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Thread: DEC documents on manx

  1. #1
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    Default DEC documents on manx

    In case you weren't following this thread in the documentation requests forum, I'm planning on having manx automatically ingest documents on bitsavers into it's database. This is based on the heuristics of how files are named on bitsavers to automatically extract document metadata like part numbers and publication dates from the filename. This isn't perfect, but it's mostly correct for bitsavers documents. When I deploy that, it will result in a massive ingestion of bitsavers documents for many companies into manx. Currently the biggest barrier to getting documents into the database is waiting for manual curation of the documents. For small collections or isolated URLs, this isn't a significant burden, but for bitsavers the backlog is just simply too huge for this to be a viable long-term solution. Since things are named fairly uniform on bitsavers, it can be done mostly by heuristic.

    You may want to consider subscribing to manx's RSS feed if you want to get updates on new documents added to the database.

  2. #2

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    This looks terrific! I'm new to this space, and have recently started scanning, OCS'ing, and uploading docs to archive.org (here: https://archive.org/details/@save_the_machine).

    So far, I've been using an Epson Workforce printer with a 11x17 ADF scanner (no fancy photo-scanning setup yet).

    We (Save the Machine) have a trove of IBM 360 & 370 and Plessey Systems PDP-11 peripheral documents / schematics to contribute.
    Save the Machine Computer Preservation Group | savethemachine.org

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoothillsGeek View Post
    We (Save the Machine) have a trove of IBM 360 & 370 and Plessey Systems PDP-11 peripheral documents / schematics to contribute.
    That sounds very good indeed. You wouldn't happen to have any docs for the Plessey PM-1100 8KW and 16KW Unibus memory modules would you? Or 360/40?

  4. #4
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    Look on bitsavers.org before duplicating work
    Don't create scans of bi-tonal documents in JPEG. I can see compression artifacts all over your 11/34 print set (which has already been scanned)

  5. #5
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    Here's my advice for scanning:

    For black and white documents (e.g. most manuals):
    1. Scan at 300 dpi minimum, 600 dpi preferred.
    2. Turn off any settings for automatic page orientation and sizing. Set the orientation and size explicitly if necessary.
    3. Use a bitonal TIFF image compression algorithm for the scans.
    4. For oversize sheets (schematics, foldout diagrams, etc.), scan them in overlapping segments and use Microsoft ICE to reassemble them into a single page.

    The rationale for these choices are:
    1. At 600 dpi, the half-tone pattern of photographs and diagrams is resolved, resulting in no aliasing.
    2. Using an explicit page dimension prevents each scanned page from appearing at slightly different pixel dimensions, making for a more uniform document. Automatic page orientation algorithms are often confused by diagrams with text at odd angles.
    3. Bitonal TIFF compression results in lossless compression of the bitonal scan. JPEG encoding will create aliasing artifacts everywhere and cause OCR algorithms to be confused.
    4. This is the easiest way to deal with scans of pages that are larger than the physical dimensions of your scanner. Be careful to save the resulting composite as PNG to avoid JPEG artifacts.

    The most common mistakes when scanning are:
    • Using grayscale JPEG encoding for scans. This results in very large file sizes and JPEG compression artifacts. The compression artifacts can make fine details of documents illegible.
    • Letting the scanner decide settings to "help" you. When scanning a single page form for sending to a colleague, this is fine, but usually not what you want when scanning documentation.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1944GPW View Post
    That sounds very good indeed. You wouldn't happen to have any docs for the Plessey PM-1100 8KW and 16KW Unibus memory modules would you? Or 360/40?
    I have Core Memory Manuals for:
    PM-1100
    PM-1105
    PM-1105BP
    PM-1116B
    PM-1132
    PM-80

    I will add the PM-1100 to the top of my queue.
    Save the Machine Computer Preservation Group | savethemachine.org

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Al Kossow View Post
    Look on bitsavers.org before duplicating work
    Don't create scans of bi-tonal documents in JPEG. I can see compression artifacts all over your 11/34 print set (which has already been scanned)
    Thanks. I had been checking bitsavers and archive.org and didn't see that particular doc. Must have missed it.
    Save the Machine Computer Preservation Group | savethemachine.org

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoothillsGeek View Post
    Thanks. I had been checking bitsavers and archive.org and didn't see that particular doc. Must have missed it.
    An easy way to search all of bitsavers for documents is to download the IndexByDate.txt file and just search through it with a regular text editor, grep, etc.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoothillsGeek View Post
    We (Save the Machine) have a trove of IBM 360 & 370 and Plessey Systems PDP-11 peripheral documents / schematics to contribute.
    I have a system with the following Plessey boards that I have been able to find little to no documentation for. If you have any manuals, schematics,etc for any of these, I'd love to get a scan.

    PM DLV11J -- 4 Serial Lines (I have a scan of 6 pages for this card)
    PM SV128 -- Memory, 128Kwords (I have a scan of 7 pages for this card)
    PM XCV31 -- Floppy Disc Controller (I have a scan of 6 pages for this card)
    PM MFV11B -- Multi-Function Board
    PM DCV06B -- Disc Controller
    PM KTV9H -- Terminator

    Even if you don't have anything on any of the above cards, thanks for the preservation work you're doing.

    By the way, the system with the above boards is a Plessey Peripheral Systems type/model 6632/2, serial #210. It looks like it was built on 5/11/1984. It's an 11/23 with a DEC M8186 CPU card. The system is very complete, including chassis, power supplies, additional controllers, hard drives, 2 8" floppies. But it's not been powered on in about a decade.

    Ron's Plessey QBUS cards installed 2.jpg

    Ron

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoothillsGeek View Post
    I will add the PM-1100 to the top of my queue.
    Thank you very much! I really appreciate it!!!!

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