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Subject: CD-rom longevity

CD-rom longevity

From: Robert J. Milevski <milevski>
Date: Monday, April 6, 1992
In reply to the questions about CD-ROMS and the future.  As we all know,
CD-ROMS are not a proven archival-quality material, just like Jell-O.
Some folks think that they will not last even ten years now. Of course,
what we are talking about is the data on the disks.  (What if Jell-O had
a ten year after taste, or a ten-year life after you made it?)  The
disks themselves may self-destruct, like brittle books, only time will
tell.  (Let's accelerate age the hell out of them.)  I would suggest
that the vendors sell the dead disks to garden supply outlets as light
reflectors to chase birds (including praying mantras) away from budding
spring and summer plants.  The hi-tech scarecrow solution.  If we could
get the manufacturers to "tune" them to different notes, they could be
used as wind chimes of information, or with their metal content, as
antennas to pull in those stations with really marginal content.  Using
them as flying saucers has limited utility (78 rpms are better for this
type of organized activity), although you get the momentary thrill of
throwing your weight in information around.  You throw them.  They fly.
They land.  You have to pick them up and start again.  Sooner or later
the landscape is littered with the forgotten objects of play and data.
(UFO = useless, fictional, obviated.)  If the disks are not soluble in
enzymes, several could be glued or melded together and sold as teething
rings for information age babies.  A new collection could be fashioned
from the disks, to be kept in perpetuity, to recall the heights and
folly of obsolescence, called the Archive of Non-Useable Information
(ANUI).  CD ROM is just another name for nothing left to lose.  CD ROM
is just another name, an abbreviation perhaps, for conundrum.   Better
living through brevity!  The future of CD-ROMS is entirely and only NOW!
Let the manufacturers pay tax on the stuff in their warehouses.

Robert Milevski

                  Conservation DistList Instance 5:49
                 Distributed: Wednesday, April 15, 1992
                        Message Id: cdl-5-49-004
Received on Monday, 6 April, 1992

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