[clug] Internode dumps FOSS for MS Exchange

Brendan Jurd direvus at gmail.com
Sun Feb 21 21:30:48 MST 2010

On 22 February 2010 09:48, Jacinta Richardson
<jarich at perltraining.com.au> wrote:
> 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?

Paving the way for the exciting field of technoarchaeology!

I'm sure the tenured history geeks of the future will have lots of fun
trying to figure out all the various ways that people at the end of
the 2nd millenium made data into spirals.

"Why spirals you ask?  That's an excellent question.  It turns out
that, in those days, the people used crude rotational motors to spin
the spiral around and access different parts of the data."

It seems to be necessarily true that the more advanced a civilisation
is, the more advanced its data storage requirements will be, and
therefore the harder it would be to decypher.  You wouldn't want to
inscribe a terabyte's worth of text onto stone tablets, for example.

On the other hand, modern data storage makes copying data so easy that
any data of any importance will tend to exist in at least dozens,
possibly thousands, of locations, making it that much more likely that
it can be found later.   One of the problems of studying antiquity is
that a lot of their data only ever existed in one copy, so when that
copy was destroyed, the information was lost forever.

Mind you, I think it would be totally brilliant if, in analogy to the
Rosetta Stone, someone took the time to make metal plaques
demonstrating modern data storage methods, encodings and filesystems.
In fact if the government wanted to use some tax money on that
project, two thumbs up from this particular taxpayer.


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