08 April 2007

Hacking, Homebrew, History and Hype

So, I'm cruising around and "stumble upon" a post by M.Simon at Classical Values about hacking. It's a great video (~50 mins.) from Discovery's The Learning Channel about the history of hacking.

A few thoughts struck me right away. First - 50 minutes!! We've gotten to the point where you can upload - for free - an hour of video onto the 'net? Who does that?

Google Video, of course.

The second is, what a great show! What great history! What great educational value! Is this available on Discovery.com?

Uh, no! I was able to find an active page with a link to it at TLC, but the link is 404. The Way Back Machine has the page archived from July 2001 through April 2006, but then it just drops off the 'net.

Third thought: the masses are keeping interesting history alive via free public archives like Google Video and The Way Back Machine. It's truly a public library in what is being archived and checked out, isn't it? This is a good thing, right?

Anyway, the hacking video leads me to the DigiBarn Homebrew Computer Club 30 Year Retrospective and a must see CBC series Computer Invasion: A History of Automation in Canada which has this historical gem from their CBC Prime Time News show, A network called 'Internet'.

Which leads to another thought: Why did Discovery's TLC remove their content from the web and how long before CBC's content (from Feb. 2007) is gone? And then, how long before someone brings it back via a free public archive?

Maybe I'm just being nostalgic, or a naïve geek, about what's being stored, recovered and brought together by hyperlink ... but I thought you might enjoy it.


Completely unrelated sidenote:

I really like the "Cite" feature on CBC's webpage. It's a nice pop-up javascript window with a formatted citation. The code looks like this:

javascript:nw('/includes/citerPage.asp?IDLan=1&titre=Computer Invasion: A History of Automation in Canada&date=2/27/2007 10:59:40 AM&url=|IDD-1-75-710|science_technology|computers|','citation',

Click here for the resulting citation.


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