Readers weigh in on . . .

Re: B.C. hosting company shuts down al-Qaeda Web sites (Feb 14)

I commend you on your article describing the successful shutting down of al-Qaeda Web sites in Canada. I only hope that

other ISPs in Canada take similar steps to shut down illegal, hate-promoting and terror-supporting Web sites. Thank you.

Hyim Bessin

Re: Save the data (Feb. 8)

I read with interest your recent article entitled “Save the data” and feel that you missed a very important point. Yes, the old technical manuals and obsolete books may be curiosities for future generations, but they also serve a very important role in our future. They may represent the only hope of recovering our past.

For example, I remember a much different computer landscape 20 years ago when word processing was not dominated by Microsoft Word. Instead, there were lots of different applications (that no longer exist today) each with a different format. If I handed you a file that was created by one of these programs (probably on a 5.25 floppy!) what would you do? My guess is you would probably laugh. I would too — unless that file contained critical business information, notes from an important meeting, or thoughts from a loved one who is now deceased.

Our industry loves to forge ahead with new technologies without too much thought of how to preserve the past. Our old data may become corrupt because of media deterioration (is that 5.25 floppy still good, and where can I get a drive?) or because of software obsolescence. This last problem is truly the scariest, and has been studied and written about by such prominent people as Danny Hillis. Take a look at the great book (if you can find it) “Time & Bits: Managing Digital Continuity” to see how truly frightening our future could get. In the future, these “curiosities” and horribly obsolete books may be the only key in unlocking our digital past.

Sander A. Smith
Sericon Technology Inc.

Re: Co-operators turns over e-mail management to IBM (Feb. 3)

I find it surprising that Co-operators considers e-mail “a non-core business function” given today’s high business dependency on e-mail.

Darryl Dias

Re: The future is Wile E. Coyote (Jan. 10)

Are you sure about that? Pre-occupation, innovation and absentmindedness may be more connected than you think. I won’t contest the social misfit point though.

Dave Londry

Letters to the editor must include the writer’s name and company name along with an e-mail address or other contact information. All letters become the property of Editors reserve the right to edit submissions for length and content.

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