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 PostPost subject: The psychology of collecting and preserving things        Posted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:34 am 
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Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:35 pm



Favourite OS
Windows Longhorn
I know I've had a thread similiar to this one, but I got some new ideas and want to approach this on a different level.

From a "normal people" kind-of-view, collecting very old operating systems for computers that aren't made anymore and serve practically no purpose in everyday-life looks very odd.

Of course, I'm a big fan of this and when you're reading this, you are probably too. But why? What are the deep reasons why we do this "obviously" nonsense thing?

For me, this is probably four things.

  • I've done it since I was younger and I always get a good feeling when seeing the BetaArchive start-page and new entries, though I rarely do anything in "the scene" anymore for time reasons in real life
  • Understanding what constitutes computer history, how things were made, looking "behind the curtains" and seeing things barely anybody ever saw. Kind of like urban exploring or diving in unknown underwater-structures, but from the comfort of my home.
  • Toying around until it works. I love doing this. Working on something with minimal information and get it to work somehow. The way to do that is to fully understand something (like ... int-wizard melcher did there) up to the point of not needing any documentation (because there isn't one) and being able to manipulate it. I love this in programming, I love this with my attempts with micro-electronics and in many other things where this occurs. (Right now, I'm working on a peace of hospital equipment only documented in non-copy-paste-japanese of which I don't speak a single word, so practically there isn't any documentation, but fiddling around and getting something to work is the best feeling I've ever experienced with tech products, because when you've done it, you understand this one thing and from there on many, many different things with similiar problems.)

And fourth, I've been an avid linux user for like 10 years now and for everyday-purposes I always have problems going back to Windows for some reasons. When getting used to programming (with perl, the bash, zsh, ... etc.) life is so much easier on Linux. But still, all of this windows-related knowledge always helps out. For example, in the place I work in I develop neural networks for super computer clusters on Linux. But when a colleague asked me if I knew a way of removing the Windows user password for one of his machines that he forgot about, it was no problem and done in seconds with some obscure command-line-stuff (replacing the utilman.exe with the cmd.exe to be exact) that nobody comes up with without background knowledge of how this all works that, when gained, seemed to be completely useless. So from my experiences, anything that seems to be "obscure" knowledge about "things nobody needs" proves useful again and again. This, as an extra note, got me to philosophy too (which is a really useful tool!), or to mathematics, or physics, or all of this other "nerd stuff".

Dealing with betas tells this exact thing for me. It's discovering stuff, like an archaelogist. Discovering something that was unknown to even us experts before is like stepping into tutanchamuns grave for the very first time since like 5000 years or something and figuring out what it all means. And using that stuff, using the earned knowledge in every kind of way, without ever leaving the comfort zone of my house.

Can you relate to this? What are your thoughts on this? What are the reasons you do that, even to the extent of PTL here ( viewtopic.php?t=39054 ), that would easily scare up nearly every other computer user of the world.

One closing thought:

If everything was leaked and known, nothing would be known. Nobody would care, since it wouldn't be a mystery and that is what makes it interesting. Nobody would care for it if it were no mystery, and that's why unleaked builds (that still have a spark of "mysticism" around them), I believe, are of great help to this community. If everything was readily available, nothing would be downloaded & archived. (Still, I hope for some earlier or obscure longhorns to get leaked, and would readily take the time to install and review them thoroughly :beta: :D )

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 PostPost subject: Re: The psychology of collecting and preserving things        Posted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:37 am 
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Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:35 pm


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Windows 98 SE
Agreed. My work makes me “make things work” which is good, although even the people I work with think I’m mad for collecting old software and hardware and they’re in the I.T. business!

My other reason is for nostalgia - nothing like hearing Tada play when Windows 3.1 starts up and remembering a simpler life.

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