1360: "Old Files"

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Waladil
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1360: "Old Files"

Postby Waladil » Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:40 am UTC

Image

Title text: Wow, ANIMORPHS-NOVEL.RTF? Just gonna, uh, go through and delete that from all my archives real quick.

Don't question the Animorphs, Randall. Uncool, man. Uncool.
Last edited by Waladil on Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:55 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1360: Old Files

Postby keithl » Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:49 am UTC

ninjad. Alternate thread (with proper quotes, but priority wins) deleted.

I've got a fireproof safe full of rsynced daily backups going back 10 years. Some of those contain 25 year old files copied from older machines. I've got a few boxes of 600kB cartridge tapes going back 35 years, and rolls of paper tape going back 45 years. And a listing from the first program I ever wrote (in jr. high), FORTRAN on an IBM 1130.

Someday, all that will fit in about a microgram of DNA.

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Re: 1360: Old Files

Postby rhomboidal » Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:53 am UTC

Those old Zip disks were great. They were like 1.44 floppies on steroids. Unfortunately, quickly banned from competition.

Waladil
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Re: 1360: Old Files

Postby Waladil » Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:58 am UTC

keithl wrote:ninjad. Alternate thread (with proper quotes, but priority wins) deleted.


Fixed quotes now. I was excited I got to start the individual comic thread and botched the subject line :P

Every now and then I wish I could go back and get old data working... there were a few games we used to play on ancient Macs (ancient = circa 1995 for me) that I get a little nostalgia for nowadays. But the computers that ran those programs are dead and emulators are tough to figure out.

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby jpk » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:02 am UTC

I believe that I've got data on my pre-current machine that dates back to 1988. That particular archive hasn't made it onto my most recent machine yet, so there's a chance I might break that chain. We'll see.

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby You, sir, name? » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:03 am UTC

GORILLA.BAS ♥
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby wisnij » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:15 am UTC

Nice, an Escape Velocity shout-out. That woke up a bunch of dusty old memory neurons.
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby ManaUser » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:20 am UTC

I'm glad I'm not the only person who does this. Although some old files are on external HDs now so I'm sure where all of it is. But I almost never delete that kind of stuff on purpose.

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Bonooru1234 » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:37 am UTC

Why is he deleting Animorphs? I liked those books.

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:54 am UTC

What is EVO, a Mac game, doing in a My Documents folder, part of the Windows default directory structure?

I'm also surprised that his ancient text file is a whopping 850k, especially if that's from an old Mac, as Apple's plaintext engine (and thus the built-in TEXT file reader SimpleText) didn't support files longer than 32K until... man, had to be OS8ish, maybe 7.6, both released in 1997, when parts of the scrapped Copland project started getting integrated into classic Mac OS to buy some time until OSX. Then again, he could have been using a 3rd party text editor, or given that it's buried in there among files with actual ".txt" suffixes (uncommon on Macs until OSX, thanks to built-in file metadata and a snobbish attitude looking down on embedding metadata in file names), maybe this isn't a Mac after all.

Which then returns us to the question of what is EVO doing in there?
Last edited by Pfhorrest on Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:01 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby jpk » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:55 am UTC

Bonooru1234 wrote:Why is he deleting Animorphs? I liked those books.



I can't tell if it's that it's animorphs fan fic, or that it's in .rtf

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Archgeek » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:58 am UTC

Ah, good old Elastomania. So many hours of highschool CS class wasted when the class wasn't playing Quake 3 Arena or Brood War. I'm surprised he didn't squeeze Pocket Tanks in there.
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Eternal Density » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:58 am UTC

Heh, yeah I can relate to this. Somewhere I've got a bunch of 'games' I wrote in VB6 (ew) over ten years ago. And so much incomplete fanfic (which I still get the occasional new subscriber to, I guess they'll keep being disappointed unless my priorities change drastically) and I shudder to think what lies buried in the harddrive of my pc I used two laptops ago (which currently lacks a power supply because science). Probably old blackmail material...

Also this reminds me that I have a whole bunch of files from my former office computer on a thumb drive somewhere to copy over to my laptop.
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Klear » Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:02 am UTC

I've got something which is partially my first computer (from circa 1995). I call it "the typewriter". The files there are not terribly interesting, but the hardware! I was adding to it with parts I no longer needed in my main computer, so it has a 100 MB HDD and 256 MB RAM. It runs only dos, but it can play MP3s.

It can read floppy disks and CDs, as long as the CD isn't rewritable.

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:08 am UTC

I'm also happy to say that I can't really relate to this, except in a 3rd person sense of seeing other people with this kind of directory structure and shuddering at their disorganization.

I have a directory structure I have maintained since the early 90s. When computers started doing all this automatic directory structure organization for you, I intentionally kept all of my own files outside of that because I don't want some goddamn nanny OS that thinks it knows better than me putting shit in my nice organized structure that I don't want there, or doing anything to my files that I didn't specifically ask it to. So I have my own, nice, safe, well-organized directories of documents and applications, and the OS and user apps can do whatever they feel is necessary in those default folders I never look into.

Until you get shit like iPhoto which insists on keeping all of its files inside a gigantic monolithic file that has to exist in a single location and forcing me to go through it to do anything I want, in which case I just tell those programs to shove it up their ass and find an alternative that's not going to treat me like an idiot and encourage all the other idiots who think that the location of the letter they wrote to grandma and can't find now is "in Word". FILES DO NOT LIVE IN APPLICATIONS GODDAMNIT.

(Also, "goddamnit" has a fucking "n" in it. It's god + damn + it. Fuck off with your goddamn red underlines, spellcheck.)
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby The Synologist » Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:15 am UTC

Oh me yarm Escape Velocity: Override was so awesome. Thanks for giving it a shoutout Randall, brings back many fond memories :D

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Fermat Sim » Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:24 am UTC

I just wonder how many of these folders were used to hide porn.

I sometimes stumble upon folders in my archives where I have no idea what the description could possibly mean, only to find some slash fiction copied from asstr) hidden with some high school essays.

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Waladil » Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:08 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:(Also, "goddamnit" has a fucking "n" in it. It's god + damn + it. Fuck off with your goddamn red underlines, spellcheck.)


Fun fact! It actually doesn't. While "damn" has an 'n' as does "goddamn," the "dammit" constructions lose it. Which was actually referenced in an XKCD title-text some years back -- comic 559 (I looked it up) -- mentioned as "a troll that works best on the most literate."

P.S. I'm not usually the grammar/spelling-correcting guy. Only saying something because you took the time to rail against spell check being "wrong."

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby eviloatmeal » Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:27 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I'm also happy to say that I can't really relate to this

Are you some kind of alien?! How do you keep a file system organised for 20 years, through upgrades, crashes, corruption, the thousands of pictures, scripts, text files, source, binaries, and everything else you might download on a whim, thinking "this will come in handy some day, but I don't want to start tinkering with it right now? And conversely, how do you not develop some kind of madness trying to organise everything meticulously? Do you organise images by type? By style? Do you keep animated gifs in the same place as static images? When you decompress an archive, do you keep a copy of the compressed file just in case? Do you have a separate folder for .torrent files, so they don't clutter the folder where your bittorrent application saves stuff? Do game installers go in the same place as application installers? Separate folder for self-contained executables?
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Sentient Cat » Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:46 am UTC

I still play Elasto Mania every other day. Best bike physics of all time!

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:10 am UTC

Waladil wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:(Also, "goddamnit" has a fucking "n" in it. It's god + damn + it. Fuck off with your goddamn red underlines, spellcheck.)

Fun fact! It actually doesn't. While "damn" has an 'n' as does "goddamn," the "dammit" constructions lose it. Which was actually referenced in an XKCD title-text some years back -- comic 559 (I looked it up) -- mentioned as "a troll that works best on the most literate."

P.S. I'm not usually the grammar/spelling-correcting guy. Only saying something because you took the time to rail against spell check being "wrong."

Spellcheck is wrong because the common usage it's based upon is wrong, and it's that usage that I'm really railing against -- spellcheck is just the proxy agent of those who insist that the 'n' should be dropped, telling me that I should do it like they do it, when really it's the other way around.

Also @eviloatmeal: Yes, I am an alien.
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby zmic » Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:18 am UTC

aaah the .pch files from old Visual Studio projects

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby p1t1o » Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:22 am UTC

After a recent overhaul and upgrade, this is me, except the size of each later can be multiplied by ten...

According to how I look in my old photos I went to university at at approximately the age of 9 or 10...

And "breakup.txt" was a fun read!

On another note, how come the forum isn't linked from the main site any more? I have to google "xkcd forum" each time I want to come on here.

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby eidako » Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:40 am UTC

GORILLA.BAS was apparently Artillery with giant apes on skyscrapers tossing bananas at each other.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZsKbC_-vvw
I'm a bit disappointed; I thought it may have been something he created.
Last edited by eidako on Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:44 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby nck_m » Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:42 am UTC

Please note that Angband is now at version 3.5 and is still being developed (see rephial dot org).

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby ThemePark » Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:43 am UTC

eidako wrote:GORILLA.BAS was apparently Artillery with giant apes on skyscrapers tossing bananas at each other.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZsKbC_-vvw
I'm a bit disappointed; I thought it may have have been something he created.

Nah, it was one of the four programs that came along when you installed a version of Q-Basic. There was also NIBBLES.BAS (Snake), MONEY.BAS, and I forgot the last one.

Ah Q-Basic, how I miss thee. <3
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Eebster the Great » Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:56 am UTC

What are "aaafiles"?

Pfhorrest wrote:I'm also surprised that his ancient text file is a whopping 850k, especially if that's from an old Mac, as Apple's plaintext engine (and thus the built-in TEXT file reader SimpleText) didn't support files longer than 32K until... man, had to be OS8ish, maybe 7.6, both released in 1997, when parts of the scrapped Copland project started getting integrated into classic Mac OS to buy some time until OSX.

It doesn't say it was a single 850 KB file. That would be a massive poem, probably comparable to the Odyssey in length. More likely it was a total of 850 KB of text files.

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby da Doctah » Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:13 am UTC

Oldest file I can access from this machine is inside a .zip archive with a date stamp of June 14th, 2004. The file within the .zip (passworded; luckily I was able to remember what the password was) shows it was last modified January 7th, 1990. It contains a BBS message I thought was worth saving, including a header showing a date of August 21st, 1982 and posted by "The One True Animal Lover". I originally downloaded it onto a Radio Shack Model 100.

Anybody beat that?

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby MichaelKarnerfors » Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:22 am UTC

This brings an alternate meaning to the expression "Data Mining".

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Eebster the Great » Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:07 am UTC

The oldest non-preloaded file I can access on this computer is from January 1, 2014 when I bought it. I have the habit of saving nothing I don't think is valuable and very few things that I think are. This has never really come back to bite me, except once when I thought I lost my CV (turns out it was still on a flash drive, though).

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby ghlargh » Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:20 am UTC

MAKE POSTER NOW!

No seriously, this would sell as a big poster. Maybe make the graphics a magnitude more complex with more strange names and structures, but i really think this would sell as a poster.

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby orthogon » Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:27 am UTC

Eternal Density wrote:Heh, yeah I can relate to this. Somewhere I've got a bunch of 'games' I wrote in VB6 (ew) over ten years ago [...]

VB6 rocks and sucks in equal measure. I love the way you can change the colour of a control just by setting theControl.bgcolor=green. In Visual C++ you have to subclass the control, override the paint handler, instantiate a displayContext, create a paintbrush, etc etc. On the other hand, woe betide he who accidentally puts parentheses around the argument to a subroutine call.

I'm currently extending a VB6 application developed by a colleague a decade or so ago, using VB6 installed from another colleague's personal discs. I'm wondering whether it's worth spending 2 grand of my company's money for a licence for the ArtInSoft conversion software, another few hundred quid for a VB.net licence, an unknown amount of time getting it working and chasing out the bugs, to end up with the same thing I started with but having lost most of the version history (because I guess most lines and probably the filenames will be changed in the conversion process, making it hard to track changes through the conversion). And then how long before MS decide to throw away VB.NET and replace it with another incompatible language?

tl;dr: if you think I was cross about the ribbon in Office, it's nothing compared to my frustration over VB6.
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Djehutynakht » Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:59 am UTC

Nothing on raptors?

Liar.

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Locoluis » Fri Apr 25, 2014 11:32 am UTC

My personal files are classified in four categories:

1. The “projects“ folder.
Nothing is ever deleted from there. Regular backups of utmost importance.

2. Configurations, program files and other stuff.
Need to recover them after a reinstall to keep working as usual.

3. Music and other media.
While not of strategic importance, recovering them through legal means would be a waste of money.

3. Everything else.
Mostly downloads and stuff I could care less in the future.
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby cellocgw » Fri Apr 25, 2014 11:38 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:What are "aaafiles"?


Well duh, it's like "AAAAA Window Cleaning Service" : it's a way to make sure you show up at the top of the alphabetized list.

What, you never made a folder for storing junk and called it "zzzoldjunk" ?

BTW, the best (by which I mean worst) part about digging up those ancient files is that none of your Word or Excel (or Multiplan as us oldsters know) files can be read by the current Office suite. Gotta love that planned obsolescence. Cue the "that's why I store my files on clay tablets using LinearB" comments :oops:
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Xenomortis » Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:09 pm UTC

My current computer doesn't have a tool that can read any Word/Excel files.
Nor some of the (much older) Lotus formats (1-2-3 and whatever the document writer was called).
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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby eidako » Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:16 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:Anybody beat that?

Depends on what metrics we're using for comparison.

file/dump/extbackup/sort/megasort/XRAY.DOC (plain text file) - date modified February 18, 1990.

Code: Select all

XRAY is a DOS programming tool which displays informative messages about the operating system (DOS) functions.  With XRAY, you'll be able to snoop in on the operating systems inards and diagnose obscure programming bugs.

The oldest files I can find that I personally created are dated around 1996. My QBASIC programs all show the same date in November, suggesting they were made from older copies. First line of my favorite (GAME.BAS, 44KB):

Code: Select all

0 REM ---------------Battle Mech(IBM QBasic Version 1.00)---------------------

I also have ROMs of many Atari 2600 games (1977) and disk images of almost every commercial Commodore 64 game (1982). The actual dump dates are from 1993 forward.

...but if we're going by origin date, Illiad.txt wins hands down.
Last edited by eidako on Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:29 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Eebster the Great » Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:20 pm UTC

You can't beat plaintext for portability. ASCII hasn't changed in nearly 30 years, and I think most early ISO and UTF encodings can still be read fine (though I don't advise using Notepad for that purpose).

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby p1t1o » Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:21 pm UTC

ghlargh wrote:MAKE POSTER NOW!

No seriously, this would sell as a big poster. Maybe make the graphics a magnitude more complex with more strange names and structures, but i really think this would sell as a poster.


Download "SpaceMonger", it will give you a graphical representation of any drive you select, down to individual files :D

Ooh, also, I have copies of DuneII (the first real RTS) and David Brabens Frontier:EliteII on floppy disc. Its amazing that Elite contained a whole galaxy of stars and systems (I never managed to find any sort of outewr boundary) stored in its 840kb of code...

Unfortunately, my computer no longer has a floppy drive, the motherboard deasn't even have the connector for one.

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Re: 1360: "Old Files"

Postby Whizbang » Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:02 pm UTC

Man... I miss my old QBASIC days. First language I learned. My parents bought an old 256 computer for $50 for my birthday, just so I could play in QBASIC. I wrote an alarm clock script (man, the thought of a GOTO loop set to check the time thousands of times a second just boggles me these days), Pong, a drawing app (you could "draw" circles and squares anywhere on the screen, at any size, from a prompt at the bottom), and a Blackjack game (sans picture cards).

I also have a folder of short stories and failed novel attempts that I've ported forward through a dozen computers, in the insane thought that I might want to come back and finish them off at some point in the future.

No poetry, though. I've always hated the stuff.

Also, the first "webpage" I ever made. It was never hosted anywhere. It is just a collection of .html and .jpg/.gif files. It is a site dedicated to all things Ralph Wiggin.

Ooh! Ooh! And a video file of a dancing female alien singing "I Will Survive".
Last edited by Whizbang on Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:13 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.


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