The precarious state of classic software and hardware preservation

Bill Degnan billdegnan at
Sat Nov 20 10:55:32 CST 2021

That's why I am saying you literally need a family archivist who
periodically converts content on old media to new media for.old family
photos.  That is the only practical way to preserve things or than if the
original paper/photo/tape exists and is still readable.  Extending to
vintage computing, there will always have to be a community of archivists.

On Sat, Nov 20, 2021, 11:40 AM Chris Zach via cctalk <cctalk at>

> On 11/20/2021 10:47 AM, Bill Degnan via cctalk wrote:
> > All of the riches in the world did not prevent (and may have actually
> > caused) the dilemma the LCM is in now.  I am sure a lot of it will be
> saved
> > and probably most will be preserved but not all.  And that's basically
> how
> > it is, history fades away, even the big things.  It takes a lot of
> > foresight and teaching the young folks about the importance of learning
> > from the past.
> One of these days I really need to write down the whole history of
> AI.AI.MIT.EDU, MC, LSD, and how I had to rescue it not once, twice, but
> three times from loading docks where it would have been put in the
> trash. Each time I had to show up with a U-Hack to rescue it and find
> another home where it would be "saved forever"....
> That's why I wonder about it at LCM: I would so not be surprised if I
> got a call from a trash company saying "Hey, we found this note in a
> large pile of metal crap, can you be here in 12 hours so we don't have
> to drag this thing to the dump? We're lazy and would appreciate the
> beers more"
> But what happens when I am dead? I can't be the guardian of that thing
> forever....
> CZ

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