Classic Hardware Documentation Project

From: Richard Erlacher <>
Date: Thu Nov 18 21:37:35 1999

I don't know what the "ideal" format for storing complete documents with
both text and graphic representations of their content. I also don't want
to resurrect the virtual war that resulted when I previously offered to
generate PDF formatted files from dozens of floppy and hard disk documents
in my possession.

My scanner likes to produce TIF files and I can send 'em to you that way or
in any other format that's hopefully easier to ship. Emanuel Stiebler was
kind enough to scan the SHUGART and SEAGATE documents I have. His OCR
software, which, in the wake of the flame-war over format, he hasn't yet
found time to apply, prefers 4-bit greyscale for the best conversion. Mine
prefers single-bit, which is naturally a quarter the size, so since mine
produces typically 1 MB/page, his produced considerably more than that, and
when he brought his 8GB SCSI drive for me to copy those files, I had to lay
it off to tape because I didn't have that much space on my server. That
documentation comprises perhaps half of one percent of what I'd like to put
out there, but I absolutely don't want to form and maintain a website, so
I'm grateful that you're willing. In compressed PDF, you can probably host
hudreds of documents. In PCX, which I agree is an icky format, but which is
about 1/4 the size of the single-bit TIF files my scanner coughs up, you
won't even be able to host half my Intel documents. OCR is a possiblity,
but there's no realtively easy way to link converted text to the associated
illustrations, which are plentiful among old hardware doc's, to say nothing
of the text found within the illustrations.

I'd say you've got a tough job ahead of you, and I'll be sure to let you
know they're about to demolish one of those old stock-brokerage/insurance
company buildings with a 750TB disk farm still in it.

Nonetheless, if you come up with a way to solve this data format/transport
problem, please share it with me.


-----Original Message-----
From: Jason McBrien <>
To: Discussion re-collecting of classic computers
Date: Thursday, November 18, 1999 3:50 PM
Subject: Re: Classic Hardware Documentation Project

>Sure! The more the merrier. I'm starting out small, I only have about 9GB
>disk space on a Linux box to host everything. I'm hoping to get a cheap,
>gigantic IDE hard drive soon to complement it. PCX is a yucky format to
>store documentation in, I'm scanning all my stuff in as PDF's or compressed
>TIFFs, I'd like to stay away from GIFs because of all the legal weirdness
>going on with Unisys. I'm going to work on it this weekend, and hopefully I
>will have something up monday or tuesday. I'll let the list know...
>----- Original Message -----
>From: Richard Erlacher <>
>To: Discussion re-collecting of classic computers
>Sent: Thursday, November 18, 1999 5:30 PM
>Subject: Re: Classic Hardware Documentation Project
>> GREAT!!! I've been pondering where to stash the documents, which will
>> ultimately amount to about 100GB of scanned , maybe 25 GB of
>> documents on disk drives, which will compress, of course, but the volume
>> grows steadily as I muck out.
>> What I want is for all the hardware doc's I've saved all these years to
>> available to whoever needs them.
>> Is that consistent with what you're planning?
>> Dick
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Jason McBrien <>
>> To: Discussion re-collecting of classic computers
>> <>
>> Date: Thursday, November 18, 1999 1:52 PM
>> Subject: Classic Hardware Documentation Project
>> >I am starting a documentation project to collect hardware manuals and
>> >technical documents for all different types of old computers. Before I
>> >it up for all to enjoy, I need to write a legal disclaimer saying, to
>> >effect, that I make no claim to own anything and to the best of my
>> knowledge
>> >it's all public domain info. Anyone know how I should word it, or anyone
>> >have an example on their web site? Thanks in advance.
>> >
>> >-Jason McBrien
>> >-Wayne State University
>> >-Big Iron Fiend
Received on Thu Nov 18 1999 - 21:37:35 GMT

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