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Jason Scott Sadofsky (born September 13, 1970 in Hopewell Junction, New York), more commonly known as Jason Scott, is an American archivist and historian of technology. He is the creator, owner and maintainer of textfiles.com, a web site which archives files from historic bulletin board systems. He is also the creator of a 2005 documentary film about BBSes, BBS: The Documentary, and a 2010 documentary film about interactive fiction, GET LAMP.
Scott has been known by the online pseudonyms "Sketch", "SketchCow" and "The Slipped Disk". He currently lives in Hopwell Junction, New York.
Education[edit | edit source]
Jason Scott graduated from Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, New York and served on the staff of the school newspaper under the title "Humor Staff". While in high school he produced the humor magazine Esnesnon ("nonsense" backwards). He later earned a degree in Mass Communications (Concentration in Film) from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. While at Emerson, he worked for the school humor magazine, school newspaper, WERS 88.9 FM radio, and served as art director on several dramatic plays.
Early Work[edit | edit source]
After graduating from Emerson, Jason lived in Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he was employed as a Temp worker while also drawing caricatures for pay on the streets of Cambridge.
Projects[edit | edit source]
In 1990, along with John Anthony Rescigno (who was known by the pseudonym "Trout.Complex"), Sadofsky started TinyTIM, a popular MUSH. He resigned in 2000. In 1995, Jason joined the video game company Psygnosis as a technical support worker, before being hired by a video game startup, Focus Studios, as an art director. After Focus Studios' closure, Jason moved into UNIX administration, where he remained until 2009.
He has been a speaker at DEF CON, an annual hacker conference, the first time at the 7th conference in 1999, then again in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005. Scott also spoke at PhreakNIC 6 and 9, Rubi Cons 4 and 5, the 5th H.O.P.E. conference in 2004, Notacons 1, 2 (as a backup), 3 and 4, Toorcon 7, and beta premiered his documentary at the 7th annual Vintage Computer Festival. Most of his talks focus on the capturing of digital history or consist of narratives of stories relevant to his experiences online.
In 2007, he co-founded Blockparty, a North American demoparty. For their inaugural year, they paired up with Notacon which takes place annually in Cleveland, Ohio. This collaborative effort allowed the fledgling party to utilize the existing support structure of an established conference. In January 2009, he formed "Archive Team", a group dedicated to preserving the historical record of websites that close down. Responding to the announcement by AOL of the closure of AOL Hometown, the team has also announced plans to save Podango and GeoCities.
In October 2009, he started raising funds for a year-long sabbatical from his job as a computer systems administrator, to pursue technology history and archival projects full-time. By November 2009, he had reached his funding goals, with the support of over 300 patrons.
Filmography[edit | edit source]
Presentations[edit | edit source]
- TEXTFILES, G-PHILES, AND LOG FILES: Remembering the 1980s Through ASCII DEF CON 7, July 10, 1999
- TEXTFILES.COM: One Year Later DEF CON 8, July 29, 2000
- So You Got Your Lame Ass Sued: A Legal Narrative DEF CON 9, July 2001
- Documenting the BBS Rubi-Con 4, April 2002
- History of Phreaking 101 PhreakNIC 6.0, November 1, 2002
- Keynote: The Future is Now Rubi-Con 5, March 28, 2003
- Apple II Pirate Lore Rubi-Con 5, March 29, 2003
- 100 Years of the Computer Art Scene (with RaD Man) Notacon 1, April 2004
- Saving Digital History: A Quick and Dirty Guide H2K4, July 11, 2004
- BBS: The Documentary: A Preview DEF CON 12, August 2004
- The History of the Coleco Adam (mp3) Notacon 2, April 2005
- Why Tech Documentaries are Impossible (And why we have to do them anyway.) DEF CON 13, July 31, 2005
- Fidonet Presentation and Q&A ToorCon 7, September 17, 2005
- BBS Documentary Presentation PhreakNIC 9.0, October 22, 2005
- ConCon: A History of Hacker Conferences Shmoocon 2, January 13, 2005
- Your Moment of Audio Zen: A History of Podcasts Notacon 3, April 7, 2006
- The Great Failure of Wikipedia, Notacon 3, April 8, 2006
- Retrocomputing (with Sam Nitzberg, Cheshire Catalyst, Sellam Ismail) H.O.P.E. Number Six, July 2006
- Underground Documentaries: The Art of the Interview and the Access (with Julien McArdle) H.O.P.E. Number Six, July 2006
- Wheel of Internet Knowledge Phreaknic X, October 2006
- Mythapedia STM (Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers) Innovations Seminar, December 1, 2006
- Wikipedia, Brick by Brick Notacon 4, April 27, 2007
- T536 – The Edge of Forever – Making Computer History DEF CON 15, August 4, 2007
- Keynote speech KansasFest, July 22, 2009
- Atomic Porn: What is the smallest particle of erotica? – Arse Elektronika 2009, October 2, 2009
- DistriWiki: A Proposal, May 11, 2010
See also[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
- "BBS: The Documentary". Bbsdocumentary.com. Retrieved on 2012-01-08.
- Gagne, Ken (Jul 26, 2010). "The Grill: Jason Scott". Computerworld.com. Retrieved on Aug 8, 2010.
- "Issue #1 of Esnesnon". Retrieved on 2012-01-13.
- "The Life and Times of Jason Scott". Cow.net (1970-09-13). Retrieved on 2012-01-08.
- "ASCII by Jason Scott / About Jason Scott". ascii.textfiles.com. Retrieved on 2012-01-18.
- "Jason Works for a Living". Cow.net. Retrieved on 2012-01-08.
- "T E X T F I L E S". Audio.textfiles.com. Retrieved on 2012-01-08.
- "Arcade: A Documentary". Arcadedocumentary.com. Retrieved on 2012-01-08.
- "archiveteam.org". archiveteam.org. Retrieved on 2012-01-08.
- "ASCII by Jason Scott / Eviction, or the Coming Datapocalypse". Ascii.textfiles.com. Retrieved on 2012-01-08.
- "ASCII by Jason Scott / Datapocalypso!". Ascii.textfiles.com (2009-01-18). Retrieved on 2012-01-08.
- "ASCII by Jason Scott / Geocities: Why Hello, Everybody". Ascii.textfiles.com (2011-08-18). Retrieved on 2012-01-08.
- "The Jason Scott Sabbatical". Kickstarter. Retrieved on 2012-01-08.
References[edit | edit source]
- Jason Scott, The Defendant (July 2001). So You Got Your Lame Ass Sued: A Legal Narrative. DEF CON speaker. Retrieved 2004-11-19.
- Jason Sadofsky, The Tribune Articles, 1987–88
- Jason Scott, The Life and Times of Jason Scott
- DEF CON 13 (2005) speakers, including Jason Scott's "Why Tech Documentaries are Impossible"
[edit | edit source]
- Jason Scott – Personal homepage
- Template:IMDb name
- ASCII – Jason Scott's weblog
- textfiles.com – BBS archive project
- BBS Documentary – Web site for the documentary
- Get Lamp
- Archive Team wiki
- Collector's Trove of Podcasts, an interview with Jason Scott in Wired magazine online
- Saving Digital History: A Quick and Dirty Guide, by Jason Scott (Hope 2004 Conference)
- The Whole Lawsuit Thing – HarvardNetSucks account of the lawsuit.
- leahpeah interview with Jason Scott
- fsck interview with Jason Scott
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