Jason Scott - An Internet historian with a taste for the obscure

October 6th, 2010

So this is the kind of stuff that keeps me up at night when I should be sleeping.

Meet Jason Scott - the guy who is literally an Internet historian. Apparently, what started out as a hobby, as a result of his own involvement with the BBS world, later became a full-time job as he managed to raise $25,000 on Kickstarter. The calling of his life is basically to collect as much (preferably obscure) information as he can for the future, both digital and physical. Text files. Cracktros. Shareware CDs. Floppy disks. Old issues of 2600 magazine with hardware projects that that came with the magazine at the time. He know has a container full of old goods, which, as he puts it, he doesn’t own, but is only preserving for the future.

So this post will just link to his sites. I’ll leave it to you, the reader, to explore his works. I actually haven’t explored most of his sites yet, so this post is in part a reminder to myself.

I only found out about Jason today when watching his Defcon 18 presentation (part 1 2 3 4) called “You’re stealing it wrong - 30 years of inter-pirate battles”. It’s the story of how the piracy scene has evolved over the years, all the way from when IBM sold hardware and software as a bundle, to the days of Apple ][ cracking, BBSs sharing scanned images from Playboy, all the way to the internal politics of today’s scene. It contains equal parts nostalgia and humor. (BTW, the videos were uploaded by ChRiStIaAn008 who’s uploading talks from various security conferences. Highly recommended despite the ghawd-awful background image.)

These sites of his are listed at the end of his presentation:
bbsdocumentary.com is the website of Jason’s documentary about the BBS world.
textfiles.com contains various text files from BBSs and other places, sorted in 40 categories. Puts my own Gameboy file archive, that I’ve hardly started working on, to shame.
cd.textfiles.com contains a shit tonne of shareware CDs from the 90s for those may be interested.
getlamp.com is not a site where you can get a LAMP stack; rather, the name alludes to old text based games such as Zork, and Get Lamp is the name of a documentary about those. (Side note: For my Swedish reader, I recommend the classic text-based game Stugan!)
Archiveteam is a site dedicated to mirroring content.
Geociti.es is an effort to mirror as much as possible of Geocities after it was shut down.
Sockington is one of Jason’s two cats.
Welcome to Internet! A hearty welcome (cordial reception) , in case this is your first day online.

Quoting Martin Korth: “And you? Given the ability of free choice, full control over your mind and body, where would you click?”

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