Classic Computer Rescue Squad

From: Mark Tosiello <>
Date: Sun Nov 9 20:56:14 1997

If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first--Invent the

                               ---Dr. Carl E. Sagan

From: "Lawrence Walker" <>
To: "Discussion re-collecting of classic computers"
Subject: Re: Classic Computer Rescue Squad
Date: Sun, 9 Nov 1997 10:26:08 +0000

> On Sat, 8 Nov 1997, William Donzelli wrote:

> 500 years from now, if what I am trying to accomplish with the Vintage
> Computer Festival succeeds, the machines which were truly significant from
> a social context, meaning the ones which ran the banking system, the
> airline system, government, etc. (in other words, the computers which were
> the foundation of modern society), will be the ones which we remember, and
> the Altair and others of its ilk will be merely novelties.

I'd reign in your desire to pidgeonhole computers into "novelties" vs
"socially significant" if I were you. Not only is EVERY piece of hardware
and software a legacy of the history of computing, but those "novelty"
computers (the Commodores, the Altairs, the Apples) were more than just 8
bit precursors to the current wave of desktop technology...they were
inextricably linked to the social mileux for whom, and in whose time, they
were developed...a sign of the times as it were. Part of the mystique of
the "novelty" computers of which you speak is the very fact that the design
and function of the computer reflected a historic mindset, the widespread
dissemiation and embracing of the IDEA of computing within the masses of
society. It would be foolish and shortsighted to try to relegate certian
aspects of computing history as "novelty" vs "foundation of modern society".
 I would remind you that some of the founders of the modern age of
computing, architects of those computers you would no doubt find "socially
significant", started out peeking and pokeing their way along an 8 bit
piece of silicon that shaped far more influential commodities than the
banking system or the stock shaped their MINDS.

A little respect for the grass roots of the computing age is in order.

Mark Tosiello
("Soapbox mode off, Mr. Spock")
Received on Sun Nov 09 1997 - 20:56:14 GMT

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