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Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 21:55:07 -0800 (PST)
From: Bruce Sterling
Dead medium: Dead Media Collectors

Computer history seems to have intimate ties with computer collection. Individual collectors want to ponder lovingly over the historical minutiae surrounding their own possessions. Even computer museums want to round out their collections with just the proper piece of properly annotated dead tech.

I'm now accustomed to the notion of people collecting punchcard software, battered game cartridges, even entire mainframes. I'm intensifying my interest in those who buy and sell eldritch telephones and two-ton cameras. I have yet to see a full-scale flea market emerge for Inca quipus or Cauzin strip readers, but the Dead Media Project may be just the nucleus for this development. Personally, I confess to an intense collector's interest in books on dead media. I think an online swap-meet for dead media books could be of a lot of use to the project.

I draw the line at cluttering the Dead Media Mailing List with want- ads. However, I can see the need for want-ads in principle. Already a number of Dead Media-ites seem to be seriously besotted with PixelVision cameras. I see no reason why these PixelVision fans should be denied their harmless artistico-materialistic frenzy, as long as the rest of us aren't spammed with it.

Seth Carmichael of Global Business Network, who deeply longs to own a PixelVision, has volunteered to serve as

Dead Media Collection Majordomo. He's going to be point-man on this commercial effort and will coordinate dead media wish-lists, want-lists and supply lists until it gets too boring, becomes impossible, or else turns into some fringeware weirdo's full-time niche enterprise.

If there's something you want in the way of deadmediaware, or something you want to barter or sell, or you just want to be put on his list

as an interested party, then do let him know about it ( If we handle this correctly, we may be able to magically conjure a deadmediaware market into existence, while the rest of us remain blissfully unaware of the sordid economic underpinnings of this field of study. It's worth a try.

Thank you for your attention. Bruce Sterling