[Taxacom] Proposed ICZN amendments on electronic publishing

Paul van Rijckevorsel dipteryx at freeler.nl
Thu Dec 4 12:42:20 CST 2008

From: "Richard Pyle" <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org>
Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2008 3:53 PM
> 2) Electronic files cannot be read directly by humans; they minimally
> require (at least with today's technology) three things: appropriate
> hardware, appropriate software, and electricity.

> I think #2 is the real issue that supporters of e-documents need to think
> about. ... Bottom line: important e-documets, and the tools necessary to
> read them, will be carried forward.  There may well be a very real risk
> that  electricity becomes unavailable for some future period of time (or,
> at least, electricity could conceivably become a LOT more expensive and
> difficult to access).

I am not so sure. Logically I would expect software and hardware to improve
as technology progresses, but reality is different. In spite of all this
progress it appears to be ever harder to get a computer configuration that
actually works. It is very nice to have keyboards and mice that work on USB,
but if the operating system decides to stop recognizing USB (apparently
common in Vista) and the computer has USB ports only you have a shiny piece 
of state-of-the-art hardware that does exactly nothing. Not to mention a new 
computer that has a DVI-I outlet only and that cannot be connected to the 
DVI-D inlet of the screen by a DVI-cable (except for certain applications)
but requires a VGA cable (except for certain applications). Every day I have
less and less faith that a piece of hardware, no matter how shiny, will
actually work when I need it.


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