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Then there are those projects to renovate buildings that are
solid and were built when superior materials and workmanship were
cheaper and cannot be duplicated at today's prices, yet can be
renovated. I used to work home restoration when in college.
We saved some spectacular homes from being replaced by
I believe there probably are products out there in
niches where the technology or standard was ahead
of its time that can now be reclaimed. The VRML
examples are pertinent such as the CosmoPlayer
code, the Ligos editor, etc. Would they need updating?
Sure. Code reclamation; more jobs for programmers.
We used to do this sort of thing at NASA. Whole
systems were reclaimed from musty Fortran because
even if the code was old, the math was spectacular.
From: Mitch Amiano [mailto:email@example.com]
I'm reminded of a commercial renovation project,
http://www.thealtamont.com/, in which each of the nine stories has been
gutted. The partition walls were made from clay tube tiles. Tube tiles are
like concrete blocks - extremely strong with superior fire resistance. But
no one works with tile partition walls anymore and trying to work around
them would take more money than the market would bear. Removing them means
that several tons of dead weight are eliminated from the load on each floor.
They are now called "clean fill".
Even when the market thinks some old building has value, it is often more
economical to raze it down to the superstructure, or completely down to the
ground upon which it stands. If a bunch of vagrants happen to inhabit the
building prior to renovation it may be said to hold some value to them, but
that isn't economically relevant to the owners. It doesn't seem to be borne
of pride or presumption, but perhaps there is sometimes a lack of vision.