Wednesday, April 4, 2012

D is for Disks

Letter D time for the A to Z Challenge.

Slow down technology! We can't keep up.

One of the first home computers that I owned was a Radio Shack TRS-80. Which, if you are old enough to remember, was lovingly called the Trash 80. It had an 8 inch floppy disk drive.

At work, I used a Compac "portable" (at 40 lbs, it was more like a boat anchor) PC which came with two 5 inch disks. It had an expansion box on the back of it and we purchased a 10 mb hard drive to use with it. The other expansion slot contained a voice recognition board. Yes, Virginia, Siri voice recognition has been around for almost 30 years!

In 1994, I purchased a 486 DX 2 for personal use and to get on the internet. It had the 3.5" floppies -- in the hard case. And only a 20 mb hard drive.

Then we progressed with CDs and DVDs. Where will it end?

All of the hundreds of 8", 5" and 3.5" floppies containing software and personal files have long gone into the landfill. The info lost forever. Even we'd have kept them, there is no way to play them and use their files.

Movies and pictures are the same way. Luckily, we have many shoe boxes of old photos dating back to the 1930's. They are fun to look at once in a while. I pitched my hundreds of 35 mm slides a couple years ago because I didn't have any way to view them.

The wife kept all of her 8 mm movies, however. And, she just spent $56 to have two reels put onto a DVD so we could see her travels in Japan and Hong Kong when she was a skater with Holiday on Ice. I foresee another $300 investment to get the rest of her 8mm stash converted.

That's expensive for memories, but that isn't what worries me. How much will it cost me in 5 years to get the DVDs converted to the next technology? How will you convert the thousands of digital photos that you have taken? That's the $64 thousand dollar question.

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