It's a very real debate, even today, though this piece of software archaeology isn't quite the same... as this was the hunt for the first ever smiley. And earlier this week they finally found a back up tape from the bulletin board where the concept was first discussed...
Follow these links for more on the story:
- The story by the inventor of the smiley.
- The original thread.
- The story of the hunt (along with credits).
[Story spotted on Slashdot]
There's an interesting follow on thought - what if the tape reader for that tape had been lost, or broken? We're living in the digital dark ages, where dead media means that information is lost forever when proprietary hardware fails...