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CDs and Obsolete Technologies

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Next month is our annual Architectural Showcase issue, but we're already hard at work selecting photos and laying out each submission. Photos for each project come to us in one of several ways: uploaded to our FTP site, sent via a file transfer site such as Dropbox, or mailed on a CD or thumb drive.

That will have to change next year. As I opened and logged the hardcopy submissions, I came across a submitter who had opted to send photos via CD. I pulled the disc out of its case and went to insert it into the CD drive on my Mac — or where the drive had been on my previous Mac. Our IT guy had upgraded my hardware several months ago, but this was the first occasion on which I noticed the component lacking.

I asked around the office and eventually found an old laptop in the conference room outfitted with a CD drive, one of the last vestiges of a technology that had risen from innovation and fallen into obsolescence during my lifetime. Later that week, I packed up the stacks of CDs cluttering my office shelves and put them in a box to be recycled.

My nostalgia was fleeting. I turned my focus back to the current issue, which coincidentally highlights many of the ways technology is opening doors in our industry. Senior editor Paul Steinbach explores how stadiums are using the latest LED lighting technology to create unforgettable gameday experiences for fans. We also have an article exploring the role of virtual reality technology in college recruiting. Even our aquatics coverage this month is inspired by the latest technologies aiding in drowning prevention.

CD drives are just a tiny casualty along the inevitable march toward greater technological advancement. But it's noticing the small changes and remembering the technologies that have come and gone that really allow us to appreciate the bigger picture and how fast this world is changing.

As you page through this month's issue, I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on the changes in your own environment and where those changes are taking you.

This article originally appeared in the May 2017 issue of Athletic Business with the title "In memoriam: CD drives" Athletic Business is a free magazine for professionals in the athletic, fitness and recreation industry. Click here to subscribe.


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