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Re: "Digital Dark Age"



In a message dated 2/15/99 8:11:21 AM Pacific Standard Time,
handel@SI.UMICH.EDU writes:

<< Many of your arguments make an interesting defense of Microsoft's
 supposed monopoly power. His argument is that the monopoly position of
 Microsoft provides a significant, long-term social benefit: the ability
 to ensure that the fruits of our intellectual labors remain available to
 us and our descendants. These arguments specifically discount
 Microsoft's claim that their monopoly position is a tenuous one, capable
 at any point of being toppled by a new, innovative and different
 technologies or set of technologies.>>

I don't defend the Microsoft "monopoly" I am just trying to  point out that
there is indeed a side benefit as described. That Microsoft one day will be
cut down to size is no reason to think that the basic system capabilities
based on their software will thus disapear from the face of the earth or
somehow become nonfunctional. Some things (not everything) once learned are
never lost.

 Funny thing  is that the basic CD-ROM  function is built into the MAC OS too,
so you must believe that  the technology which emerges to take down Microsoft
will also then take down the MAC OS which will then also disapear from the
face of the earth.  You also must believe that this new technology will be so
compelling that everyone will drop all of their investment in the old Windows
and MAC technologies.  A computer technology so compelling that the fact that
even the standard graphics files such as jpg and tif can't be read anymore is
on no importance. A computer technology so compelling that the entire business
world will simply abandon their entire current investment in computer
technology with absolutely no means of any backwards compatablity.  Really?

<< I don't think CD-ROMs are the answer to the general problem of long-term
archival storage of computer data. (From an environmental perspective, they're
not even a good answer period.)  >>

Well if not CD's what then? What is the enviromentally acceptable alternative
media for longterm digital storage?

Not good from an enviromental perspective because the darn things are made
from polycarbonate and won't degrade in a thousand years.

Thanks for your message.
dt fletcher


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