Upcoming PBS special on bit rot

From: Roger Merchberger <zmerch_at_northernway.net>
Date: Thu Jan 15 00:16:56 1998

;-) Ward Donald Griffiths III head-scratched, yawned, then typed:
>William Donzelli wrote:
>> > This is very true. Most programmers don't preserve (at least for very
>> > half-completed software -- even if it was never completed. (Well, Bill
>> > Gates and WinBlows anything is an exception!!! ;-)
>> I really do not buy this point. Just about every software development
>> company I know of uses a revision control system to keep every bit of
>> working code that the programmers type out. This includes the hundreds
>> of tiny revisions that are made between releases, even the "dead-ends".
>That's _formal, professional_ programmers with systems that support
>revision control -- how much of the development for eight-bit micros
>was done on systems without such formal structure back in the 70s,
>early 80s? -- I'd wager a gagload.

That was the point I was making myself -- Sure you can pick up Linux
1.2.13, but can you get a copy of "Merch's Half-Written CoCo3 OS-9 Level2
(Basic09) Multi-Color, Multi-Window Genealogy Program with Built In Help"???

Thankfully, yes, if you give me a week or so to dig it up!

And there's a lot of software for Tandy CoCos (for example -- I'm sure the
problem may be rather widespread) that just seems like it cannot be found.
Whether it was actually bad code, or expensive code, or whatever, there's a
lot of software packages that I've asked around for for quite some time and
cannot turn a copy up to beat the band. (For purchase, archiving or otherwise)

It's a shame -- Looking at FHL's (Frank Hogg's Laboratories) old ads there
was a boatload of software like the Flex OS, 3 or 4 different Basics,
COBOL, Pascal, Macro Assemblers / Disassembles, etc. for that OS alone,
that may have gone *Poof* and may never be seen again.

It would be a shame to lose it like that.

Just MHO,
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 Thu Jan 15 1998 - 00:16:56 GMT

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