archiving as opposed to backing up

From: Vintage Computer Festival <>
Date: Thu Sep 23 10:34:09 2004

On Thu, 23 Sep 2004, Teo Zenios wrote:

> > Wow, so you're arguing that we should lose things so that those that do
> > remain will be more interesting?!
> No, I mean describe the Commodore 64 (as an example) enough so that somebody
> might be interested enough to go dig one up and be able to repair it as
> needed to run it. If we saved every C64 in mint condition so that people
> 1000 years from now are tripping over them still, nobody will want to use
> one (just like people here today don't even want to look at a common 486 PC
> running windows 3.11, but will fall all over themselves to get parts for
> machines that are not common). Time along with apathy by the next
> generations will end up loosing what we hold dear to us, our job is to leave
> enough clues and tell a good enough story that future generations will want
> to know more.

I don't remember advocating keeping every Commodore 64 or every 486 PC
perfectly preserved. We were talking about the value of having
photographs from 1000 years ago. There is a huge difference.

> > > Do you
> > > really want to document every single thing we treasure about a
> > > specific
> > > machine to the Nth degree so somebody even 20 years from now could
> > > just look
> > > it up as needed,
> >
> > Well, yes!
> What a boring world that will be, like playing an old game you never seen
> with the complete walkthrough in your hands never having to figure anything
> out on your own.

You're comparing the importance of our cultural heritage and history to

> > I find this idea really strange. So we should intentionally leave
> > puzzles of the present for the future to decode?!
> Yes why not, give them all the pieces and hopefully a few people will put
> the puzzle together and test it out. People today have no reason to build
> egyptian type pyramids, and we can build them if we wanted to with our
> present technology. The Egyptians did leave alot of records on how they were
> built and organised but archeologists are still not 100% sure how everything
> was done and spend time and effort figuring it out and quite a few people
> like reading about the finds and new ideas on how things were done. Our
> computers are going to be the pyramids of the 3000's, not needed for their
> society (in our crude forms) but a few people will be putting the puzzle
> together just to see what we did and why and alot of people will be
> interested in reading and contemplating the archeologists findings. It
> doesn't have to be intentional. Some of the most basic things we do in life
> that are so obvious to us and never documented will puzzle the hell out of
> people 1000 years from now.

But what is the value in leaving such puzzles for future generations, if
only to give them something to amuse themselves by? Will there not be
word jumbles or crossword puzzles in the future?

Sellam Ismail                                        Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger      
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Received on Thu Sep 23 2004 - 10:34:09 BST

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