Lost Circuits…

The temporary nature of knowledge

I never realized how temporary knowledge is, until I heard the story of the mos6502’s death. The fact that we can coin a term such as Technology Archaeology for a cpu that is still in use to this day is more than a little strange. Normally we think of archaeology as rediscovering things hundreds or thousands of years old, but Technology Archaeology shows us we can forget things much quicker than that.
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The mos6502 was one of the early computer central processing units (CPU), chances are if your were a teenager in the 80’s or 90’s you have used the MOS6502. The list of computers that used it are extensive, Apple I/II, Commodore Pet, Vic 20 and C64, early Atari, Nintendo NES, BBC Micro.
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In 2009 a team from visual6502.org set out to rediscover the inner workings of the 6502 cpu. They were able to find old 6502 chips, strip the casing and expose the chips silicon. From this they reverse engineered chip schematics. This work became the basis of their 6502 simulator and the mos6502 was reborn.
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So the use it or loose it rule also applies to knowledge apparently. Many people are obviously already working on this issue as there is now a web site to store all of you life’s online presence, preserve it past your own death. Everyone has worked in a job where someone has left and taken specific knowledge with them, this is the same thing on a smaller scale. There is also talk of secure servers being setup to store all of our important knowledge, the Wikileaks server is a great example of this.
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The value of knowledge is often not known till we realize we have forgotten it.
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Buddhas Brother out…