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Public Brand Software disks--worth archiving?

Chuck(G)

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I'm going through more junk and discovered a number (9) of "Public Brand Software" disks for PC; I'm guessing late 80s-early 90s. Are they worth archiving, or can I safely toss these? (all are DS2D 3.5" media). Here's a sample:
 

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If you are going to toss them, I'll take them. I figure they are worth archiving regardless of their content, even if no one else does.
 
Just a note, they contain some prank/joke software (not a virus) that gets picked up by windows AV as a threat. Which can lead to interesting discussions with young guys from the IT department, trying hard to understand what those are!
 
The stuff was apparently written for pre-Internet DOS PCs. You'll note that I didn't image the disks, just the files, just in case a boot sector virus popped up. All are original, with labels.
 
The stuff was apparently written for pre-Internet DOS PCs. You'll note that I didn't image the disks, just the files, just in case a boot sector virus popped up. All are original, with labels.
Yes of course, I thought I clearly explained that there is no virus in them. Just some software that windows AV labels as a "threat" and acts the same way as if it had detected a real virus.
 
On one hand, those are artifacts of digital culture worth preserving, and the source code for some of these could be interesting.

On the other hand, there has to be some special punishment for whomever named one disk "Indiana Jokes and the Laff Crusade".
 
those are artifacts of digital culture worth preserving, and the source code for some of these could be interesting.

Exactly my take on it. You never know if a particular program was available from more than one collection or not until you've been able to see the program and compare it with other collections. (Just looking at the filename isn't enough: how many different people had their own ideas on what BEEP.COM should do?) After all, not every program was "popular enough" to make it into Simtel. Also, older programs would get culled out of collections like Simtel to make room for "newer and better" programs that did the same thing. Some programs were culled just because their function was no longer necessary on newer hardware or DOS versions.

Luckily for all of us here, the bulk of PC-SIGs collection made it to CD-ROM and therefore got preserved. Those programs that weren't on CD-ROM likely exist in other surviving collections, but we might never be certain that there wasn't something on these disks that didn't get copied over.

There's also the problem of missing particular revisions in the version history of a program. For example, this person's research of 4DOS's history:

https://4dos.info/v4dos.htm

When a new version came out many of these groups replaced the old version with the new one making the tracking of developments harder.

PBS was the largest distributor of PC shareware back in the early 90s; it was sold to Ziff-Davis for inclusion into CompuServe's file offerings sometime around 1991.

Interesting, I had heard it was PSL [the Public (software) Library] that was the largest distributor. I wonder when PBS took the lead. Regardless, both of them were major distributors and neither of their collections survive mainly intact. I still have seen references in books and magazine articles to some programs you could get by requesting PSL disk #xxx or contacting Public Brand Software. Anyone seeing these references today is left out, not able to try the programs for themselves.

Is there any backup of CompuServe's file library anywhere?

Now there's another large collection that would be great to have access to. I know some things were only available on Compuserve because their authors made them Compuserve exclusives.

I've never seen any backup of the file library. So I also want to know if anyone has found one.
 
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