The precarious state of classic software and hardware preservation

ben bfranchuk at
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 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.
> Adam
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 
were issued...

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