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In a previous career, I was an archivist, and I still occasionally review the literature.


The below table was created for audio-visual media playback hardware (everything from turntables to film projectors to VCRs), but it is also largely applicable to vintage computer hardware:




III Obsolescence of Playback Capabilities


A format is deemed obsolete when “the machine or device necessary to render the work perceptible is no longer manufactured or reasonably available in the commercial marketplace”.


The evolution of obsolescence:

a. End of manufacturing
b. End of availability in the commercial marketplace
c. End of bench technician expertise
d. End of bench technician tools
e. End of calibration and alignment tapes
f. End of parts and supplies
g. End of availability in the used marketplace
h. End of playback expertise




Source: http://archivesalberta.org/doc/DHCP_Final_Report_March_2017.pdf (p. 41)

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