You may have not heard of Digital Dark Age, but am sure have faced if you experienced any of the following:
– A word document that you wrote, a while ago, say in Word 3.1 on Windows 95, is hard to open/read today with the latest word and OS you have!
– You had a childhood favorite PC game and no way it is going to play on your latest computer!
– A decade old web page could not be rendered today because of the tech behind it is very old!
Etc etc you get the idea, none of our old digital assets, even though they are digital and live forever but still they can’t be viewed! This is what Vint Cerf, father of the internet is calling Digital Dark Age . In his words the solution to the problem is…”The solution is to take an X-ray snapshot of the content and the application and the operating system together, with a description of the machine that it runs on, and preserve that for long periods of time. And that digital snapshot will recreate the past in the future.”
This sounds great but the still the big question is who is going to maintain or how will the solution be managed over centuries? Some one has to keep the client software developed/updated as new platforms come (ex Android, iOS)? Don’t we need teams to develop and manage the virtual machines?
Mahadev Satyanarayanan, Professor from CMU has developed a solution called Olive and is a good starting to point to get started in solving this problem. Good Luck!
[Photo Credit: Thanks to geralt via Pixabay]