Can Any Technology Last Forever?

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Community member Giorgio is thinking about saving files to some type of storage device and not touching them again for thirty years. His question is which type of storage to use. What will stand the test of time? Which types of technology will live forever? The problem I see is that nothing lasts forever, which is definitely both good and bad.

Technology advances at an astounding pace these days. This is a good thing, right? We are creating products to fill a need at breakneck speed. Companies churn out better, faster and more full-featured devices on a seemingly daily basis. Competition is fierce, which lights the fire under businesses to come up with something more outstanding. The “I have to have the best and newest NOW!” mentality of consumers is fueling the tech economy. It’s a beautiful circle and one I love to watch.

The downside of this innovation and creativity is that nothing lasts forever. If Giorgio slaps his files onto a standard hard drive (or even an SSD) tomorrow, will there even be a machine around which is capable of reading it in thirty years? Is he going to have to scour pawn shops and thrift stores hoping to find a “really old and outdated” computer from 2011? It seems as though half of what we purchase today is of no use less than a year in the future.

I remember my early pieces of technology fondly – they are the devices which fostered my passion and allowed me to turn these passions into a career. Heck, I still have several of them lying around my house. How many of you out there can say the same, though? Do you still have super-old and obsolete gadgets and machines sitting in a closet somewhere? Raise your hand if you own something which can read a floppy disc or zip drive. Yeah – that’s what I thought.

The one constant that will always remain is you – the user. Your thirst for more, your hunger for true innovation and your desire for MORE will keep the technology wheels turning.