Upcoming PBS special on bit rot

From: Roger Merchberger <zmerch_at_northernway.net>
Date: Wed Jan 14 02:18:39 1998

;-) Grant Zozman head-scratched, yawned, then typed:

>For info on a videotape of the program, call 800-472-1500, or write;
>American Film Foundation
>PO Box 2000
>Santa Monica, CA 90406

Thanks for the info!!! :-)

>A couple of interesting points made:

>1) When we create information using a digital medium, we seldom preserve
>the working copies of our documents, and so the historical record of the
>development of significant works is lost. Makes me think of music, and
>how much we have learned of classical composers by studying the rough
>drafts of their works.

This is very true. Most programmers don't preserve (at least for very long)
half-completed software -- even if it was never completed. (Well, Bill
Gates and WinBlows anything is an exception!!! ;-)

I don't always save incremental steps of my projects, but I never delete an
unfinished project -- packratism saves me there.

>2) People who work in the computer industry generally percieve
>themselves as pioneers who are creating a new future, and therefore
>throw off the old. As a result, very little emphasis is placed on
>storing or cataloging the vast quantities of digital data generated.
>This trend is complicated by the fact that storage mediums are
>constantly changing.

Thankfully, I'm using my latest & greatest technology to help *preserve*
the ancient softwares -- I have an older (durned near ready for this list
-- it was built in '89 or '90) MaxOptix Tahiti I 1-Gig Magneto Optical
drive, which is 30-year archival quality storage, and also a CD-ROM burner,
which some of the better rated disks (like my Kodaks) last upwards of 100
years (or so the label says...)

I've archived a great deal of my CoCo, Tandy 200 and Tandy 600 software on
my M.O. until I organize it better, then it will be burned to a CD-ROM.

Oh, if anyone's interested in Tandy 600 software, I have a T600 FTP site here:

The incoming directory in the root FTP directory works, so if you have any
T600 software to add to the FTP site, please upload it & e-mail me about it!

Roger "Merch" Merchberger
Roger Merchberger       | If at first you don't succeed,
Programmer, NorthernWay | nuclear warhead disarmament should *not*
zmerch_at_northernway.net  | be your first career choice.
Received on Wed Jan 14 1998 - 02:18:39 GMT

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