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Re: "Digital Dark Age"
- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
- Subject: Re: "Digital Dark Age"
- From: Dennis Moser <aldus@ANGREK.COM>
- Date: Sat, 13 Feb 1999 22:22:13 -0600
- In-Reply-To: <199902140130.UAA24222@chi.pair.com>
- Message-Id: <199902140436.UAA20630@palimpsest.Stanford.EDU>
- Sender: "Book_Arts-L: READ THE FAQ at http://www.dreamscape.com/pdverhey" <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
Hmmm...well, DT, you're having a busy weekend.
>Sorry Dave, you are making basically the same logical error as the others. You
>reiterate a list of technologies that have become obsolete and then leap to
>the conclusion that therefore all technologies must become obsolete with
>absolutely no basis for it. Some technologies have remained with us since
>their invention and no doubt will continue to be used as long as modern
Whose "logical" error is this? Sounds rather pedantic, besides simply being
wrong. The evidence is there to prove against you. To say that "some"
technologies have remained with us does not prove anything about
obsolescence. No one in this discussion so far has claimed that ALL
technologies would become obsolete. And I'm curious how you define
"obsolete", since there are those who are even more rabid in their views
than you that would claim that ANY pre-Pentium chip design is obsolete.
And about the existence of "modern" civilization...sorry, DT, that ended
last week. We're a post-modern one now. Or hadn't you heard? Guess since
you're still using CD-ROMs and a 386 clone you can't be expected to be au
courant...get real, man. EVERY civilization thinks of themsleves as either
being modern or the ONLY civilization amongst barbarians, heathens, and the
great unwashed. Don't believe me?Go read your Greek, Roman, or Chinese
history where they talk about the other cultures they encounter. And let's
not over look the North American continent, where the various aboriginals
each considered themselves to be human (the word "Denai" springs to mind)
and all others to be savages or less than human. (But then some of THEM
thought that the first Europeans were gods, so go figure that one...)
>Computers will continue to exist in one form or another for a very long time.
>In fact, I think we can agree that computers in the future will be very much
>more powerful than today. Yet, for some reason you seem to believe that the
>computers of tommorow will be so dim, stupid and inflexible that they won't be
>able to run Windows if they wanted to.
It isn't a matter of "dim, stupid and inflexible" that would keep a
machine from running "Windows if they wanted to"... a point which makes me
question your comprehension of operating systems. The legacy of code that
must be maintained is staggering and Microsoft spends more time trying to
achieve a semblance of "backwards compatibility" than they would like to be
doing. Of the 40+million (and growing on a regular basis) lines of code
that the proposed Windows 2000 (or would you rather call it NT5? It's
really irrelevant until it ships...), a huge proportion is legacy code to
keep thinngs running...They are NOT happy about maintaining it. Microsoft
is proud of the quality of their code, but to develop NT5, they were making
errors at the industry standard rate of 10%. Do the math and you understand
the nightmare of trying to maintain the kind of backward compatibility that
you seem to think they will continue to provide.
>The issue of technological obsolence was one, actually THE, reason for the
>adoption of the IBM clone and Intel 386 technology. Was it the best? No. But,
>everyone (sorry MAC people) decided that this was the one and away it goes.
>Computer technologly will continue to evolve and grow, but no general business
>computer of the future can possibly suceed without being IBM PC clone
>compatable. The very interesting part of this, other than unfortunately
>making Billy Gates the richest person in the world, is that it guarentees us a
>clear communication channel to the future.
And how, pray tell, was the issue of technological obsolescence the reason
for the adoption of the 386? And why the apology to Mac users? There are,
after all, more cockroaches on the planet than humans...
>There are certain to be new fancy computers with proprietary archictures such
>as the MAC, but the business world is different. The business world will never
>accept any computer now or in the future that will not run their current
>software. Therefore, Infinite backwards compatibility is absolutely assured in
>the world of business computers.
>come on folks. Its pretty much Q.E.D. on this point.
...and which business world would that be, DT? The one where major
financial instutions are STILL using Windows 3.1 and are facing the
horrific expense of upgrading, not to Windows 98 or NT, but Windows
95...but not wanting to because they STILL have DOS software that won't
operate correctly under the upgrade? There are actually new software
packages out there that WILL NOT install from the "MS-DOS" prompt under the
Win 95/98/NT environment, but actually require a flown blown version of DOS
in which to run. This is INFINITE backwards compatibility?
And as for the so-called "proprietary" architecture of the Mac...I think
you had best stop there, as you seem woefully unaware of both their
hardware architecture (non-proprietary) and software architecture. Why else
would you insist on continuing to praise the "open architecture" of the
Intel x386 chip? If you look at the "new" Macs (specifically those of the
Power PC family), you will find both architectures to be more "open" than
the Intel-based offerings. The IBM RISC machines are, in fact, running on
the same chips as the newest G3 Power PCs ... and both of them can run
Linux, thank you very much.
You seem to have a paltry understanding of archivy, preservation and
conservation, to say nothing of history beyond the narrow field that you
have described as your domain of authorship. I wonder...
>I am a strong believer in the usefulness of CD-ROM information storage for the
>reason that it allows the most complete collection of raw information. In
>writing a book on the Crosman Arms "160" Pellgun the book itself was 140
>pages, but on the companion reference CD-ROM I was able to include all the
>relevant data I used, every single bit, on about half the storage capability
>of one CD-ROM and to top it off all everything was in full color on the CD-
>ROM. I made the CD available to interested parties for a nonimal amount. Now,
>I know that the complete reference library of work that went into this book is
>distributed by caring interested people around the world. That is real
Are we supposed to be impressed by THIS? Is this supposed to be a
compelling and persuasive point of argumentation? Q.E.D indeed!
First of all, to speak of a book of 140 pages as if it were such a
tremendous repository of information without providing specifics is
ludicrous. Does the conecpt of granularity of information mean anything to
you? Or how about density of information? If the book was typeset in 8
point type at 120% leading, with no illustrations, minimal indexing and
table of contents, in a finished size of say 11 by 14, perhaps I could
accept that there was a significant amount of information being presented.
But to try and impress (bulldoze? baffle with bullsh*t?) by stating that
you put the text AND your reference material on a CD-ROM is meaningless
without providing some kind of measuring stick. So just how vast was "the
complete reference library of work that went into this book?" You show a
peculiar lack of understanding of CD technology and file compression by
making the statement "to top it off all everything was in full color on the
CD"...since color actually takes up LESS space than gray-scale. Or were you
aware of that?
No one here has questioned utility of using the CD-ROM for storage, but
they have questioned it's efficacy for long-term preservation. You are
trying to tell people who are involved in the day-to-day preservation of
written material and you don't even understand what they do.You have yet to
show any understanding or persuasuve argument on that point. Granted, this
isn't the conservation listserv, but I know that there are a considerable
number of people on this list that are book conservators or restorers who
have a vital stake in these issues. Yes, it's called Book Arts and, yes,
that means the "art" side, too. But even those who make books as art have
some concern for their object's longevity, so I know they have a stake in
this. I am loath to use names, but frankly, your responses are showing an
increase in noise and decrease in signal...the term that comes to mind is
My guess is this thread probably outlived it's usefullness some time
ago...though I was glad to learn of the "Leibowitz" sequel. But that isn't
really for my to say and at this point, I've probably said too much. Good
night, DT. Go take a lesson in history...something on a grander scale than
the history of a air rifle, please.
"That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of the time"
--John Stuart Mill (1806-73)