[SATLUG] OT: a typical grad student question

toddwbucy toddwbucy at grandecom.net
Fri Mar 28 12:54:34 CDT 2008

> Despite the durability of the recorded media, the real question is this: with 
> the rate at which the electronic gear is obsoleted: even if the media survives 
> intact, will there be anything to play it on? I can't get a 64bit machine to 
> read 16bit media, and that's only about 20 years old. In 300 years, who knows 
> what they'll have; or, indeed, perhaps all humanity will be driven back into a 
> new dark age by then... Perhaps all the digger will get out of it is: "Ooo, 
> it's so shiney."

I wouldn't expect that reading the media would be an insurmountable
issue for two reasons.  If society collapses, such that we lose ou
technological advances then it is highly unlikely that the discipline of
archeology would still exist.  so if we do away with the apocalyptic
prognostication then we can assume that someone somewhere will be able
to figure out how to access the data.  Yes its true that they might have
a hell of a time finding a working dvd player but I think that it would
be safe to assume that future archaeologist would have the technology to
reconstruct one.  What really interests me is will the DVD still be
readable? If the DVD's data is corrupted can it be reconstructed
somehow?  One way of addressing this problem is to ask what is our
current ability to reconstruct data from aged archival media, such as
cd's dvd's and tape backups?


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