Moore’s Law and the Future of Digital

Storage box for 16mm film reels

Storage box for 16mm film reels


California State University, Chico once had a computer that comprised the entirety of a floor in a building on campus. It was located in Butte Hall and kept air conditioned for the computer to function properly. This was state-of-the-art in 1975.

The same year, a man name Gordon Moore gained respect in the computer science industry when his prediction from a decade earlier was shown to be accurate. His prediction has come to be known as Moore's law, which says that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit doubles about every two years. The observation has remained very accurate, with the growth of digital technology and its permeation into daily life.

Today, the average American carries with them the processing power that surpasses that of the university room computer 100 times over. The digital technology and platform is changing at an unprecedented rate. What does this mean for the future of video and the digital platform? How can our memories survive the digital arms race?

I was asked by a customer about the longevity of digital video. Is it safe to preserve a digital files on a hard drive or in the cloud? What if the system changes entirely? Will the technology to recall the information be around 25, 50, or 100 years from now? These are forward-thinking questions and must be considered when preservation is the goal.

The transition from analog to digital is like the changing of a language. Currently, there is a Rosetta Stone available, with the key to translate the information. If the digital platform undergoes a significant change in the future, there will be a conversion period and the available tools available to adapt information to the new platform. This reality, however, seems unlikely with the change from analog to digital.

Currently, we are nearing the end of the conversion period from analog to digital, which is making those with the capability to translate few and far between. The technology can be expensive and the process is tedious. If you have questions or need a guide to navigate the world of technology and media, don't hesitate to reach out to us.