Fantasist's Scroll

Fun, Fiction and Strange Things from the Desk of the Fantasist.

11/14/2005

Digital Dark Age

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

This is common sense to anyone in the business.
Honest. When was the last time you tried to find a computer that used a floppy disk? Have you even touched a floppy in the past year? If so, I think you’re in the minority. But, soon it may be true for something that IT Professionals (ie. professional geeks) have most likely dealt with: backup tapes. I’ve lost count of how many different kinds of backup systems I’ve used over the years and you know, most of them only would read tapes from one or two generations back. I wonder how many businesses have their archival data stored on tapes that they can’t read anymore…
But, this article on smh.com.au regarding a coming digital Dark Age might be news to some of my readers here. Or, at least, it might not be something that they’ve really considered. Imagine getting some really interesting, but obscure, documents on a system that you can’t acess. Say, a CD-ROM in the far future. It’s labelled and all, so the finders know what is supposed to be on the disk, but they don’t have a system to read it. What do they do? Thaw out that crusty, old twenty-first century computer geek so he can tell them what to do? Build a new system to read the old storage media? Find an alien to do one of the above? The possibilites for story are almost endless.

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