[Bell Historians] Books. was Half-pull Ringing

David Bryant davidbryant at oA9kGJty8vWMo5XPv8ybeyZbumRYkvYkR053uuBwrIedNfqB9ZfjVVUbdaP6NWQlVAKw5CnkLFR7A_x49YkoEdw.yahoo.invalid
Fri Nov 16 18:30:58 GMT 2007

“Thank goodness that I and many others believe that the written word and 
books will never be dead. And not just because Sue and Margaret C. are 
librarians. I'm even more convinced that books will live on after 
having had a recent tour of The Bodleian library.”

Books are far superior to electronic publication, even in the realm of
something like bell history. If you succeed in getting a book published
that’s an achievement and an end-point. A website is never finished! I’ve
written a fair few websites in the past, but have largely lost interest
these days. Apart from the one at work, which I wrote a lot of and still
have a fair amount of input into, I haven’t done any website for quite a

“Paper manufacturing may well be an environmental nightmare in some 
respects, but then so is the manufacture of computers and the generation 
of electricity. There is far more toxic waste created from the 
manufucture of computers than pulp.”


You also tend not to throw away all your books after five years! This is the
accepted lifespan of a computer. I’m responsible for IT at an environmental
charity and try to avoid them going in the skip, but computers have now
become such a commonplace consumer item that it’s difficult to even give
them away. CRT monitors, in particular, are wanted by nobody.


One of the greatest risks with electronic data is its longevity, or lack of
it. A book will still be readable in 100 years time, but will electronic
data? Probably not. Even if the storage media is still readable, the
software (and hardware which it runs on) will be almost impossible to
obtain. We’ve recently replaced our main membership database at work. It was
written in Access 97. Access 97 databases won’t work in newer versions of
Access, and Access 97 won’t run properly on Windows XP. I was into the
realms of virtual machines the like to keep it working at all, and this is
something only 10 years old.




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