wanted back issues IEEE ANNALS OF THE HISTORY OF COMPUTING bound or unbound... dtop us a line off list please.

Guy Dunphy guykd at optusnet.com.au
Sat Dec 29 18:35:17 CST 2018

At 12:05 PM 29/12/2018 -0800, Al Kossow <aek at bitsavers.org> wrote:
>On 12/29/18 12:00 PM, Chuck Guzis via cctalk wrote:
>> Stupid question, but doesn't IEEE CS already have these archived?
>of course they are
>we are speaking with paper obsessed siverfish lovers here though

Coming from you that's a worrying comment, unless you are joking.

So Al, just curious, once bitsavers has scanned the manuals and stuff people send them,
what happens to those paper originals?

Does bit savers return them? Or make them available to others?
Can people sending manuals to bitsavers get a guarantee (if they ask for it) the originals won't be destroyed?

I'm asking while bearing in mind an instance of tech history loss in Australia a few decades ago, particularly tragic.
An outfit called High Country Service Data, located in the Kosciuszko area, had a vast collection of service and
user manuals, including a lot of early Oz-tech stuff like from BWD.
Their business model was 'rented lending library.' You contacted them (phone or post) and if they
had the manual you wanted they'd post it to you for a fee. You kept it a limited time, then posted back to them.

Eventually scanners became available. HCSD thought their business would work better if they eliminated
physical storage costs. They 'scanned' all the manuals (ultra crap resolution, B&W, stupid ignorant
goofs, etc) then.... DESTROYED the originals. Because they didn't want to sell or give them away
or even donate to the Australian national library, since that might create a competitor.
This is not conjecture; the HCSD owner (who made those decisions) personally 'explained' that to me on the phone.

The prime benefit of silverfish infested bulky piles of old paper, distributed widely among individuals who
value history, is that no central entity can just suddenly decide to destroy them all, for whatever reason.
Or 'mass edit' the digital files, like some corporations have been culling schematics from their archives of
digitized old manuals.

Having freely available digital copies is great. Kudos to bitsavers.
But the paper originals have to be preserved in a distributed way too. For *many* reasons.

I also have a question about a specific silverfish infested paper manual.
On 22 Sep 2018 you wrote, Re: Manual for Documation TM200 punched card reader
>I'm pretty sure I just saw a paper copy of the TM200 manual
>which is different from the M200. I'll have to dig around to
>try to find it again.

I guess you never found it? I've asked you about it a couple of times since and you've
ignored my queries. If you do find it, after you've scanned it I'd like to buy it if possible.
I can't find any other copy and I do need it to get the machine's electronics going.

Also I'm another paper obsessed siverfish lover. Aka PDF-hating cynic who thinks current
digital document file formats and display utilities are still far too primative to be
acceptable for convenient common use and as a reliable 'sole copy.' 
They are still a last resort.


PS naphthalene. Hmm, I'd better stock up before it's banned here too. 

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