Microfiche scanning

Eric Smith eric at brouhaha.com
Fri Apr 22 00:35:36 CDT 2005

Tom wrote:
> Sheesh, why is everyone treating fiche as a horrible thing? Like
> it's some terrible, embarrassing obsolete medium that needs to be
> converted out of as quickly as possible?
> Fiche is great. Keep in clean and dry in a dark place and it will
> last for hundreds of years.
> Not everything need exist inside a computer.

Because if Alice has fiche in a clean dry dark place, that doesn't
necessarily help Bob.  But if Alice's fiche is scanned and put on a web
site, it may help everyone.

> Besides, I doubt there's many pages on fiche that don't already
> exist on paper.

Presumably almost all of it did at one time, the exception being some
diagnostic listings in later years that were directly to COM.  But a
lot of it was never distributed to customers (or field service) on
paper.  And a huge amount of the stuff that was available on paper
is impossible to find on paper now.  And even if it was on paper, it
would *still* be more useful scanned than sitting on someone's shelf.

When was the last time you saw the IPB (Illustrated Parts Breakdown)
for a PDP-11T55?  Or the wirelist for the KB11-D backplane?  I've never
seen either.  The former was probably available on paper at one time, but
I doubt that anyone has a paper copy now.  The latter was never available
on paper.  Yet both should be in the PDP-11 fiche set.


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