Ghost Sites of the Web

Web 1.0 history, forgotten web celebrities, old web sites, commentary, and news by Steve Baldwin. Published erratically since 1996.

June 06, 2006

Dead Digital Formats

Why Did the 404 Lounge Die?A Wired News author named Momus has written a poignant and effective piece on dead digital media formats. This article is a worthwhile read that will ring true among those of us who uncomfortably realize that the digital age will likely be termed "a dark age" by our successors (because none of our supposedly permenant media will play back). My favorite passage:

"Suddenly, my whole life replays before my eyes as a succession of transient formats. My teens were spent in the age of Betamax video, games consoles with no carts, Pong burnt in ROM, audio delivered on vinyl, cassette tape and 8-track. In my 20s those formats were replaced by exciting new ones: VHS, laser disks, CDs, snap-in console carts, games on floppy disk that you slotted into your "multimedia personal computer," pale faxes. And each time the new thing came along, the old thing became a sideshow, a curiosity ... and, eventually, inaccessible, along with all the memories encoded on it."


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