Future of CDROM, DVD, etc.

Richard Jensen rjensen at SAINTMARYS.EDU
Thu Apr 27 10:43:10 CDT 2000

On Thu, 27 Apr 2000, Julian Humphries wrote:

> There are over 500 million CDROM drives in the world today spread from one
> end of the planet to the other.  Even ignoring Chris Thompson's argument
> that backward compatibility is far more inportant today than it was 30
> years ago, you will have ready access to a CDROM reader for at least your
> lifetime.  And most folks will take their entire CDROM collections (say
> 1000 disks) and transfer them to a single Petacube(tm) in 2010.   Almost
> everything I own digitally I have several digital copies of, don't you?  I
> sure didn't for cards or tapes.

Well, to be honest, I do have backups of all electronic copies and I do
have backups of all punch card (one set archived where I did my
Ph.D. and the other set here with me) and magnetic tape copies.

> But even this is a moot point.  Do you really think Chapman and Hall (or
> have they been bought by somebody else?) gives a tinkers dam about our
> longterm needs?  We are living in a new economy  and *we* don't have the
> choice whether to continue old fashion printed intellectual property.  If
> they go, they go.

And the same can't be said for companies that manufacture electronic
media?  I seem to recall many new versions of computers and software that
had no backward compatibility.  It's less a problem now, but when things
are market driven, they have no guaranteed longevity or stability.

I'm not a luddite longing for the "good old days."  But, I am trying to be
conservative when planning for the future.  I don't know what direction
things will go.  I do know that I have something that has stood the test
of time and am not willing to discard that for what might be.  Think long

>There are lots of ways to ensure that digital data don't
> get lost: federated registries, digital libraries, the Library of Congress,
>  distributed repositories, etc.   Longing for the good old days won't  make
> the return. We need to move forward and make the technology work for us (as
> Chris T. and the Diptera project are doing).   Think infrastructure.
> Julian Humphries


Richard J. Jensen      |   E-MAIL: rjensen at saintmarys.edu
Dept. of Biology       |   TELEPHONE: 219-284-4674
Saint Mary's College   |   FAX: 219-284-4716
Notre Dame, IN  46556  |

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