Friday, September 20, 2002

Lost Data

While this is an interesting article, about how quickly digital information is being created and lost, it did highlight one unintended consequence: "Software patents that can be infringed freely because the original software no longer works, preventing the patent holders from proving prior art." I guess all this can be done now by simulation of the hardware that it used to run on. Is it a great loss if we don't capture every email ever sent? They cover emulation, encapsulation and migration (print everything out and scan it back in?). Why not instead of using formats that are not human understandable (like Word 95) use XML and the like (which is hopefully forward compatible)? Being able to play old games 20 years later is cool, I recently played both the Atari 2600 version of H.E.R.O. and Day of the Tentacle very neat.
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