November 2003 Archives
If all information in the world was written on clay tablets or carved into marble, its preservation would be greatly simplified. Even paper, when manufactured and stored properly, can have a life measured in hundreds of years. Today, however, much of the information being produced is digital, and digital formats are notoriously fragile. Either the media on which the information is stored becomes unreadable, or the hardware and software needed to read the work becomes obsolete. Think of that old 8" floppy disk in the back of the drawer with your attempt from twenty years ago to write the Great American Novel (in WordStar). The magnetic data might not still be readable; drives that can read the disk are scarce; and few word processing packages today can understand WordStar documents.
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