More on manuals plus rescue

Kevin Anderson kevin_anderson_dbq at
Thu Aug 20 07:49:44 CDT 2015

Wow, I have just looked at the manuals collection at the Internet Archive site.  I honestly can say I don't like it, but I will say it is because this is not how my mind works in organizing stuff.  I am immediately turned off by the tiling of 'cards" on the screen and the categorizing of collections.  I know it more closely matches tablet apps and how they seemed to be designed, but I can also say, although I am the user of a tablet, I am not always happy with that approach. Even switching to the list view within IA didn't help much.

I think it is great that Bitsavers material can be saved in more than one location, whether that be identical mirrors on multiple servers or with material copied into another environment.  The point being the access to material and minimizing any risk of it all disappearing at once.  But I agree that correct attribution of where material comes from is also very important.

And multiple interfaces to how to search and find information can be fine to, as we all think differently.  I just happen to prefer collapsible trees, textual lists, and drill-down methods more than I do other newer visual methods. My previous experience with Internet Archives has been mainly looking for old videos from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s through primarily the Prelinger archive, plus some texts and books that I found through Google and other search engines, and in using the Wayback machine.  Seeing this new interface to the Internet Archives made it clear that I haven't checked IA since they apparently redid this interface, and all I can't say is I don't like it, and clearly if I can't find the item I need from IA through a Google search, then I won't be trying to find it directly from Internet Archives.

The interface used at the Internet Archive is not Jason's fault. And certainly not so if the interface changed after Jason had already started his project. But I also feel that this collection at Internet Archive didn't necessarily help in useful ways to archive the older computer stuff, at least not that I can see from this initial review.  Or if the collection is still good, the web interface is hindering a proper appreciation of that material and access to it.  It also doesn't help that modern implementations of web content is all database driven (which the Internet Archive is one such site), which on the surface ought to be great, but in reality isn't when one no longer has as much control over the levels and depths of web pages in the same way as direct folders on a file server.  The more flat and eclectic nature of today's web pages, with the expectation that one will "leap" all over the place within a largely flat structure, possibly employing
 filters to limit choices, is much less useful in this case for archiving and organizing the material in question than say hierarchical tree structures. At least in my opinion....

Kevin Anderson
Dubuque, Iowa

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