[ih] How the Soviet Union Sent Its First Man to the Internet in 1982

William Sotomayor wfms at ottix.net
Wed Aug 10 11:17:20 PDT 2016

On Wed, 10 Aug 2016, Leo Vegoda wrote:

> On Mon, Aug 08, 2016 at 07:24:21PM +0200, Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond wrote:
> [...]
>>> We are leaving a lot of tracks for historians these days.
>> Fragile tracks. So much stuff has dropped off line, including a lot of
>> USENET gold nuggets...
> It was my understanding that Google bought Dejanews and put some
> work into extending that archive. While I doubt it is complete it is
> still huge.

Correct on both counts.  Though it's a little harder to get at from simply 
the default web page.

>> I sometimes think of a suitcase containing around
>> 20Kg of printed documents spurted out from a DEC LP37 back in 1989,
>> currently in storage with things I've never seen online since. Stuff
>> like a handful of documents from the online CSNET archive. I hope the
>> ink keeps well.
> I am not a professional historian but it is my understanding that
> while parchment might offer a very high quality long-term storage
> medium, a single copy of a book would take the skins or a whole herd
> of animals. That made books a very expensive product. And while
> paper was cheaper, it relied upon old rags and so was also pretty
> expensive. It was only in the 18th century that mass production of
> paper became possible.

For the suitcase documents, scanners are our friend, though we already 
know electronic documents do still vanish so there's something to be said 
about having backups.  More worrisome for books printed in the last 
century is paper that is disintegrating because of the presence of acids. 
(Think the yellowing of paper in library books leading to eventual 


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