Upcoming PBS special on bit rot

From: Sam Ismail <dastar_at_wco.com>
Date: Wed Jan 14 10:56:14 1998

On Wed, 14 Jan 1998, Roger Merchberger wrote:

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

As a general practice, I (mostly) regularly make a zip file of all the
source code for each of my projects with a filename that includes the
date, and this zip file goes into a \backup directory on my PC (I also
make copies to other nodes on the network as well as to floppy). I have a
living system that I have incremental code for going back to 1993;
there's probably over 100 different zip files containing the evolutionary
story of the program. I'm just a natural born archivist (ie. pack-rat)
which is why I never could get myself to delete old copies of source. I
guess I really have a high opinion of myself because I don't think I have
ever deleted any of my own work.

> Oh, if anyone's interested in Tandy 600 software, I have a T600 FTP site here:
> ftp://ftp.northernway.net/Tandy600/
> 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!

Much maligned FTP sites such as Asimov (a site which houses obsolete
commercial Apple ][ software for those not aware) are doing a service that
the anti-piracy zealots often over-look: as long as the underlying
infrastructure is alive (the hard-drive it is stored on, the computer that
hosts the hard drive and the net that links the computer to the rest of
us) the programs are alive. I'd much rather have old programs remain
available, especially so we can continue to enjoy them, rather than have
them die out completely because somebody believes its simply wrong to
harbor "pirated" software.

(Sorry for the rant.)

Sam Alternate e-mail: dastar_at_siconic.com
Computer Historian, Programmer, Musician, Philosopher, Athlete, Writer, Jackass

                   Coming Soon...Vintage Computer Festival 2.0
                   See http://www.siconic.com/vcf for details!
Received on Wed Jan 14 1998 - 10:56:14 GMT

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