[clug] Internode dumps FOSS for MS Exchange

Jacinta Richardson jarich at perltraining.com.au
Sun Feb 21 15:48:09 MST 2010

Steve Walsh wrote:

> So, my guess is, the chances are pretty good that people will be able to
> read documents in 100 years.

I ponder the scenario where we wipe ourselves out or end up with much of
humanity wiped out and the rest back at hunter/gatherer level sometime in the
next 100 years.  I wonder what the next advanced civilisation to check out our
cities will make of our USB keys, decayed floppy discs, defunct machines.  We've
pieced together much of our past civilisations because they wrote stuff down on
rock and leather and papyrus.  We've amassed so much knowledge, but it's all
digital.  When the lights go out, what then?

An episode of Dr Who from sometime when I was a young teenager had the Doctor's
companion find an LP record in the rubble on a much older Earth.  A native asks
"What is that?" and the companion replies "a record".  The native knows it's a
record (in the sense that it is data) and asks "Yes, but what's on it?".  The
companion pieces together the label and explains a bit about the music of
whichever band it featured.  I suspect LPs would be much easier to translate
than CDs and they again easier than BlueRay.  How will our future historians
work out the USB protocol?  How readable are our files if we try to treat a
whole hard drive as a mass of strings?


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