Hardware/doc preservatoion, was Re: rarest computers.

From: Jules Richardson <julesrichardsonuk_at_yahoo.co.uk>
Date: Tue Aug 3 07:53:14 2004

On Tue, 2004-08-03 at 12:05, Hans B PUFAL wrote:
> Jules Richardson wrote:
> > Typically people seem to collect such things for the hardware itself;
> > i.e. hard disks or floppies get re-formatted and paper documentation
> > gets thrown in the bin. Seems a shame that often no effort is made to
> > preserve the data from the time itself, just the physical hardware.
> AAAaaarrrggghhh... As I am always pounding into anyone that will listen,
> hardware with no documentation is practically useless. Documentation
> alone could be sufficient to rebuild the hardware. Therefore given the
> choice save the docs!!

Yep, I know :(

People on this list seem pretty good, but I come across lots of
collectors / enthusiasts elsewhere who just want the hardware to play
about on, with no thought about preserving associated data.

Of course, always make a point of asking about software or documentation
when accepting hardware from someone. Over here at least, experience has
been that typically the owner assumes this to be unimportant and doesn't
even mention anything they might have. Sometimes they dump the docs and
software *before* offering the hardware to anyone, which is *really*

It's not just the technical documentation or software that's important,
but the user-land stuff that tells the story of how the machines were
actually used in daily life. In 50 years time, long after the hardware's
stopped functioning and replacements for custom parts aren't available,
it's this aspect that I expect people will be interested in.


Received on Tue Aug 03 2004 - 07:53:14 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:36:32 BST