12/15/2017

Preventing A ‘Digital Dark Age’

11:57 minutes

Credit: Google/Design by Brandon Echter

More and more data is born into this world as digital bits, with no analog counterpart. But do we have enough backups to prevent a digital dark age? In our new “File Not Found” series, Science Friday‘s Lauren Young explores how archivists excavate data from aging computers, magnetic tapes, and the internet…and ponders the hypothetical data storage devices of the future, like diamonds and DNA.

Lauren surveys the series, and Kari Kraus of the University of Maryland joins her to talk about techniques for preserving old video games and virtual reality experiences.

A screenshot of the computer game Mystery House (1980) emulated on an AppleWin. Credit: courtesy Kari Kraus

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Segment Guests

Lauren J. Young

Lauren J. Young is Science Friday’s web producer. When she’s not shelving books as a library assistant, she’s adding to her impressive Pez dispenser collection.

Kari Kraus

Kari Kraus is an associate professor in the College of Information Studies and the Department of English at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland.

Meet the Producer

About Christopher Intagliata

Christopher Intagliata is Science Friday’s senior producer. He once served as a prop in an optical illusion and speaks passable Ira Flatowese.

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