you vs. museums

From: R. D. Davis <>
Date: Mon Jun 4 14:37:53 2001

On Mon, 4 Jun 2001, Tony Duell wrote:
> > What sort of museum is he talking about here? I have a close friend who
> In my case, a major UK computer museum. I am not going to mention it by
> name, but I think everybody in the UK knows which one I mean.

If it's the one that I think it is, it's most unfortunate, as it's a
fascinating-looking place. Most disappointing.

> What did bother me was all the obstacles put in my path. And the fact
> that nobody seemed to care about what I was doing. I felt it better in
> the end to work on my own systems....

Most definitely. No one should put up with being treated like that,
whether paid or unpaid.

> Now obviously it's impractical for me to fly across to the States to help
> somebody over there who happens to be on this list, Which is why I have
> to restrict such help to looking stuff up in my manuals, suggesting
> methods of repair, and so on.

Perhaps what we need is a large server with a database set up with not
only data from this list containing information about all the classic
computers that we've discussed, but other information that we have as
well. If we had a central place to store all of the repair
information, all of the scanned in documentation, photographs and
illustrations, all of the shareable software and other data files
pertaining to older systems, and any other information about the older
systems that we could store in such a system, and had that mirrored in
a few places, that would be a great help to people in the future when
we're all gone. As it is, there's a huge amount of information
scattered all over about all sorts of various older systems, but much
of it is data that could easily disappear in an instant without a

I'm not suggesting that people don't keep their own archives, however, as
keeping them, and passing them on to others, is also a much needed safety
net which can protect a huge amount of information.

Museums, it seems, are still basically disinterested in such wide-scale
preservation projects; hopefully I'm wrong, and some are interested.

> It was not impractical for me to go to the museum though, so I was
> prepared to do that. But I was not prepared to be ignored, and have life
> made more difficult than it should have been

It was the museum's loss; I recall you mentioning this at an earlier
time, and it was a very unfortunate thing that they treated such a
great resource of helpful knowledge (you) in such a manner; they were
extremely foolish to turn away such knowlege. Also, as a result of
learning how they reacted to an kind offer of help, I decided not to
send them a donation that I was planning to send.

> [Example : I'll spend a lot of time tracing a logic fault. It's what I
> enjoy doing. But if I get halfway through finding a fault, leave the
> machine and then come back 2 weeks later I expect to find it in
> essentially the same condition. I do not expect to come back, start doing
> more tests and discover after an hour that the reason I'm getting silly
> results is because somebody has 'borrowed' a fuse from the power supply.
> But that is what often happened.]

How do they manage to keep the building(s) housing the museum
standing? It makes one wonder... Do they borrow useful nails and
bolts from elevators, stairwells and floor joists to use elsewhere?

Copyright (C) 2001 R. D. Davis The difference between humans & other animals: 
All Rights Reserved            an unnatural belief that we're above Nature & 410-744-4900 her other creatures, using dogma to justify such       beliefs and to justify much human cruelty.
Received on Mon Jun 04 2001 - 14:37:53 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:33:56 BST