The Null Device


Web browser innovator, message-threading guru and nightclub proprietor Jamie Zawinski on the difficulties of reading data from obsolete computers; more specifically, the near-impossibility of transferring data from an original 128k Macintosh to anything made today (the 128k Mac's 400K floppies are not readable by any reasonably recent machines, the machine has no Ethernet or SCSI, and AppleTalk is only an option of the machine has a driver for it). (via Before I Forget)

It's alarming to think how much data from less than 20 years ago exists perfectly well, in a well-understood digital format, and yet is marooned on obsolete hardware (or system software) with little way of getting off it. Thus, so much data faces extinction due to the shifting of technologies. It's not just reading old programs off 400K Macintosh disks either; try reading an old Microsoft Word 1.0 document you wrote ~20 years ago, for example.

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Indie Rock Pete, a (story-driven) web comic poking fun at indie scenester pretentiousness. (It seems a little sparse on indie/hipster iconography though; no button badges, ironic hot-rodder shirts, black-framed glasses or Converse sneakers or such.) (via Largehearted Boy)

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Another reason to be glad you're not in Texas: A man was assaulted and told to "go back to Iraq" for remaining seated while a "patriotic" country song played at a rodeo. (via The Fix)

(Since 9/11, country music has made a resurgence as a sincere voice of American nationalism, and is now well back in the mainstream in the US. I wonder how this will affect the cultural stock of alt-country among hipster types; I can't see the twang having the same amount of ironic cachet in the age of Toby Keith and red-blooded patriot anthems all over Clear Channel.)

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