Rant for today: Seeing the Delkin Devices 300-year CD item on the home page reminded me of something that's been bugging me for a while. What good will it do to archive your files on a CD that's good for 300 years when CD drives will probably go the way of the 5-inch floppy drives (remember those?) and disappear from the scene in 20 years. I guess you'll need to store a CD drive with the disks, too. Or maybe the whole computer, because USB and firewire cabling will probably be extinct, too. Archival storage of digital images will probably be on something that looks like a flash card, but impervious and eternal. Beam me up, Scotty.......
Although in this time of rapid change in technology your perception is popular, it does not have a basis in reality. Please consider you can pick up a cell phone connected through a micro-wave network and call a phone number in a Vermont village that has the same telephone wiring for the better part of a century, and they can call you. I still have in my collection some of the first music CD's issued over 30 years ago and play them with a new Mac G5 or with the DVD player that's part of an HD digital TV system.
The Sony/Phillips CD system as invented was done on the basis of establishing an international standard designed to be backward compatible. The standard is like an inverted pyramid, every new device is built on the principle of the first CD that has since been added to and elaborated while remaining fully compatible with the first part of the standard.
Computer technology is similarly based on international standards of how digital data is stored. I can plug a USB floppy drive into a new Mac and read files made 15 years ago on an IBM clone as long as those files are in one of the international standard formats.
What you imagine the consequences of obsolescence could be in the future was taken into account by scientists and engineers a long time ago and all recent and new developments these days incorporate an essential core of backward compatibility.