[rescue] Does any one on the list run this?

Ian Finder ian.finder at gmail.com
Fri Jun 7 20:05:05 CDT 2013

Wow, well said, Carl. Very succinct.

I believe that's why those involved in the retrocomputing scene feel so
passionate about this stuff. I know I do.
It's under-appreciated at the present time, machines are hard to preserve,
and like you and most others on this list I do feel a personal
responsibility (especially as a younger guy) to ensure these machines--
brilliant designs and labors of love to the people who built them-- are not
swept under the rug forever, but rather available for future generations to
examine, observe, tinker with, and learn from.

I don't collect these because I get off on having a house full of stuff.

I do it because some day, when I have kids, I want to be able to fire up a
MicroVAX, or a NeXTcube, and let them tinker with it.
Or the neighbors. Or my drinking buddies. Or anyone who will stick around
and be engaged enough to give these a go--

Not as a standalone non-functional object behind a piece of glass, but as
something running, dynamic, and interactive.

All I really want to see for old gear is that it ends up in capable hands
who can maintain it for as long as possible, and make it available to as
broad an array of people as possible.

I know I love bringing friends into my house and forcing them to interact
with the latest restoration I've performed :) Some of them have even gotten
into the hobby in small ways.

Now I'm just pissed off I don't know the answer to your 1961 riddle...


- Ian

On Fri, Jun 7, 2013 at 5:43 PM, Carl R. Friend <crfriend at rcn.com> wrote:

>    On Fri, 7 Jun 2013, Ian Finder wrote:
>  That said, many thanks to a few awesome list members who have donated to
>> my
>> personal collection over the years, knowing I'm not running a museum. You
>> guys are awesome :)
>    After a while it becomes apparent that we're not just "collectors"
> but rather "conservators", and that we have a sense of responsibility
> to ensure that these devices survive for future generations.  This is
> easy enough when a typical example machine weighs, perhaps, twenty
> pounds all up; however, when they occupy a couple of 6-foot racks
> apiece the entire idea gets a bit more tenuous for long-haul
> survivability.
>    I occupy the latter slot (although I do have a pretty decent cache
> of assorted pre-2000 workstations) and sometimes it's a bit of a
> fight.  Wives don't understand the significance and look at them
> as "clutter".  Friends, even, poke fun at the "dinosaurs" -- even if
> they run!  Needless to say, this tends to ratchet up the sense of
> responsibility somewhat!
>    There's an entire "hidden" portion of the very vibrant history of
> computing that's missing from the modern psyche.  Scholars are looking
> actively at the earliest delvings into electronic computing, and that
> is a good thing indeed; however, the mass of popular belief seems to
> hold that the computer sprung forth in its modern form from Bill
> Gates' mind in 1981 -- and this is sad indeed because the history
> of computing is a tale that has the power to better the best "whodunnit"
> or "spy story" going.  It's a story of blind alleys that lead nowhere,
> a chronicle of skullduggery and treachery that rival the best of what
> "normal" history can offer, and a tale of almost unbelieveable
> innovation and creativity that has helped shape the world that we
> occupy today.
>    The "personal computer" was born in 1961.  Kudos to anybody who
> can name it.  That's a span of 20 years -- almost a human generation.
> How many times have we made the same mistakes -- in architecture,
> design, and implementation -- in the intervening years?  (It's
> worth noting the the example I speak of from 1961 was so shockingly
> modern that one could almost attach a mouse to it and have it be
> quite familiar, at least in its editor.)
>    The point of this is that by whatever means an operational
> example machine survives is a worthwhile one, and that one can
> only hope that the current "owner" of said machine views himself
> not as "collector" or "owner", but rather as "conservator" or
> "curator".  My personal passion is for machines that run as their
> designers intended, but that's just one view; others are just as
> valid so long as they look to the future.
>    Cheers!
> +-----------------------------**-------------------+----------**
> -----------+
> | Carl Richard Friend (UNIX Sysadmin)            | West Boylston       |
> | Minicomputer Collector / Enthusiast            | Massachusetts, USA  |
> | mailto:crfriend at rcn.com                        +---------------------+
> | http://users.rcn.com/crfriend/**museum<http://users.rcn.com/crfriend/museum>          | ICBM: 42:22N 71:47W |
> +-----------------------------**-------------------+----------**
> -----------+
> ______________________________**_________________
> rescue list - http://www.sunhelp.org/**mailman/listinfo/rescue<http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue>

   Ian Finder
   (206) 395-MIPS
   ian.finder at gmail.com

More information about the rescue mailing list