ftp archives disappearing?

Tim Shoppa shoppa_classiccmp at trailing-edge.com
Mon Mar 12 17:29:23 CDT 2007

Richard <legalize at xmission.com> wrote:
> Has anyone else noticed that ftp search services like archie seem to
> have disappeared, that the content on ftp sites isn't indexed by
> google very well and that large software archives seem to be
> disappearing?
> Try searching for old copies of fractint and they are hard to find,
> even though they were everywhere as recently as 10 years ago.
> What's happened to FTP?
> Should we be working to archive large FTP software repositories?

The most interesting FTP archives disappeared in the early 90's
IMHO. Mostly migrated succesfully to other platforms, and then
migrated again, and then migrated again. Think of the way
classic micro software was on SIMTEL, then oak.oakland.edu, then
wherever it is today.

Even in its heyday (early 90's?) archie was completely unscalable
and really almost useless, even if you knew the filenames.

If you're worried about archiving, I'd focus less on the protocol
and more on what you're interested in saving. All digital archives will
have to be migrated between not only physical media but also between
access mechanisms.

20 years from now we'll all be sitting around on Vulcan-Mind-Meld-AOL
talking about the Internet and HTTP the same way we talk about 20mA current
loop today :-).


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