[TriLUG] Any value in decades old mainframe manuals and printouts?
neilson at windstream.net
Mon Jul 27 12:06:07 EDT 2009
Don Hammond wrote:
> I'm cleaning up and going through boxes and boxes of manuals and
> printouts that my late brother saved, and trying to figure out if
> there's any value to them. By value, I mean research, historical
> collection, curiosity, reminiscing, etc., not monetary.
Today's trash is tomorrow's antiques.
The computer museum, once in Boston but now somewhere on the left coast,
would know what's valuable. Generally stuff like that gets tossed, and
finally there's only a tiny bit of interest by a few people. Then much
later the historians come along, and say, "You tossed out THAT? How
The mechanical musical instrument folks (player pianos and such) now
devote substantial effort to finding and restoring some of the rarer
equipment for reading data from what's essentially 65-channel and
88-channel paper tape. Purists want to hear the original instruments
play. Electronics junkies try to make MIDI files instead, often with
less than astounding results. I've got about 6000 piano rolls myself,
and I'm not about to chuck any out, /especially/ not the ones that are
nearly shredded from being "played to death," because the music was so
good. Conversely, rolls with dreary hymns are usually in pristine shape.
Fortunately the information is digital, and thus copying (hand-punching
holes in new paper) is feasible. I've done it.
Long ago I threw out a couple dozen boxes of IBM cards that I had used
on the 1620. Now /those/ were useless!
Moral: There is someone out there who desperately wants your brother's
stuff. Especially the "worthless" parts.
PS: There was, so I heard, an antiques shoppe on Cape Cod named,
"Grandma Had One Of Those And She Threw It Away."
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