4757Re: Bill's plan for a disk boot archive distribution network
- Jan 2, 2007--- "Kelly Leavitt" <kelly@...> wrote:
>---- "B Degnan" b...@...
> And I disagree with much of Herb's and Evan's responses. Sorry guys :(
> your standard predicable reactions. [that's a complete quote.]Evan Koblentz posted:
>Rant: I also think Herb's comment extends to many other aspects ofour hobby. In general, I think our hobby is too incestuous and
fragmented. ....The result is multiple attempts at every little
thing, each attempt with a bunch of redundant users and/or a bunch of
unique, loyal users, often not knowing about the other attempts. I
think our hobby needs more regional user groups like MARCH, more
openness to newcomers and youth, and less in-fighting over whose site
or forum gets to be the meta-portal.
Actually, speaking for myself, I don't see very much disagreement from
Kelly about what I said. I said "use Dave's program" - Kelly says he
can use it on 80%-90% of his disks. I said "support Dave's archive" -
Kelly says he'd be glad to do so in principle, making his
Dunfield-compatible disk images available to all. I appreciate Kelly's
extensive response, and what he plans to do: it's consistent in large
part with what I was commenting about. I'm glad to offer some responses.
Dave's archive is simply to provide boot disks, that is system disks.
Kelly apparently has a larger plan, to provide a general archive of
whatever is on his 1500-disk collection - boot disks, utilities,
commercial software. And he plans to do that on his own, for free
apparently. Hey, what he does is his business. Others have established
similar on-line archives of software, or manual images. (I take no
position on the legal issues involved - I am no lawyer.) Kelly may end
up creating the largest single archive; my general observation is that
there are MANY archives of smaller collections which overlap, but
there's room for more (but not more formats IMHO).
Much of what I posted was about the propostion that someone can offer
this as a service for some kind of FEE, and to postal mail actual
disks. This is what Bill apparently proposes. Again, my response is
that people like Kelly will offer their stuff for free download,
immediately - and that you can't compete with that. Only people who
are unable to use such download services to make their own disks will
pay for someone to do it for them. Or, people who have specific
hardware which can't be supported on ordinary PC's hardware, as Kelly
describes. I know these issues first-hand, in the manuals and floppy
business, as I wrote. There may be a service component to this that
can be worked. When "free" won't do the job, you gotta pay or wait for
work to be done. Good luck to anyone who does that, including myself,
including Bill for that matter.
Kelly asks specifically, "What happens if something happens to Dave?"
Dave has already answered that: his program is on the archive site,
the archive site is ALREADY on the cccomp Web server and not Dave's
servers. In a way, *Kelly* is offering to enhance the archive, just as
others have when they send Dave a disk image. As long as Dunfield's
archive with his imaging programs exists and is mirrored, it will
exist. (Don Maslin's service was physical disks, in the days before
the "free" Web, and it died with him.) There are other archives on
the Web from people or organizations no longer active, surviving by
being mirrored. Hey, *I* was approached recently and asked if I wanted
*MY* Web site mirrored. For free of course.
The Web, and free access, has DEcentralized these kinds of activities,
other than specialized, specific services such as I mentioned above. A
Web search will find any archive anywhere; blame Google.
If Kelly wants to do what he intends to do, for free, then more power
to him. I've forgotten that Kelly does high-class work via his
trs80 site; I'm not a Tandy guy. How Kelly sustains that kind and
amount of activity is up to him. If he has a business model, I hope it
works - I'd love to find such a model myself, in a world where people
work for free, give stuff for free, get access to it for free,
Kelly says he tried to discuss this in another discussion group. I"ve
discussed this myself, years ago, in comp.os.cpm. Search for it
if you want, it was about archives of manuals, manuals for payment vs.
PDF's for free. I was told that the economic challenges I mentioned
were, and I quote, "collateral damage" from the consequence of
then-new scanning and Web technology, of the "free" activities I
mention above. When people can get stuff for free, they don't wanna
talk about economics. I could not revive the discussion after that,
it's old news.
Similar trends are occuring in other domains where there is old
content on old media. There is a mad rush by (excuse me) non-producers
of content, to take old content on old media and to put it "freely" on
the Web. Even the Library of Congress is doing it - old movies, old
images. Amazon and Google copy whole books - just for 'searching" of
course, the economics are that they get your eyeballs, for ads. Snore
snore, old news, zzzzz....It's like talking water to fish, today.
Regarding Bill's brief response: I'm sorry that Bill did not see fit
to respond in any detail. Maybe he will later. If all he sees is a
repudiation of his proposal, I'm sorry for that, it's hard to respond
to something of that sort. But I can't read his mind, I can't guess at
what "pedictable reactions" he may have beyond disappointment.
Believe me, I hesitated and dithered about posting anything at all. I
don't want to rain on anyone's parade, I have no desire to be Chairman
of the MARCH Spoiler Committee. So I presented my dilemma as best I
could. But it's a real dilemma, and I hope Bill takes time to consider
Regarding fragmentation, there is no central portal because the Web
has no center. And it's all on the Web - for most people, anyway. That
may be "fragmented" as Evan said and Kelly suggested, but Google will
aggregate it for you. As for fragmented plans and activities, anybody
with time and some resources can compete on the Web with anyone else
on a fairly equal footing. Evan, you want "openness", that's it! At
least that's how it used to be...this is changing in the usual ways,
as big money and spammers both clog the Web; but that's another
On the other hand, MARCH and other old computer collectors and
organizations who have a PHYSICAL presence, PHYSICAL assets, and
people, can aggregate their PHYSICAL stuff and resources to advantage,
as you suggest. But when physical assets, like disks or (in my
business) manuals can be turned into on-line content, you can't
compete with the drive to "free on the Web". That's the challenge, or
as I put it, "where's the business model that competes with free?"
And I agree with Evan that a bit of homework goes a long way to avoid
duplicated work. I don't care for duplicated work; much of the content
on my Web site is about the work of others. Hey, I support those who
are gettin' it done! Nothing wrong with new ideas and proposals; but
in the end it's work and persistance and resources that produce
results which stick around. However....on the Web there are a lot of
dead Web sites, dormant efforts. Some get revived...again, another
discussion, but it adds to apparent fragmentation.
Contrary to Evan, I see nothing wrong with a MARCH discussion of all
this, consider the sequence. Someone posted about wanting a boot disk.
That struck a chord as various people offered far larger proposals
which may, or may not, involve MARCH as an organization to aggregate
such disks or requests for them. Herb and Kelly say "hey, it's been
done (more or less)". Where else does MARCH do business, to decide
what to do? - Evan himself directed *ME* here. And Kelly said he
could not raise the discussion elsewhere.
How about that: MARCH serves a purpose! Good work, Evan! ;)
Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey USA
<a href="http://www.retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/"> web site</a>
<a href="http://www.retrotechnology.net/herbs_stuff/"> domain mirror</a>
my email address: hjohnson AAT retrotechnology DOTT com
if no reply, try in a few days: herbjohnson ATT comcast DOTT net
"Herb's Stuff": old Mac, SGI, 8-inch floppy drives
S-100 IMSAI Altair computers, docs, by "Dr. S-100"
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