From: Bill Whitson <>
Date: Wed Jul 2 22:22:14 1997

Hi all.

OK - here's the scoop so far on the Archival of
classic computer stuff. Please give your input
so that we can get the standards settled.

The UW has graciously given me permission to
attach a personal server to the network full
time for ClassicCmp, so the underwork for the
project is pretty well taken care of.

I have a system that I'm working on setting up
for the job - it will be a 486/66 with 32 MB
of RAM and 3 GB of disk space. I am currently
planning to set it up with linux. As you all
know I am terribly slow about getting things
done so it will probably be a couple weeks
before it goes online. In the meantime we will
continue to use the current FTP site which has
plenty of space available.

The particulars for how things will be stored
are listed below for your review.

Remember that the primary purpose of the
archive is to store these items so that
_someone_ can access them and make them
available. It's probably not possible to
always find a format that everyone can use,
but if the data is here you can be pretty
sure that you will be able to get it one way
or another.

System Software

System software will be stored in a variety
of formats. The preferred format will be
disk images for those machines for which
the means to create such an image has been
developed. Examples are the Apple II/III
(.dsk, .do, .po files) and C64 (.dsk files).

The alternate format will be disk images
created with a Central Point Option Board [1]
which will read almost any 5.25" or 3.5"
diskette. Those with such a board will be
able to simply download and use the images.
Those without will need to arrange to get
a copy through regular mail. It's not a
perfect solution but I can't come up with
anything better. This will not cover 8"
disks and I don't know how to deal with them
as yet.

General Software

Non-booting software will be stored in the
preferred compressed archival format for
each machine (GZip where available).

Firmware (ROMS, PROMS, PALS(?), etc...)

I still don't know what a standard format
for this should be. Anything which can be
dumped to a file I'm willing to go with.
My (limited) gizmo calls the format that it
dumps to my PC "RAW". I assume that this is
just the contents bit-for-bit. If anyone
can read/write in raw format I'd recommend
going with that.


Text: Text should be presented in plain text,
RTF, or PostScript. I will convernt submis-
sions to conform to all three formats.

Line Drawings: Should be formatted in either
TIFF or PostScript format.

Images: Should be formatted as either JPEG
or PNG (Portable Network Graphic). I will
convert PNG to JPEG on submission.

Tag Files

Each item will require a tag file to cover
it's identification. This file is currently
DS-form.txt located in the docs directory on
the FTP site. It is probably not yet specific
enough on the technical details - I will need
recommendations on what to add. It does cover
all the legal issues I wanted to address.

Retrieving Files

These files will be made available by FTP.
Most will be easily downloadable by anyone.
Some (Firmware, System Software) will be
more difficult and will require physical
assistance. I will generally be willing
to create and mail disks for those who need
them and can provide the media. I am poorly
equipped to take care of firmware. Those
without the neccesary gizmos will need to
rely on the kindness of the group.

[1] The Central Point Option Board is a
device for an ISA bus PC that will read
almost any standard floppy. They are still
fairly commonly available for $20 or so.

Bill Whitson
Received on Wed Jul 02 1997 - 22:22:14 BST

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