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An important message from System 7 Today founder Dan Palka
 Topic: Important Notice - Input Appreciated (Page 1 of 2)
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  dpaanlka (Profile)
  1024 MB
Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:18 pm
Today is a relatively important day in System 7 Today's small blip of a history as we have just acquired Info-Mac.org. For those who don't know, an explanation of what Info-Mac is/was can be found in the following excerpt from this article announcing Info-Mac's 2005 closing:


For those who haven't heard of it, Info-Mac was the oldest of Macintosh services on the Internet, predating TidBITS by six years. As far as I can tell from searching in Google Groups, Info-Mac started in June of 1984 (and amusingly, Google displayed the MacObserver coverage of our just-released "Take Control of .Mac" ebook on the same page).


There were two parts to the Info-Mac Network, the Info-Mac Digest, which was a moderated mailing list about all things Macintosh, and the Info-Mac Archive, which stored and made available freely distributable files of interest to Mac users. In the early days, Info-Mac was hosted at Stanford University on a machine called sumex-aim.stanford.edu (sumex-aim stood for Stanford University Medical EXperiment - Artificial Intelligence in Medicine; I have no idea why Info-Mac was given space on that computer). Apparently, the original sumex-aim machine was a TOPS-20 system, though I believe it was later replaced by a newer Sun workstation with a 68000 processor. It had a few gigabytes of disk space that Info-Mac bought after receiving almost $3,000 in donations in 1992. In 1997, America Online donated a new Sun workstation - called info-mac.org - to Info-Mac and we moved it to a new home at MIT's Laboratory of Computer Science, which also ran the popular Info-Mac HyperArchive.


At its heyday, the Info-Mac Digest was probably read daily by some tens of thousands of people (it was mirrored in the Usenet group comp.sys.mac.digest from the very earliest days), and the Info-Mac Archive was the centralized collection of Macintosh software with over 100 mirror sites located around the world (this was back in the day when minimizing the distance data traveled over the Internet could significantly reduce transfer time and cost). For quite some time after the Internet became commercialized, popular software download sites, like CNET's Shareware.com, were in fact mirrors of the Info-Mac Archive. (To be fair, there were other Mac archive sites, such as the UMich Mac Software Archive.)

The Info-Mac mirrors that still exist around the world (such as at MIT) have been an invaluable source of software on this site, and I continue to discover more by browsing through them. However the old Info-Mac.org itself has been gone for quite some time.

Thanks to the help and generosity of Adam Engst of TidBITS and Dan Knight of Low End Mac, we (all of us at System 7 Today) now have the Info-Mac.org domain at our disposal. So the question is, what should we do with it?

Of course, the first thing that pops into mind is the restoration of the archive. That's a given. But how should it be handled? Should it be it's own site? Or integrated with System 7 Today? If it is it's own new site, should it have any other services associated with it? It's own forum for example? If it were to have it's own forum, should it be focused entirely on Info-Mac? Or should it be a larger, general purpose Macintosh discussion and help community similar to MacRumors, MacNN, and the late Info-Mac? Would that even make sense in such an already well-served market as Mac-related communities?

Give us your thoughts and ideas...
  JoAT (Profile)
  32 MB
Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 2:16 pm
Well, first off, congrats on getting your hands on a domain with such a strong legacy behind it. The link to the MIT archive was a nice show of what Info-Mac must have been.

I feel that System 7 Today has a very clear focus and message. Looking at the MIT archive, while it is extremely interesting and somewhat helpful, it is anything but focused.

Personally, I think Info-Mac.org can be something very special, but I don't think it belongs as a fully integrated part of S7T. I would think that it would be best run as a sister site with it's own direction. (I also really love the style and layout of S7T and would love to see a similar style applied to such a useful archive of older apps and utilities.)

Of course these are just my opinions, but that is what you asked for. Wink

  cballero (Profile)
  16 MB
Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:10 pm
This has got to be the coolest acquisition I've ever seen in the Mac world! I agree that the archive should be restored and JoAT has a valid point as well: info-mac has a history and as such should be preserved. As all things Mac, Apple's progression into the next OS made it retire, but with a new look and features it could become the next best thing to one of my favorite classic mac sites, system7today of course! Smile

How about this Dan?

1) have a welcoming homepage that has
a. some site-related news
b. and buttons or links that go to
i. the system7today web site
ii. both the original info-mac hyperarchive
iii. a completely redone graphical version
iv. and a new forum to discuss the new info-mac

Of course, the editable versions of info-mac would be the new versions. Old forum threads could be tucked away within the original info-mac site if they still still have value as well.
  Blessed Cheesemaker (Profile)
  8 MB
Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 7:24 am

I wandered back to this site yesterday for the first time in a couple of months, and I could not believe the good news. I have been very concerned about Info-Mac, and the archives, for some time now.

I have recently been taking my old Macs out for a spin, so to speak, and I have been having increasing difficulty finding resources for both PPC and 68k Macs, especial with early System 7 (and, for 68k Macs, anything System 6 or earlier).

It would be a tragedy to lose all these old resources (for example, I use the Dvorak keyboard layout, and there are utilities for this for System 6, but I am not finding them now).

I know people will say, "But why not use the latest and greatest," and "Nobody cares about 68k Macs now," but there does seem to be a community out there that wants to keep using these wonderful machines, and we will probably need to join together to preserve the old resources.

Again, congrats! This site, System 7 Today, has been a wonderful resource!
  saaber1970 (Profile)
  8 MB
Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 1:48 pm
These days it is so important to preserve the information about these older systems for those of us who care to still enjoy using them. Without your efforts we might well have lost that vital information.

Keep up the good work.
  sierraredd (Profile)
  128 MB
Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 3:49 pm
Well there's always the make it look like the original site design wise, but improve the functionallity. I would keep it seperate from s7t. Nothing like links of reference between the two.
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