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Re: digital media
- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
- Subject: Re: digital media
- From: Derek Lyons <elde@HURRICANE.NET>
- Date: Wed, 14 May 1997 02:49:18 -0400
- In-Reply-To: <199705121303.GAA07045@wind.hurricane.net>
- Message-Id: <199705140649.XAA30818@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.EDU>
- Sender: "The Book Arts: binding, typography, collecting" <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
At 09:21 AM 5/12/97 -0400, you wrote:
>It seems to me that digital storage media is somewhat analogous to
>languages. That is, the way information is encoded by software is similar
>to how it is encoded by natural languages. The big difference as I see it
>is that languages change slowly and software changes incredibly rapidly.
>Even now there are languages that are partially or wholly lost to us. Not
>everything gets translated into the new languages. Without the Rosetta
>Stone, where would we be in our understanding of hieroglyphics?
>A thousand years from now, how many artificial languages will we have run
>through? And plenty of data will not have gotten translated. We will need
>hundreds of Rosetta Stones.
And the problems with this are clearly seen by anyone who is following the
Y2K problem. There are literally hundreds of programs out there that will
require being fixed. Some of the programs date back to the 60's and 70's.
For many of these, no source code exists. Or where source code does exist,
no current compiler exists, etc... etc....