Classic Computer Rescue Squad

From: William Donzelli <>
Date: Sat Nov 8 11:15:16 1997

> There's more to a machine that makes it historically important
> than how many were sold or produced. Was the STRETCH important (a
> half dozen or so)? How about the PDP-10 (under a thousand)? Mass
> marketing is not the gauge of importance, especially in a social
> context. Remember - the individuals who designed the machines that
> _were_ mass marketed were brought up knowing about computers, and
> those machines most certainly weren't mass-market devices.

Well, Carl beat me with this point - history is _far_ more than just
numbers. For example, how many ARPANET machines were ever in service? How
many NSFnet machines? (About 40 for the curious ones out there). Yet look
what THEY did - somehow I think that 500 years from now people are still
going to talk about the start and explosion of the public global network.
I would think that would certainly qualify as "socially significant".

> Whether Novas are "wanted" is immaterial to the argument. Folks are
> now virtually unaware of a piece of history, and an important one at
> that. It's also a piece of history that's fast disappearing, which is
> a rotten shame.

If something is not wanted now, it may be wanted later (almost for sure,
with bits of history, when they are "rediscovered"). All to many times, it
is too late - did I just here someone mention Univac?
William Donzelli
Received on Sat Nov 08 1997 - 11:15:16 GMT

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