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Media United Kingdom Technology

Museum Helps Domesday Reloaded Project 70

purehavnet writes "For many months the volunteers at the Centre for Computing History have been working on capturing and preserving the data from the BBC Domesday System. A complete set of data from the community disc was supplied to the BBC, who have now released the Domesday Reloaded project. This allows most of the community data from the original system to be viewed online."
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Museum Helps Domesday Reloaded Project

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 13, 2011 @05:07AM (#36116040)

    ...That final, ultimate end when the Earth will be covered by giant... domes.

  • by Hazel Bergeron ( 2015538 ) on Friday May 13, 2011 @05:12AM (#36116054) Journal

    Please tell me that it adds rather than replaces. Also, where is the downloadable copy? All I want is a copy of the laserdisc etc.

    And the UI is a noisy, muddled pain. There were fewer distractions in 1986.

    • Please tell me that it adds rather than replaces. Also, where is the downloadable copy? All I want is a copy of the laserdisc etc.

      A more pertinent question would be - where can I get a working copy of the hardware to play the laserdisc?

      This update is long overdue, and so long as all the data is there, the web is a far better place for this project, as someone else (you for example) can take all the data and repackage it with a better UI and redistribute, which couldn't be done with the original analogue files without a huge amount of extra hassle and a working version of the original hardware/software, which in 100 years will be forgo

      • Well, I accept a digital conversion of the laserdiscs of sufficient bitrate not to lose any data :-).

        Microfiching and read-only digital archiving with regular copying are appropriate for all such cultural artifacts, of course. And the Domesday project was fairly unique in that it collected a lot of data by the method of "having a casual chat with the guy down the road who actually does stuff", rather than the much more sterile and indirect e.g. Wikipedia procedure of finding an article in a "reliable source

        • Microfiching and read-only digital archiving with regular copying are appropriate for all such cultural artifacts, of course.

          Meh. Microfilm isn't nearly as good as it is advertised to be. It's bad at photographs or anything in color, the film isn't as stable as one would hope, and it's usually not verified to be readable when it is made (this also happens with Google books at times). Since the process for making microfilm is usually destructive (they chop up books to stack the pages more neatly) and the goal is rather destructive as well (the heart of the policy isn't mere preservation but also the wholesale disposal of paper boo

          • Hell yes, I am not advocating microfiche as a substitute for preservation of the originals. I am just strongly in favour of making copies which can be read without requiring society to remain stable and replete with advanced digital technology.

    • by locofungus ( 179280 ) on Friday May 13, 2011 @05:37AM (#36116142)

      All I want is a copy of the laserdisc etc.

      Much of the data on the laserdisc is analogue. The images definitely are.

      Even the digital data is stored in an audio track - not sure if it was played through the cassette port of the BBC micro to decode or whether the laserdisc hardware did the decoding.


      • It won't have been played-in through the cassette port, searches would have taken hours. The BBC had numerous higher-speed interfaces as standard, which is what made it the best project micro of its day, and ideal for this sort of thing.
      • No, the digital data is not stored on an audio track. It's stored as digital data, with the modified Laserdisc player appearing as a SCSI disk.

      • by JBMcB ( 73720 )

        If I recall correctly, video was encoded in a modulated analog signal. So the data is pulled off of the disc and ran through a DAC, and a composite analog video signal is created. This is opposed to how DVDs and Blu-Rays work, where the video is stored digitally, decompressed and an analog video signal is created, if an analog monitor is used.

        Analog audio could be stored along with the modulated video, along with a couple of digital PCM encoded audio tracks, which is usually where data was stored if needed.

        • The video was purely a analogue composite video source just like VHS tape, the computer graphics were overlaid on to the video signal using a genlock.
    • by AGMW ( 594303 )

      Please tell me that it adds rather than replaces. ...

      I saw something about it on the TV yesterday (was it?) ... they're replacing the old tech with new (internet based) tech, then people will be able (asked? encouraged? now that I don't know!) to add more stuff. Specifically, I think they want people to go to where the various photos were taken and take new ones of what it looks like now ... that sort of thing.

    • All I want is a copy of the laserdisc etc.

      Probably wouldn't do you much good - the Domesday system used a new "standard" called LV-ROM which stored analogue video and digital data on the laserdisc. I think that the format was only ever used by Domesday and one or two other educational projects. So even if you've got a lasevision movie player stashed away for whenever you want to see Han shoot first it won't get at the data. LV-ROM players had a SCSI interface - Other laserdisc players just had a RS232 interface for computer-controlled playback.


    • by laejoh ( 648921 )

      If the laws of the universe are kind, the donwloadable copies will never be found.
      But I must tell my son what I saw or thought I saw, and let him use his judgment
      as a psychologist in gauging the reality of my experience, and communicating
      this account to others.

      I have said that the awful truth behind my tortured years of dreaming
      hinges absolutely upon the actuality of what I thought I saw in those
      Cyclopean, buried laserdiscs. It has been hard for me, literally, to set down
      that crucial revelation, t

  • School essays (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Relyx ( 52619 ) on Friday May 13, 2011 @05:26AM (#36116100)

    They essays that accompany each grid square remind me of the pieces we were made to write at school. Unsurprising really as a vast number were contributed by British school children back in the eighties. The everyday banality is quite interesting, as the world has moved on a great deal since then.

    • by Inda ( 580031 )
      I beleive one of my pieces of 'work' was included on the disk. I remember looking for it on the original Domesday machine, which was probably in the Natural History Museum.

      Now if only I could remember what I wrote.
      • by timftbf ( 48204 )

        Mine's on there. East Mersea Oyster Fisheries :)

        Credits to the school and to my geography teacher don't appear until you read all the way through to the last of the East Mersea entries, though.

    • I remember this project from my school days too. The swotty kids were involved in submitting data for the project, and eventually a setup consisting of BBC computer and laser disc player appeared. Those of us who hadn't been involved eventually had a look at it, and the reaction was pretty much "so what". By that time, the technology had already been used for computer games, and the Domesday data set didn't really excite us. When the Archimedes computer arrived, that was a different matter though - mainly b
    • I vaguely remember writing something at school in the 80's (on the school's single BBC Micro that got wheeled around between classrooms on a trolley) that may well have been intended for this project. Seeing this does ring a bell.

      Anyway, anything I wrote as a child in the 1980's certainly wouldn't be worth reading today.

  • Doomsday Revolutions ?

  • ... if they'd kept the raw analogue copies of the original video and image data it would have been a hell of a lot easier to port it to the web. Its still easy to find something that will read a VHS or Betamax tape compared to a laserdisk , never mind a laserdisk in LV-Rom format.

  • The BBC shouldn't be selling H2G2, they should be integrating with this, as a locational Wiki. If only it could be said that Britain today is 'Mostly Harmless'.
    • by Tim C ( 15259 )

      Well, I'm 36 years old and have lived in Britain all my life, and neither I, nor any of my family, nor the majority of my friends have had any significant trouble. Britain really is mostly harmless, frothing at the mouth tabloid headlines to the contrary.

      • The H2G2 tag was mainly for the info of visitors to Earth, not residents who already had a towel. Perhaps the BBC itself is 'Mostly Harmless'.
  • The BBC already had the community data available the Centre for Computing History had nothing to do with it !
  • than the matrix reloaded

    there "reloaded" titles don't have a good track record

  • ...the BBC, who have now released the Domesday Reloaded project

    I'm confused. I thought Domesday was supposed to be on the 21st of this month. Did they release early?

Disks travel in packs.