[vcf-midatlantic] Culpability and Provenance

Dave McGuire mcguire at neurotica.com
Fri Jan 15 04:14:25 UTC 2021

On 1/14/21 9:54 PM, Bill Degnan via vcf-midatlantic wrote:
> First of all, I believe (my belief) that one should try to leave a vintage
> computer as-is if possible, to preserve it's providence.

   That really depends on what you're trying to achieve.  Over at LSSM, 
our philosophy is a bit different: our focus is on the computers, the 
technology used to build them, and the software used to run them.  They 
are tools.

   The work that Joe Shmoe did on this or that specific machine is 
irrelevant to all of that.  It may serve as an example of the sort of 
work that one might use such tools to perform, but that's about it. 
More often than not, it's just in the way.

   If it were a museum of a different type of tool, say, wrenches, we 
likely wouldn't care about what (say) car engine this or that specific 
wrench was, at one point in its service life, used to work on.  We might 
have an engine in the museum with the wrenched posed on it, as an 
example of the tool being used to perform work, but expending effort to 
display the same engine (not the same kind, but the same ONE) that Joe 
Shmoe worked on with that wrench in 1962 brings little value to the 
exhibit or the point it's trying to make to the viewer...because it's 
about the tool.

   If the focus is on the preservation of work performed with the 
computer, sure, I can see that.  But is that a common focus in efforts 
like ours?  I doubt it.  I'd have no problem with it if it were so, but 
still, I doubt it.

   Just my USD$0.02.


Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
New Kensington, PA

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