Re: Paperless--BAH!

Subject: Re: Paperless--BAH!
From: Ray Bruman <rbruman -at- RND -dot- RAYNET -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 1995 13:30:28 PST

"Robert W. Jones" <shaka -at- NETCOM -dot- COM> writes:

> Does any one here remember CP/M, the LISA, the DEC System 10, long playing
> records or even the Betamax, or 8 track tape system? Is DOS a dead deal? I
> can still read and write on my paper copy of Oedipus Rex from high school,
> but I can not say that about my CP/M version of WordStar.

> A scientific jouurnal reported that even data or information on electronic
> storage systems does not last forever. Given the shelf life of new
> technology some of you may become the next zillionaire by harvesting
> old technology for current systems (books, disk, and tape).

He may be referring to the January 1995 Scientific American article (p 42)
"Ensuring the Longevity of Digital Documents" which explores this very
serious problem. A single quote should suffice:

"A 1990 House of Representatives report describes the narrow escape of
the 1960 U.S. Census data."

A photo of disks & tapes next to a replica of the Rosetta Stone (still
legible after 2200 years; some of the media are obsolete within 10 years)
emphasizes the problem.

If you want to save it, you dern well better print it out and plan
on using OCR later. Want to try to read some CP/M Wordstar files off
an 8-inch Shugart floppy disk in perfect condition?

Ray Bruman In this establishment,
Raynet Corp. we DO NOT DISCUSS
rbruman -at- raynet -dot- com race, religion, politics,
415-688-2325 or nutrition.

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