Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: Bill's plan for a disk boot archive distribution network
- Bill, Herb, Kelly and all,
I agree at least in part with what EVERYONE has said and I do not espouse any particular plan with one proviso. The fact that someone offers files or a service somewhere on the internet is not a reason that MARCH should or should not do something that benefits our members or the hobby in general. A few weeks ago I went looking for a boot disk image of a particular version of DOS. All of the links that I had saved in "my favorites" proved to be bad. All of those web sites had gone under. The ones I found by searching all pointed to one site that offered only "current" versions. Even Bill's collaborative approach is fraught with the same danger - people loose interest (or worse) and their collections are lost, sold or just dumped by others who do not understand the value. Bits on a disk somewhere are a fleeting commodity that can disappear in an instant (as we have all experienced). However, Bill's plan is a way to start doing something useful now.
Hopefully our museum can become something larger than the sum of the individual members. The hardware, documentation, AND SOFTWARE collection that we build and maintain will be sustained by members who come after us. The fact there there is a real brick and mortar building is the main reason I became involved in this project. I'm confident that our collective wisdom will find the best (or at least good) ways to preserve ALL types of software for our various favorite machines. Remember, these machines are only doorstops without the software that makes them useful tools. A real long-term solution will involve many methods (like the various programs Dave Dunfield uses). Some day we will need tools that work on the 64-bit PCs that will soon be the norm, because that is what people new to the hobby will have as their 'main' computer.