as his only computer a Commodore 64. The communications technician appears to have no other computer at home, posing a problem for investigators.
Major General Gerhard Lang of the Federal Criminal Investigations Bureau told reporters in Austria that the computer would cause complications and that it would be difficult to transmit all the data from the computer "without loss".
While modern computers can run emulators of Commodore software and operating systems, the problems foreseen by Lang involve data transmission. Commodores did not have hard drives, instead relying on floppy discs and cassette tapes for the storage of information.
Kampusch was kidnapped in 1998 when 10 years old and managed to escape two weeks ago. She had been kept for almost all the time in a small, windowless room under the garage at his house.
When Priklopil discovered her escape he killed himself by throwing himself under a train. Police are investigating the possibility that he had an accomplice in the original kidnap. One eye witness report at the time told of two men in a van conducting the kidnap. Computer files could provide vital evidence of the existence and identity of any accomplice.

See how far Commodore Computers were ahead of Msoft


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