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Re: "Digital Dark Age"



Duncan Campbell Said:


         "       I think they are more trying to forecast human events and humans
        have never been real good at acting logically for long periods of time on a
        world wide basis.  ;)"

Witness the Y2K problem.  One that could have been seen coming for 30 years,
not the five or six that the more aware people had. to prepare for it.

        "However, Windoze (GO MAC!)
        and other operating systems would seem dim and inflexible to a quantum
        computer, no?  Why would they build a quantum computer then go and give it
        Windows or Mac as an operating system?  To make it backwards
        compatible...perhaps.  But looking at current trends in software and
        backwards compatibility I don't think that computers of the future will be
        infinitely backwards compatible.  I think that the industry would expect
        people to continue to purchase new more powerful products and bringing
        their own information forward.  In fact I would say they are banking on
it."

Microsoft has announced that they Win98 will be the last of their operating
systems to be backward compatible with DOS.  This is not done simply out of
greed, backward compatibility has been problematic and has limited some
areas of performance.  Why buy a windows computer if you're going to run DOS
anyway?

In 1987, I purchased an inexpensive book keeping program (v4)that I ran on
my XT clone.  I upgraded to the latest version(v5)
about a year later.  In '96, when I upgraded to a W95 machine I was unable
to convert my files to import them into Quicken.  The manufacturer said, if
I had version 7(off the market for about 1 year,) I could have.  No, thank
you, v7 wouldn't convert my v5 files, even if I could find a copy.
I would need v6 to do that, then v7!!  And no they didn't have any copies of
the older versions that could be used either by them or by me to convert my
files.  I might add at this point that Intuit (makers of Quicken) had bought
out the manufacturer of my program and kept them for several years before
spinning them off.

While the technology to read CDROM may still be available after Y3K, the
only examples that will still be readable will be the ones whose archivists
have had the budget to store them in inert atmospheres and copy them on a
regular basis.  These will likely have been transferred to some newer
storage medium and so those lucky archivists won't need the prohibitive
expense of maintaining obsolete equipment.  The CDs in your collection and
mine will have long since deteriorated the point of unreadability.  But,
hey, that's O.K. because not only will we not be around to care, the
equipment to read them likely won't be either.

Hal


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