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Time Capsule


This essay does not describe an existing computer program, just one that should exist. This essay is about a suggested student project in Java programming. This essay gives a rough overview of how it might work. I have no source, object, specifications, file layouts or anything else useful to implementing this project. Everything I have prepared to help you is right here.

This project outline is not like the artificial, tidy little problems you are spoon-fed in school, when all the facts you need are included, nothing extraneous is mentioned, the answer is fully specified, along with hints to nudge you toward a single expected canonical solution. This project is much more like the real world of messy problems where it is up to you to fully the define the end point, or a series of ever more difficult versions of this project and research the information yourself to solve them.

Everything I have to say to help you with this project is written below. I am not prepared to help you implement it; or give you any additional materials. I have too many other projects of my own.

Though I am a programmer by profession, I don’t do people’s homework for them. That just robs them of an education.

You have my full permission to implement this project in any way you please and to keep all the profits from your endeavour.

Please do not email me about this project without reading the disclaimer above.

This project is unlike my other projects. You might not even need a computer to complete it. The goal is to create a time capsule that will last 5000 years. This has several subgoals:

If you study your own collection of books, you know they start to fall apart in a few decades if not printed on acid-free paper. Insects and mice nibble on them. Moulds destroy them. Sunlight fades them. If we study books that survived 1000+ years we know they were inscribed on vellum, using mineral based dyes and inks that do not fade. We know they were stored in extremely dry conditions. The most durable works of art have been bronzes and marbles.

You might consider laser-engraving on plastic, titanium or gold plated tablets. If you figure out how to do this straightfortwardly, you might set up an Internet business to create time capsules for people to record their family histories, poems, diaries, DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) sequences etc.

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