rarest computers. was: RE: Xerox Alto Restoration + Emulation

From: Vintage Computer Festival <vcf_at_siconic.com>
Date: Tue Aug 3 11:58:36 2004

On Tue, 3 Aug 2004, John Allain wrote:

> > For example, I have e-birthday cards sent to an
> > secretary by her colleagues; emails from her husband
> > explaining...
> COMPLETELY unethical to spend more than a minute reading such
> personal stuff IMHO. It is a partially the fault of the previous owner,
> partially the fault of the O/S vendor to not sterilize the machine before
> getting it out, but I don't think that exonerates you. If we are to be
> respected in this hobby I think we should step up and give personal
> data honorable burial.


I totally AGREE and DISAGREE at the same time. I don't think it's
unethical to read that sort of data AS LONG AS YOU DON'T DIVULGE IT TO
ANYONE ELSE OR USE IT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE, in which case that would be

It would be a loss to future generations if we were to wipe that data
without considering the value to archaeological and sociological studies.
People keep everything in their computers today, and very little
elsewhere. In 50-100 years time and beyond, hard drives of today will
hold a snapshot of our modern society and help our descendents understand
us (believe me, they'll need all the help they can get).

> This will someday happen: Someone will do something really unethical
> with thrown HD information and various localities will have to install
> shredding equipment for incoming computers.

I offer people the service of wiping their hard drive when they drop their
computers off for recycling. About a third take me up on the offer; a
third have already removed the hard drive; the other third don't care or
don't deem their personal stuff juicy enough to worry them about whose
hands it might fall in to.

Sellam Ismail                                        Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger                http://www.vintage.org
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Received on Tue Aug 03 2004 - 11:58:36 BST

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