Message from discussion How to dig up all old newsgroup posts?
From: g...@jpl.nasa.gov (Erann Gat)
Subject: Re: How to dig up all old newsgroup posts?
Date: Thu, 03 Apr 2003 16:58:39 -0800
Organization: Jet Propulsion Lab
References: <firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org> <sfwpto3jl4h.fsf@shell01.TheWorld.com> <email@example.com>
X-Trace: nntp1.jpl.nasa.gov 1049417918 5886 220.127.116.11 (4 Apr 2003 00:58:38 GMT)
NNTP-Posting-Date: 4 Apr 2003 00:58:38 GMT
User-Agent: NewsWatcher-X 2.2.3b2
In article <dm4ja.31$jn5.1...@paloalto-snr1.gtei.net>, Barry Margolin
> One of the things I've noticed about the modern, electronic age is that it
> seems like much less stuff gets saved.
No, I don't think that's true.
> Every year or so you hear reports about an archivist unearthing a
> previously-unknown manuscript by someone like Mozart. Most ex-presidents
> have libraries where you can find just about everything they've written,
> from inauguration speeches down to memos.
Yes, but this only happens *after* they become President.
> There's probably a museum where you can see the first
> thing Shakespeare wrote,
No, actually there isn't. No one even knows for sure where Shakespeare
grew up. The only records we have of Shakespeare are those that started
to be kept after he became famous (and he was famous even in his own day).
> but I'll be damned if I can dig up my first Emacs
> init file.
I can easily find every posting I've ever made to comp.lang.lisp. (And,
alas, so can everyone else.) This level of historical logging is
unprecedented in history.
> These things got into museums because their creators were
> considered masters, but at the time that they were saving them they didn't
> know that history would eventually brand them this way; they were just guys
> doing their jobs, and saving and cataloguing your work was SOP on those
> days. Someone even has the book in whose margin Fermat scribbled his
> famous Last Theorem,
Again, by the time this happened, Fermat was already a famous mathematician.
> but how many of us have saved notepads on which we've
> doodled while designing applications and operating systems (often we design
> things on whiteboards, which are quickly reused).
I actually have files that go back to my undergrad days, and a few things
that go all the way back to high school. I'm still waiting for the
historians to take an interest.
The opinions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily
reflect the views of JPL or NASA.