Paper Rules

I was just reading an article over at New Scientist about the ephemeral nature of all digital data and how this might, in the short or long-term, end up screwing us all if we don't get better archival storage systems. We're currently coping with a variation of the problem at YPS Manor. We have stacks and stacks of 3.5" floppies around, and absolutely no idea what's on them. We have one machine left that even has a 3.5" drive, and its reliability is suspect. So added to the list of things to do is check out the 3.5" disks once we get a drive.

The article also notes the best material for archival purposes is still paper, if kept and stored correctly. Acid-free paper, I assume, but the article makes no mention. I recall somewhere near the end of Schismatrix a similar conclusion being reached about the need for paper as archival storage.

Of course, since I'm not giving up my books anytime soon (read that as "before death") it's not really relevant for me personally. However, it does add to my distrust of the Kindle and other e-books.

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