The precarious state of classic software and hardware preservation
bfranchuk at jetnet.ab.ca
Sun Nov 21 13:39:32 CST 2021
On 2021-11-21 9:45 a.m., Adam Thornton via cctalk wrote:
>> On 11/19/21 9:33 PM, Steve Malikoff via cctalk wrote:
>> And what happens when you wake up one morning to find archive.org is
>> gone, too?
> Fundamentally, eventually we're all going to be indistinguishable
> mass-components inside the supermassive black hole that used to be the
> Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies anyway.
> Smoke 'em while you got 'em.
Who knows what lay ahead.
The Last Question by Isaac Asimov © 1956
The last question was asked for the first time, half in jest, on May 21,
2061, at a time when humanity first stepped into the light. The question
came about as a result of a five dollar bet over highballs, and it
happened this way:
Alexander Adell and Bertram Lupov were two of the faithful attendants of
Multivac. As well as any human beings could, they knew what lay behind
the cold, clicking, flashing face -- miles and miles of face -- of that
giant computer. They had at least a vague notion of the general plan of
relays and circuits that had long since grown past the point where any
single human could possibly have a firm grasp of the whole.
Multivac was self-adjusting and self-correcting. It had to be, for
nothing human could adjust and correct it quickly enough or even
adequately enough -- so Adell and Lupov attended the monstrous giant
only lightly and superficially, yet as well as any men could. They fed
it data, adjusted questions to its needs and translated the answers that
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