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February 02, 2007



You say..
"Or – the real scary question – what media and file formats should we be using so that things are readable ten, twenty, fifty years from now?"

Scary is right... All that digitized data needs to "float" forever... in Data centers... ready to be converted to (then) prevailing formats.

It is like H2O cycling through different flavors ... and now and then changing media ...vapor, ice, rain.


Congratulations… on this great & intellectually stimulating post.


Wow did'nt think of it that way. Have lots of info I need to put to paper. Thank You will have to get to work.

Chuck Hollis

Hi Richard and Michelle ...

Richard, your analogy about information needing to "flow" from format to format is quite correct.

But, unlike information, water won't de-materialize into nothingness if we turn our backs on it for a few years. Information will.

Michelle, I seem to remember a few years back an initiative to code digital information on specialized paper using special formats and codes, kind of like a giant bar code on plasticized paper. I don't think it got anywhere, but it was intrigung at the time.

Both of you focused on the impermanence of digital information, which I found to be interesting.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

tom foremski

Yes, there are tremendous amounts of information that could be mined by future generations. And some of it might be false, a way to rewrite history, or muddy the waters by current generations...it might be difficult to distinguish between true and false, just as information today can be difficult to source properly.

Also, do we have to keep everything? Are we a pack rat civilisation? It certainly seems that way...

The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
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