Digital Data Demise

Obsolete Digital Data Formats

Authored by: Gary Locklair

The Routledge Companion to Media Technology and Obsolescence

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138216266
eBook ISBN: 9781315442686
Adobe ISBN:


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You sense the quest is almost over. You can see the object with its unnatural shape and strange gleam. As you carefully examine the object, you conclude it did not have a terrestrial origin, yet it is not a naturally occurring object either. Close examination reveals what must be information content on the object. This object must have had an intelligent creator. Fascinating! But, what does the information mean? You can discern lines, shapes, and patterns, but how will you decode the information content the object possesses? Are the patterns letters, numbers, sounds, or images? Is it meant to convey a greeting, a warning, or a map? Where did this strange object come from and what was its purpose?

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