Museum long-term expectations (please read, important!)
- Hi all,
I'd like to address a topic which keeps coming up: what does Fred and
InfoAge expect from the MARCH museum?
I've had several conversations with Fred about this topic during the past
year. He and I are completely on the same page about what should be
accomplished and how it should be accomplished. To be
super-duper-double-'puter sure, I called Fred again just now, and he
committed a thorough vote of confidence.
The ultimate goal: to have a simple, inexpensive, effective place where
people can learn about vintage computers.
Every single person affiliated with InfoAge -- from Fred himself to the most
remote, uninvolved MARCH list lurkers -- has one thing in common: none of us
get any payment. Everything done at InfoAge in the past 12 years (that's
how long they've been working on it!) has been a volunteer action in
someone's spare time.
Fred and I have absolutely zero expectatons of a "museum" in the sense of
"the kind of museum you find in a big city". Brand-new plexiglass display
cases? Rubbish! Gorgeous carpet and signs? Let's use second-hand ones
instead! Velvet ropes? Screw that, we want people to touch stuff! (*granted,
not the expensive computers without our close supervision.)
The * nicest * rooms in the main InfoAge building have mediocre white paint,
a few cracked walls, and uneven tiles. Don't like it? Tough cookies. :)
Yes, our cataloging process should be taken seriously, and no, we don't want
to get sued over Stupid Legal Logo Issues (capitalized for entertainment
Ah, "entertainment value" -- volunteering our time for a computer museum is
about the most fun thing I can think of for extreme nerdity. When Andy and
I decided to start a club back in January, "Keep the fun foremost!" was the
first order by leaps and bounds.
When we say "club museum" we should think "plain room with computers" and
(The main Computer History Museum, where I was last week, has a $75 million
budget. We'd be happy with a $750 budget. Let's not kid ourselves over
what's possible. Back in my college newspaper days, serving as editor
during my senior year, I really drove people away by saying "We're not the
New York Times but why shouldn't we try to be?" and I'm not going to make
that mistake again. We're just a local low-budget club "museum" in the
loosest sense of the word.)
So I ** urge ** everyone not to worry so much about how long this takes us,
how ugly it all looks, what systems work or don't yet work, and all that
stuff. Fred and InfoAge want us to do whatever we can, whenever we can, and
they'll be quite happy with however it turns out -- because even a little of
our hard work is more than existed before. I'm all for having pride in our
work (I do already for the things MARCH accomplished in just 10 months), but
neither the club itself nor the museum nor VCF (well, maybe VCF) are things
we should ever have any stress over...
Evan Koblentz's personal homepage: http://www.snarc.net
Computer Collector Newsletter:
- Nah... in dos 1.0 they used the / for a command line options separator
just like CP/M and RT11 (these were more models for the early DOS
than Unix was).
The \ for directory separator was because / was used.
Sometimes I wonder why Microsoft does anything original.
They're pretty much marketing based not engineering based.
--- Evan <evan947@...> wrote:
> I've heard that story presented as fact a few times. Sounds
> * Trivia from when I worked at Bell Labs - you can decide on the
> truth or fiction of it: Any idea *why* we use a backslash in MS-DOS?
> DOS's filesystem was modeled after Unix, and back then AT&T zealously
> guarded it as a piece of intelectual property (despite the fact it
> crashed a lot and noone really liked it, except the faithful). As
> legend has it, since Unix used a slash, Microsoft decided to use a
> backslash to differentiate itself. Same thing for commands - dir
> instead of ls, edit instead of ed, and so forth.....