Lots of Apple 1 computers @ VCF West

Tor Arntsen kspt.tor at gmail.com
Tue Jul 9 03:58:43 CDT 2019

On Mon, 8 Jul 2019 at 18:19, Chuck Guzis via cctalk
<cctalk at classiccmp.org> wrote:

> What matters to me is [b]documentation[/b], however it's preserved.  I'm
> often faced with a bit of old data and I need to know the details upon
> which it was fabricated.   That has value to me.  Al K has been
> invaluable in this respect.

I collect all the documentation I can find (including my own old notes
when I can find them). It's really hard to figure out exactly how
something works when documentation is lost and there's nobody around
with the knowledge.

When I visited Ise shrine in Japan some years ago they were  in the
middle of building a completely new wooden bridge beside the existing
one. They were building new temples as well. Turned out that every
twenty years they routinely rebuild *everything*, including the items
inside the temples and buildings. Then they tear down the old ones
(and use the old material at other sites around the country). And
still they claimed that the temples. bridges, items etc. had been
there since around 1200 AD.  I was a bit baffled about this, but when
I had lunch in the nearest town a waiter noticed the foreigner and
gave me a booklet to read. It was all explained there. It's simple
enough: What they feel as important to preserve is the knowledge about
how to build these things. The craftmanship and the artistry. 20 years
is just about right - it's enough to hand over the craft to another
generation, with overlap. And they've been doing this for hundreds of

So, what is worth preserving is the *howto*, not the actual old things
which would just detoriate more and more over time and eventually
disappear. That's just "stuff", and immaterial, as it were.

And, as I once witnessed a Viking ship replica going under in bad
weather due to something not fully correct in the understanding of
exactly how to construct a specific part of the bottom of the ship, I
can fully appreciate the thinking. Knowledge gained over hundreds of
years in wooden ship building can be lost over a generation or two,
even if there's still a parallel tradition of building other types of
boats. Which turned out not to be enough to understand how it was
done. It can be painfully difficult to recreate, figure out, and
document something that's lost, even if you have an old original in
bad shape to look at. Which is why they've worked for decades at e.g.
Roskilde in Denmark to recreate the knowledge. And the last time I
visited that site they still couldn't build as well as the old
builders, there was a newly built replica of a small boat where they
had a beatifully preserved original nearby - the original still looked
better. Give them a decade or two more, and it'll improve I'm sure.

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