ASCII by Jason Scott

Jason Scott's Weblog

Information Cube Status —

The Information Cube, the new home of the TEXTFILES.COM Archives and a direct result of the Sabbatical funding I received last year, is coming along nicely.

I learned a lot about what crates and storage boxes work and do not work, I can say that – I’ve found which collapse under their own weight, which ones hold out pretty well, and even ones that are really awesome but cost way too much for what they do. I also realized I have enough stuff that if I’m not careful with how I pile things into the cube, I can fill the cube. That looks like this:

And that doesn’t look good at all, to anybody.

Anyway, a bunch of shifting around later, I have found the best crates for my needs:

Specifically, the ones on the left. They’re $11 apiece, hold a pile of stuff, and stack very well. The ones on the right, in the back behind the yellow lids, hold about 20-30% more stuff, but cost $50 apiece. Good if I have a large, fragile set of equipment that will need transport, but way too much money for what they provide. They’re fuckin’ strong, though; they could probably withstand a sledgehammer for a while until help arrives.

Right now, I’m simply packing the crates with like-themed stuff that I don’t mind disappearing for a few months, specifically magazines and journals:

Later, I will make sure that all of one kind of magazine/journal is in a crate, and have them labelled on the outside so they’re easier to find on request.

Using these crates (the yellow-tops) means a ton of the older smaller crates are temporarily unneeded. They’re piled outside the library right now, including all the ones that have snapped, broken, or exploded:

Something like 30+ crates are currently redundant within there, with many more to come.

Currently, it is once again possible to walk the whole inside of the Cube:

As you can see, there’s still a lot more work to do, and I think that middle aisle is going to widen out as I fix up more of the crates and replace smaller ones with the large yellow ones.

In the past few months, I’ve been doing all sorts of work related to GET LAMP and the moving of items into this cube and the occasional weblog entry about bad computer movies and running a demoparty and all the rest.  The Cube work is going to result in a treasure trove of posted online information, scans and writing across the latter half of this year. Tons. In an ideal world, the GET LAMP sales will help fund living expenses while I do nothing but go through this stuff and present and speak. Fingers crossed.

In the background, in a few specialized corners of the internet, a number of individuals have implied that I have hoodwinked people with the sabbatical money and have nothing to show for it.

These individuals can fuck right off.

One last detail: The Cube has an official dog. His name is Buddy.

Be sure to clear any visits with me beforehand, or you will have to deal with Buddy. Buddy will mess your shit up. Look at those eyes. THOSE ARE THE EYES OF A KILLER.

That is all.

Categorised as: computer history | housecleaning | jason his own self

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    • Jason Scott says:

      Boy, if you want to be not my friend, start comparing what I do to Compulsive Hoarding.

  1. Ken G. says:

    Jason: Does Buddy have a Twitter account?


  2. Lorien says:

    The pictures of the information cube make me feel very strongly that it should be a set in LOST. Not that I watch the show, but I can picture people stumbling upon this in 200 years and going, “WTF?!?” or whatever they will exclaim in the future…

  3. Lorien says:

    PS – you’re not a compulsive hoarder! As per Ken G.’s link, you’re clearly a DATA HOARDER… which it totally different. Totally. 😉

  4. Benj Edwards says:

    Excellent work. Where can you buy those $11 crates? My flimsy Target-bought plastic bins are wearing out.

  5. Benj Edwards says:

    Thanks for the tip. I’ll check it out.

  6. Thanks for the update. All you need now is a Quicktime VR of the thing so we can virtually explore every nook and cranny 😀

  7. I second the opinion of these. The plastic is very brittle. I can only imagine how crappy these would be at a temperature below 75F.

  8. Drew Wallner says:

    Just out of curiosity, how do you handle moisture inside the shipping container? Do you have a big bucket of some kind of desiccant in there? Is this just not much of an issue where the container is located?

    • Jason Scott says:

      Right now moisture really isn’t a problem, but desiccant is in the process of being added anyway. Additionally, magazines are being put in bags, etc.

  9. Shadyman says:

    Uh oh, max weight: 67,200 lbs… Sure you can abide by that?

    Also… ‘That’s no cube!’

  10. Chris says:

    I spy a Fahrenheit edition VW GTI in the background.

    Knowing what crates hold up to heavy stacking is great. I’ve had too many lesser ones fall apart for no good reason.

  11. Stewart says:

    OK I have to rant about this.

    The whole idea of “hoarding” has become massively over-blown. It seems to be part of a moral stance that any untidiness in ones house is to be viewed as suspicious. Actually I am convinced that it is usually the sign of a highly thoughtful and creative individual.

    I build stuff all the time and If you want to make things then you generally need to have supplies kicking around and to some people this will look like hoarding. My father would go on rants where he would “clean” a space. What he was really doing was throwing away anything that had no value to HIM. He would always say that if I needed it I could just buy it. He was wrong as many of the things he threw away were not easily replaceable (including a small collection of British WWII memorabilia that I had saved from my uncles estate). He also presumed that ones circumstances would always allow for the purchasing of the needed item at some later time.

    I have a number of older sewing machines. I use them but also greatly value the beauty and workings of these machines. There is nothing equivalent made today.

    To be sure the extreme (actual) hoarding behavior seen in a small number of people can be be a problem, especially where animals are concerned, but collecting is not the same as hoarding and there may come a day not too far off when the things that people are collecting now take on much greater value. Who has the right to judge what may and may not be useful to someone else.

    I checked the wiki link and was amused to find this entry:

    “Digital hoarding involves collecting files on one’s computer beyond the point of usefulness. Often, files can be acquired through the Internet at no monetary cost, leading to extraordinarily large collections. Examples are music collections, often beyond what one enjoys or can listen to and television shows, movies and computer games. Hoarders, or “digital pack rats”,[11] often resort to buying optical media or new hard drives[12] to store their collections, rather than deleting what they may never use.”

    Dear GOD NOOOOO…. they actually resort to buying optical media or new hard drives….the horror.

    Why not delete what you MAY never use. I threw out all my dishes except for a bowl the other day because I haven’t used them in weeks and I may never use them.

    This entry illustrates how the whole idea of hoarding is being blown way out of proportion. I plan on buying a new hard drive this week. Arghhh I must be a “digital hoarder”, get the pills.

    This idea of throwing out accusations of hoarding really gets my back up.

    Love the cube Jason and love what you do.

    Keep on keeping on.

  12. Walrus says:

    Where is this Cube located? I wanna take a visit