[vcf-midatlantic] Could a Blockchain based file system be the answer!
hjohnson at retrotechnology.info
Thu Dec 21 11:02:25 EST 2017
This discussion thread, was/is about using some kind of "blockchain
technology" to preserve vintage computing data, programs, PDF's, photos
- you know, the digital bits - with some kind of distributed file system
I'm afraid that in my stone-age 20th century opinion, this is all
besides the point, in any number of ways.
0) I refuse to engage in discussion of "blockchain" as per preservation
of vintage computing content. Blockchain is a means to an end. I'll
address the "end".
1) The issue of preservation of digitized content, is mostly about
physical archives. Either one has physical media (say, CD-ROMs) or one
has a physical presence for accessable data (some file server on a Web
domain). A number of people and organizations do this; they should be
supported. If someone wants to add themselves to the crowd, save and
distribute copies, that's up to them. If someone wants to create a new
organization, they can do that.
Otherwise, show some love to those digital archives that you USE for
vintage computing. Every day. For free - except someone is paying
someone for your "freedom".
2) The issue of saving CONTENT does not preserve *physical artifacts*. I
have worked for decades to support and preserve S-100 physical systems,
root out their history, support their restoration. Real cards, real
power supplies, real diskettes, real paper documentation. All the
emulation in the world is not the same as a "ugly box of boards",
sitting on your desk, roaring fans, clunking floppy drives, blinking
lights, toggling switches (if any, that stopped in 1979 or so), and so on.
The challenges of preserving physical artifacts are enormous. Physical
space and collecting them is only the beginning. Putting them *back to
use* is challenging squared. There's many "museums" which are stacks of
computers on a shelf. They have "don't touch" policies, and few on-staff
who know how to plug in an AC power cord. The legacy of use, and the
capacity to read old data and programs, depends on *use* of vintage
Emulators succeed in running recovered data and programs. They are very
useful in reverse-engineering programs and data files (even on audio
cassettes) which are already (re)digitized. They simulate computing on a
screen, on modern computers: this at the very least, encourages interest.
But there was a time when personal computing was NOT about images on a
TV screen! Preserve *that*!
Herb "Flintstone Computing" Johnson
Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey in the USA
http://www.retrotechnology.com OR .net
preserve, recover, restore 1970's computing
email: hjohnson AT retrotechnology DOT com
or try later herbjohnson AT retrotechnology DOT info
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