As I was sifting through some of my "old junk", I stumbles across old Polaroids, zip disks, old cds, cassette tapes and even old sketchbooks. I then realized that I couldn't open zip files because I no longer own a zip drive anymore. Some of the programs and files on the cds no longer exist or have been corrupted. Forget the cassette tapes I can't play them. The Polaroids and sketchbooks are starting to yellow even though I've stored them in a dark, dry place. This all got me thinking... If my old files and memories won't last - What will happen to our new digital memories in the next couple of years?
Our technologies keep advancing but there still isn't a file format, storage device that is permanent or universal. What do we do with our current files and photos? Store them onto an external hard drive, store them on internet sites or onto cds/dvds? These only last give or take 5 years. Then what? Keep moving them onto new storage devices? Storing digital files is actually the easy part, preserving these digital files proves more difficult. Programs are always changing, being replaced or even phased out. Plus there is the problem of digital degradation, when you migrate your digital files onto new storage devices you lose something here and there. Sometimes it's formatting issues, other times you sacrifice quality or sometimes you sacrifice the file itself. This all brings me to my main concern - How do you preserve your digital memories?