Open Tech Today - Top Stories

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Is Your Technology Dying?

It's often a bad bet that the technology you rely on will be around in 20 years. True, good technology can last a long time. Typewriters. Record players. They lasted, even dominated, for a long time. But they're gone now. Floppy disks and cassette tapes -- not quite as long. Betamax and 8-track tapes. Hardly at all. For that matter, how much longer will VCRs be around?

The point? New content keeps coming. But the technologies, especially the formats, for transmitting it come and go. Something that has seemingly been around forever is suddenly gone, obsolete, unusable (or unrepairable).

Although it does not speak about formats for documents generated on computers (a topic I blog about regularly), this article from Wired does remind us of the issues and often impermanence of the things we create, and the formats we create them in ... despite what Microsoft and Apple and Sony might want us to believe.

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