ASCII by Jason Scott

Jason Scott's Weblog


Another day, another digg. Waxy’s mentioning of my posting of arcade manuals got someone inspired to put it on digg, and then it got enough traction on digg that I provided 24 gigabytes of arcade manual PDFs to 8,500 guests, for a total of 29,000 manuals.

I never approach these with the terror of the webmaster who has an anaemic connection and realizes that he’s gotten a horde going through his directories; I put these files up for people to browse and now they’re browsing them. Note the difference between this and my take on hot-linking. In the first case, people are now arriving by the thousand to see what I’m offering. In the second case, people are decontextually yanking a file by the thousand as background decoration for their websites.

What fascinates me, and will probably always fascinate me, is when something like this “goes large” and I am face to face with opinions and outlooks entirely foreign to mine. What an opportunity!

Browsing sites that linked to this page, I see incredulity that there are arcade manuals, speculations on the sexuality of people who read manuals, wild-eyed joy that such a collection is out there (there are tons of other arcade manual collections, by the way) and just plain crazy-talk from reaches beyond the stars.

I have to stress, as I have before, that I didn’t do the hard work of scanning them, getting the pages aligned, naming the manuals correctly, correlating against different arcade game models. Many people worked together to accomplish this, and all I’ve done is create a collection online under my site. Other collections abound with these exact manuals, and other sites add even more data than I have (so far). But the wheel of fortune fell on me today, and it warms my face.

Naturally, I wonder if the same will happen for my later projects, but that’s a concern for another time.

Maybe the day will come where my every move, every entry posted will be visited upon by a 10,000 browser strong horde, and this will all seem run of the mill. But that’s certainly not the case now, and for the people who are checking the rest of my entries to see what the hell else is going on, I say welcome. I hope you stay awhile.

A little update: In point of fact, within 48 hours I had served roughly 61,000 manuals to 14,000 people, for a total of 60.2 gigabytes of arcade manual delight. Thanks, folks! Especially the ones complaining it was “very slow” while they downloaded the entire collection after reading about it on Digg.

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  1. Ivan says:

    That would explain the slow server.