Friday, June 29, 2007

Perserving our pontifications

I've been spending a few hours reading (and being intimidated) by the content of "dshr's blog" belonging to one David Rosenthal. He uses the blog to discuss the work he is doing in Digital Preservation.

As far as I can see it, the process of how to save a blog for our coming generations to gasp at in wonder of the simplicity of it all is an area fraught with difficulties:

How do you decide what to save?
Who makes the decision?

What media do you record the bogs to?
Do you keep updating the media every time digital recording media changes or try to preserve the hardware the blogs are readable by?

Do you make the records publicly available?
How long after publication for?

I am not a professional nor someone with a vested interest in the field of in which the Author writes but it does strike me that as honourable as the intention of preserving e-journals is, what is just as important is preserving the media the journals are saved to and ensuring it is constantly transferred as technology changes to ensure the journals can be accessed and referenced.

There are a lot of big decisions to be made and I am glad that I do not have responsibility for making them.

It almost makes me long for the writing on cave walls method of recording representations of day to day life. At least the technology there was never in danger of becoming obsolete. There has not been a lot of changes in the eye - to- wall user compatibility in the last few thousands of years.

Technology simplifies life? I think not but it does keep me in a job and for that I am grateful.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Houses get smaller

So Microsoft develop a big feck off computer too big for anyone to fit in their living room (except for Bill Gates)

It's a computer Jim.....

It's a house Scottie ......

Social secretarial duties call

How come my children have a better social life than I do?

I mean it, I really need to know.

I am sitting in the cellar / office / laundry room / general dumping room area in our house with a pile of paperwork up to my knees genuinely trying to figure out why my invites for the Summer total one BBQ and a birthday party that I have to get on a plane to Ireland for, yet my children have 12...yes.....12 birthday parties to attend. Once Mummy has taken care of the business of answering the invites of course. After all the Mummies of South East London expect a considered reply rather than the "just turn up with a bottle" attitude of my partying contemporaries.

That is not the only thing bugging me.

I was known in our school circle for having a bit of a rant on the subject of children's parties. The exact phrase I used was "present reaping exercise" This 'who can be seen to be buying what for whom' trend is ridiculous.

Last Summer I dug my heels in, I banned presents and told anyone turning up they could bring a contribution towards the party if they liked but if they brought anything in the way of toys, I would throw them, the guests, out. So we blew up the pool, turned on the hose-pipes, distributed a few cheepie water pistols, warmed up the BBQ, cooked the ton of salmon that was contributed and guzzled some vino under the heat of a lovely London Summer day. Result: cheap party, wet kids, wet daddies, everyone stuffed to the guilds with good food, Mummy well oiled on white wines and there was a burnt pizza somewhere along the line. (Hey, I didn't say it was a perfect party)

As the Grand-daughter of two farming families, this is as fancy as I get but tends not to be quite good enough for the Mummy brigade around here, not that I really care. Getting into a "mine is bigger than yours" competition with the skinny dyed blond Jeep drivers of SE3 is not my thing and I refuse to change my stance on that even if I am working this year.

Chateau d'cardboard and paddling pools are open for visiting mid-July. If you bring any toys, I will feed them to you.

Now where was I? Oh yes, "Dear Simone de Monsterrate the 3rd, we would love to come to your party being held in the large dining hall of the Royal buildings in Greenwich park...."