ASCII by Jason Scott

Jason Scott's Weblog

Caretaking Fun —

One of my buddies mailed me and said “Hey, you seem to have two files lifted from a Robert Anton Wilson book.” And I checked and did some searching and yes, that’s the case, somebody typed in a paragraph from a Robert Anton Wilson book and uploaded it to a BBS many years ago, with no credit. He asked what I’d do, and what I did was change the description of the file in the directory to clearly indicate the source. But I kept the files since I consider them artifacts and representative of information about BBSes that should be maintained for the future.

More notably, though, I saw that the Fun directory was really in disrepair.

The downside to a single caretaker of an archive this large is you stumble onto some pretty badly maintained parts, hidden away or in a half-state. The question is what to do when you find them. Put them on the list? Figure nobody complained for a few years (it’s been like this for a long time) and keep going?

Well, in my case I dropped everything and put in descriptions for the 80 or so files that were in there. The “Fun” directory has always been my version of miscellaneous, dating back to when I started maintaining it at the age of 15. Stuff that didn’t quite belong anywhere was “fun”. I don’t think this is the most credible sorting methodology, but it’ll do for the moment. All of the files are reachable and now have some vague description, so that’s better than it was yesterday. Or this morning.

This is one crazy selection of stuff. Cold Fusion, Astronauts, Pet Care, Gardening, Martial Arts…. it’s like a typical overwhelming list of conferences and message bases back when you’d log onto one of the online services. So much stuff you didn’t know where to begin. I like that feeling. I think it stays.

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  1. RaD Man says:

    I can’t get enough of that cat haiku.

  2. Chuckles says:

    Dear sir,

    I’m a proctologist and I used some images from your website in a presentation about how to safely remove dangerous objects (tasers, 9mm magazines, tear gas canisters) from suspects who’d been forcibly subdued by peace officers.

    Imagine my surprise and embarrassment when, instead of a helpful image, I showed my viewers what turned out to be a kitten holding a rifle.

    You, sir, have done the me, the law enforcement community, and the proud field of proctology a grave disservice. I hope you’re proud of yourself.