Meeting Notes for December: Saving It All and then Figuring Out Where to Put It

Fri, 12/09/2016 - 09:02 -- JackC

Room 300, Rockefeller Hall, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY

Lightning talks:

LT1: Ed Nisley - The Thrilling Adventures of Ada Lovelace and Babbage

Ed presented the Graphic Novel written and illustrated by Sydney Padua. The work re-imagines the life of Lady Lovelace and Charles Babbage, allowing them to complete the Difference Engine and "...use it to create runaway economic models, battle the scourge of spelling errors, explore the wider realms of mathematics and, of course, fight crime." - What could be better?

Ed advises to "get the print version" - the digital reader versions being somewhat less satisfactory to read, primarily from page layout.

LT2: Sean Dague - Last Foot Internet of Things

Having IoT at home can be fun - and frustrating. Sean illustrated how automating certain things in the home can cause frustration in some cases. His example was using internet radio through his networked amplifier to select and play radio stations.

Sean uses a Harmony Remote (Logitech) to control things, but finds that it is generally unable to determine if an event has been properly serviced. His solution is to incorporate a Raspberry Pi with programming that manages handling proper seletion of stations on his system - properly handling a situation that previously wasn 't so easily handled.

Main Talk: Jason Scott - Saving it All (and then, figuring out where to put it!)

If you missed this - you missed a BIG one! Jason is a local Archivist (to be precise, a Free-Range Archivist and Software Curator) involved with - a smallish group of folks who's goal is nothing less than Saving Everything.

Many here are familiar with both and the Wayback Machine - but this was a tour of the details behind an organisation begun in 1996 and located in a San Francisco. It was easily the most entertaining and informative talk this year.

Jason gave an overview of the history of the organisation - beginning with the founder, Brewster Kahle, and moving on into what the organisation does. He described the Wayback Machine and how the data, files, images, recordings (and much, much more!) is collected. We also were ablde to gain a small glimpse into the Mind of the Creator - or what drives Brewster to take on this magnificent project.

Also demonstrated was how the Archive allows the visitor to search for things like old Video Games, from the popular to the ... less so ... and then actually PLAY those games in a browser-embeded Virtual System. The really scary part of this was that you can ALSO load up - and execute - Virus programs! If you have ever really wondered what a virus really did when activated, well, here's your chance!

Oh - and virtually ALL of the Grateful Dead Live Tours are recorded and stored - and available free for your enjoyment. That and so much more.

Jason spoke about the upcoming use of Web Assembly ( or WASM) - created by the writer of JavaScript and the solution to many of the problems JS presents.

There is a tremendous amount of data and information involved here, all free to the user and supported by donations, underwriters and additional ventures, such as Professional Services to business for archiving web-based data.

On a personal note, I was sad to NOT find "A Stress Analysis of a Strapless Evening Gown" available, but I DID spend a little time playing Kye. 


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